Trail running: Lesotho Ultra Trail Fierce competition

2013-05-15 00:00

SOUTH Africa’s leading trail runners will face fierce competition when they take part in the inaugural Lesotho Ultra Trail at the end of November.

Skyrunners from all over the world have entered Africa’s first Ultra Skymarathon, taking on the 55-kilometre, high-altitude course through the Tsehlanyane National Park in the heart of the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho.

The event will be held on November 30 and has attracted the keen interest of both the local and international trail and skyrunning communities.

Four of the world’s top international men’s athletes have already confirmed their entry into the race. Americans Mike Wolfe and Joe Grant will join 2012 Canadian ultra-trail runner of the year Adam Campbell in making the long trip across the Atlantic Ocean to challenge South Africa’s best.

“One aspect that I love about mountain running is the opportunity to explore beautiful places around the world,” said Campbell.

“I specifically choose races based on their aesthetic and the accompanying sense of adventure that they bring. Being able to compete in Africa’s first Ultra Skymarathon, among some of the most stunning mountain terrain that I’ve seen, more than satisfies that criteria.”

Mike Wolfe said he had never travelled to Africa.

“The location looks amazing. It is wonderful that the South African Skyrunning Association and the organisers of Lesotho Ultra Trail are enthusiastic about hosting international athletes. This kind of event helps our sport of ultra running grow on an international level, and continues to grow the international community of runners.”

Among the top South African men’s athletes already securing their spots is up-and-coming trail star AJ Calitz, the 2013 SA Ultra Trail Champion Nic de Beer and mountain running legend, and winner of the 2012 Otter African Trail Run, Iain Don Wauchope.

The women’s field will also be a stellar affair, with confirmation already coming in from well-known South African runners Linda Doke, the 2013 SA ultra champion Tracy Zunkel and the 2011 Otter African Trail Run winner Su Don Wauchope.

On the international front, Canadian ultra-runner and winner of the 2012 Gobi March in China, Stephanie Case, will be making the journey from her newly adopted home of Kyrgyzstan.

Hosted by the luxury Maliba Mountain Lodge, the Lesotho Ultra Trail will encompass some of the most spectacular mountain trails that the Tsehlanyane National Park has to offer, affording runners the opportunity to climb to over 3 100 metres above sea level while immersed in the rich culture of Africa’s mountain kingdom.

For more information about the event, see www.lesothoultratrail

.com or follow @LesothoUltra on Twitter.

— Supplied.

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