Drakensberg Festival of Trail Running Media Service
UTD160 to test the most hardened ultra runner
Underberg - The 2018 Ultra-Trail Drakensberg Festival of Trail Running
will take on a new dimension when it gets underway over the weekend of
28-29 April with the testing UTD160 being named as the latest addition
to the event.
Utilising the Maloti World Heritage Site has become a major draw card
for the event and with the UTD160, or 100 Miler as they are more
commonly known, now starting in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho it adds
"There are many elements to the UTD160 that will draw people to it,"
race organiser Spurgeon Flemington said.
"The fact that you start at the Highest Pub in Africa, you tag the
highest peak in Southern Africa, Thabana Ntlenyana, and you have to
cross through the border post from Lesotho to South Africa during the
race, to name a few."
The Ultra-Trail Drakensberg festival is now in its second year and
offers runners of every ability a chance to enjoy the Drakensberg with
five different distances to choose from. The UTD160 has become the
flagship event with the UTD100, GCU62, SDR30 and the Drakensberg
Rockjumper two day race all falling under the ‘Festival of Trail’
Making the decision to add the 100 Miler to the line-up was an easy one
for Flemington and Matt Goode, his partner in Running Man Adventures.
"I think it was the logical progression to create a 100 Miler.
"We have the mountains and the distance so it was definitely the next
"Once we had set up the meetings with the relevant parties in Lesotho
everything ran smoothly and they were excited by the concept,"
The craze of taking on 100 miles through the mountains is something that
is still yet to catch on fully in SA with only two other annual 100
Milers at Addo in the Eastern Cape and at Karkloof in the KZN Midlands.
Flemington’s aim is for UTD160 to become a sought after draw card for
international athletes in particular.
"All 100 Milers are tough but I think that UTD160 will be particularly
challenging due to the large amount of extreme altitude running with the
first 70km being between 3000 and 3482m,” he explained. "Our key is to
try and tap into the international market and become the 100 Miler
destination of choice in Africa.
"There is a fairly limited pool of runners in South Africa for 100
milers so the ambition has to be to tap into the international market
where the concept is far more entrenched and widely supported.”
The race takes runners through some of the toughest terrain in Lesotho
before joining up with the UTD100 trail. Joining the two and making it
flow was a challenge for Flemington and Goode.
"We had to find 70km worth of trail in Lesotho where we could
incorporate the Escarpment as well as Thabana Ntlenyana, so it was
important that we identified where we wanted to go carefully.
"I have spent a lot of time in Lesotho working out the route and joining
it up with the UTD100 but I’m very pleased with how it has come
"A lot of existing trail is there which is good for us and now it’s just
a matter of joining up the bits in between!"
More information can be found at
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Festival of Trail Running
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Logo - jpeg
With some stunning views and
vistas highlighting the Ultra-Trail Drakensberg Festival of Trail
Running, the addition of the UTD160 at this year's event means that the
event will appeal to the most hardened and experienced of ultra-trail
runners over the weekend of 28-29 April.
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