Experienced trail runner and organiser of the Ultra-Trail Cape Town, Stuart McConnachie, will be back for his third Ultra-Trail Drakensberg when he tackles the GCU62 at the event, held from April 26-28.
McConnachie has been involved in both previous editions and won the UTD100 last year. Despite this win, the competitive aspect is not why he will be coming back this year.
“My win last year was a bit of a fluke!” he said. “If you looked at the results, the year before there were a few guys that had quicker winning times than mine – I’m not saying I won’t take the win though!
“I just find that UTD is such a great race to do. It’s got it all, from great climbs to awesome downhill stretches and it is so different to running in the Western Cape.”
What started with getting a group together from the Western Cape to travel up to take on UTD, has grown into a large group of Capetonians coming up to take in the beauty of the Drakensberg.
McConnachie believes the event has grown in popularity due to its uniqueness.
“To be running at 2000m above sea level and to look up and see huge mountains scaling 3000m, and to be able to look 1000m below you is bigger than anything we have in the Western Cape.
“It is a special feeling when you look around and try to appreciate the space and the grandeur of the experience.”
McConnachie ran the 100km race last year but will be taking on the GCU62 this year. He is frank as to why he won’t be running 100km at this year’s race.
“I just haven’t had enough time to train,” he said. “The Giants Cup trail is a famous hiking trail and it is really manageable, so I decided that I would take on the 62km race.
“The 100 miler scares the daylights out of me, so I am avoiding that!
“The whole experience of being up in the mountains with friends and meeting new people is what makes events like this special.”
More information can be found at www.ultratraildrakensberg.com
Main picture, top: Stuart McConnachie will return to the Drakensberg to take on his third Ultra-Trail Drakensberg run when he tackles the GCU62 at the event which runs from April 26-28. Picture: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media