Trail runners look to the mountains

UTD160 offers unique challenge

As trail runners lodge their last minute entries for the 2018 Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg Festival of Trail Running, the highly anticipated UTD160 will add another dimension to trail running in the province when the event gets under way at the summit of Sani Pass on April 28.

Well known runner and trail racing co-ordinator Andrew Booth (pictured) will be one of those lining up at the start. Booth took part in the inaugural Ultra-Trail Drakensberg UTD100 last year and will be out to conquer his first 100 Miler.

“I was put under pressure by a few people and then was helped out by Spurgeon (Flemington) and Matt (Goode) with an entry so I felt I had to give it a try,” Booth said. “I do like to take part in first time things so I was drawn to the UTD160, to go with my first 100km race last year at UTD.

“I enjoyed the experience last year. This year is going to be tough because on paper it is a massive challenge!”

Taking on 160km of terrain in the mountains may not be everyone’s idea of fun, but Booth believes that the introduction of another 100 Miler to the KZN calendar can only be beneficial to trail running in the province.

“The UTD160 will give people who are prepared to take part something completely different to what you would get at the Karkloof 100 Miler.

“To have two in KZN definitely enhances our reputation within the trail running community in the country.”

The one aim of the UTD160 is to try to turn the race into the must-do 100 Miler in Africa. A positive response to 2018’s event will go a long way to helping establish a reputation for ultras.

The UTD160 will see competitors tag the highest peak in Southern Africa, Thabana Ntlenyana at 3482m.

“You could probably relate the UTD160 to Hard Rock 100 in Colorado.

“The UTD160 takes place at altitudes of over 3000m, which is a massive challenge in itself!”
More information can be found at www.ultratraildrakensberg.com or www.drakrockjumper.co.za

Copy and picture courtesy Gameplan Media