Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg Festival of Trail Running Media Service

 No: utd1807

 17 Apr 2018

Embargo: None

Written by: Nick Tatham


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 Peak.

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 Drakensberg.

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 www.ultratraildrakensberg.com or www.drakrockjumper.co.za

ENDS

Photo Caption Photographer Click to download the hi-res pic
Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg Festival of Trail Running Logo - jpeg  

Drakensberg Rock Jumper 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. Anthony Grote/
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