The fourth edition of Ultra-Trail Drakensberg (UTD) may have been cancelled due to lockdown measures, but organisers were determined to be a force for good.
Ultra-Trail Drakensberg Lockdown Edition
Their UTD Lockdown Edition was a resounding success with close to just over R100 000 raised for Wildlife ACT and the Southern Lodestar Foundation.
The charity event drew participation from 1200 runners who took on the UTD Lockdown Edition in what organisers described as “a welcome show of solidarity for the cancelled event and rallying support for the events two benefactors.”
Tobie Reyneke and Debbie O’Mahoney completed the longest distance over the event time frame and were named the winners of the virtual event. Reyneke completed 171km in 31 hours 58 minutes, while O’Mahoney finished 165km in 36 hours.
The UTD Lockdown Edition took the five different events scheduled for the Drakensberg’s toughest trail running event and divided the distances by ten to give runners distances to cover in their gardens over the same period that UTD would have taken place.
With runners taking on 17,1km was the equivalent to UTD160 while the other events were scaled down to 10,8km, 6,2km, 3,2km and 2,1km.
There were also options to run the UTD Lockdown Edition Grand Slam which converted into 39,5km and every distance on offer while others opted to take on UTDunlimited which was a challenge to see how far you could run from 10:00 on Friday 24 April to 7:00 on Sunday 26 April.
“We were overwhelmed by the support of all the runners to our UTD Lockdown Edition,” event organiser Spurg Flemington said.
“To see so many people taking on the event in their gardens, balconies, garages was inspiring and we are proud to be handing over the proceeds to our beneficiaries.
“As a community we have come together to help those in need and it was a display that we cannot underestimate the impact this will have.
“We cannot wait to see you all in the Southern Drakensberg for UTD 2021,” Flemington added.
UTD is a festival of trail running with events of 160km, 100km, 62km, 30km and 21km usually taking place over a weekend. The events all take place within the Southern area of the renowned Maloti Drakensberg World Heritage Site, and large swathes of the iconic wilderness are traversed.
Incorporating and skirting some of the legendary features of the Southern Drakensberg such as Sani Pass, Twelve Apostles, Khanti Ridge, Gxalingenwa Gorge, Hodgson’s Peaks, Garden Castle, Rhino Peak and Langalibalele’s Pass participants in UTD are promised the finest experience in mountain running.
The event took place over the final weekend in April but official results were released on 8 May.