Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg Diary Note

 No: utd2001

 17 Mar 2020

Embargo: None

Written by: Dave Macleod

UTD cancelled for 2020

Underberg - Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg has joined a swathe of other sporting events in making the tough decision to cancel their 2020 event following the imposition of the national state of disaster in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

UTD was due to have been held from 24 to 26 April with runners taking on trails of 160km, 100km 60km, 32km and 21km distances in the Maloti Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site and into Lesotho. The event has added significance in that it also provides runners with a route to qualification for the Ultra Trail® Mont Blanc.

“We fully support the bold moves announced by the President to combat the coronavirus outbreak in South Africa.” said event organiser Spurg Flemington. “We have not taken this decision lightly and gave the only other alternative, postponement, a deep and thorough analysis.

Flemington pointed out that postponing the event rather than cancelling it was always going to be the first option explored, but there were a range of complications that prevented shifting the unique event to another date.

He added that every entry would be transferred to the 2021 event at no extra cost or penalty.

“Our top priority is always the health and safety of every single participant, and then to ensure that we deliver experientially against the expectations of each athlete.

"In so doing it became very clear that postponement to a later date in 2020 was not a viable option for a number of reasons.

"These include, but were not limited to, the great unknown of when the Covid-19 crisis will pass, adverse and dangerous weather conditions in other months in the high Drakensberg, the negative impact on other events with long standing positions in the trail calendar, the closure of Border Posts to Lesotho, as well as an inability to secure our UTD Race Village and venue at Sani Pass Hotel and the risk of further postponements if the outbreak continues deeper into the year."

More information can be found at www.ultratraildrakensberg.com


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