Drakensberg Festival of Trail Running Media Service
Drakensberg's beauty draws 100 Miler runners to UTD
Underberg – Despite its intimidating distance at altitude the UTD160 100
Miler race at the Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg starting on 27 April has
lured a core of tough ultra-trail runners eager to test themselves
against the sprawling mountains of the Southern Drakensberg and Lesotho.
Event organisers Running Man Adventures decided that 2018 would be the
year to include a 100 Miler event to their repertoire and needed to add
another 73 kilometres to their already established UTD100 route.
After talks with local Lesotho government representatives they were
granted permission to start the UTD160 at the Highest Pub in Africa at
the top of Sani Pass and take runners deep into the Lesotho highlands.
The race will scale Thabana Ntlenyana, which is the highest peak in
Southern Africa and the highest point south of Kilimanjaro and tagging
it will be a significant milestone for many of the runners.
Sani Pass is the next obstacle as the runners have to check through the
border post before they can continue as they join up with the UTD100
course after that.
The running along the UTD100 course will see runners traverses the
Twelve Apostles before the long and fast 19 km descent down the Khanti
Ridge to Premier Resort Sani Pass.
The UTD160 course then climbs the beautiful Gxalingenwa Gorge and
follows the front of Ndlovini before dropping down into Cobham Nature
Reserve. From Cobham there is a long climb up to Crane Tarn and the
descent into Castleburn Farm at the 135 km mark.
From Castleburn the runners ascend the face of Garden Castle before
topping out at Black Eagle Pass and turning toward the iconic Rhino
The final Checkpoint of UTD160 is in the shadow of Rhino Peak at Swiman
Hut with 150 km run. From Swiman it is a 13 km last effort to the finish
at Bushman’s Nek Hotel which includes the final big climb from the
Mzimude River to the top of Langalibalele Pass and the 5 km swoop down
to the Hotel.
There will be a hard-core few that will be taking on the UTD160 with the
race being granted six point status with regards to Ultra-Trail Mont
Blanc qualification. The race, as with the UTD100 and GCU62, will form
part of 2019 UTMB qualification.
On the other side of the spectrum, runners who are out for a relaxing
weekend of trail running have the perfect opportunity in the shorter
Rockjumper event to take in the clean air of the Maloti Drakensberg
World Heritage Site.
The event is scheduled for 27-28 April with 18 April's midday entry
deadline the event will still appeal to those looking to get into the
sport of trail running as well as those that enjoy the scenery of the
The event is open to walkers as well as runners that might not feel
confident enough to take on the longer distances.
For those looking to take on a bit more of a challenge, Running Man
Adventures have decided that there will be two different events on offer
under the DRJ banner.
The shorter DRJ15/12 will see athletes run 15km on the first day and
then 12km on the second day with their overnight camp being set up at
the Premier Resort Sani Pass.
Alternatively, runners can take on the DRJ21/15 will be 21km on the
first day and 15km on the second.
More information can be found at
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Festival of Trail Running
Logo - jpeg
Logo - jpeg
The vast expanses of the
Southern Drakensberg provide runners, experienced or novice with some
spectacular views when they take on the Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg
Festival of Trail Running from 27-29 April.
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