Underberg – With a half marathon that sells out in minutes and another fully subscribed Sani Stagger full marathon, the event will provide runners with a unique opportunity to take on the iconic Sani Pass on Saturday, 23 November.
With such a one-of-a-kind appeal runners from all over the country make the trip to Sani Pass to take on the 42km run that takes runners from the Premier Resort Sani Pass to the summit and then back to the Sani Pass Hotel and 21km event that starts at the summit.
The half marathon has grown a reputation as the race to do, which explains why it sells out in such a short space of time. Being able to tackle the Sani Pass descent once a year is an exciting prospect for many dedicated and recreational runners.
From a marathon perspective, the popularity has grown exponentially in the past few years and it is seen as one of the best pre-Comrades qualifiers due to its toughness, altitude and its proximity to the world’s largest ultra-marathon.
The race has traditionally attracted a strong field of elite athletes for the full marathon with three-time Comrades Marathon winner Bongmusa Mthembu winning the race in 2018 and finishing second in 2017.
In 2018 Lisa Collett scorched the women’s race to take her maiden title at the Stagger. She won the race by twenty five minutes and it will be interesting to see if she returns to defend her crown this year.
Over the years the Stagger organisers Running Man Adventures have been responsible for some of the great trail running events in the Southern Drakensberg and they decided to add the Stagger Trail to the list of running options on the day.
The trail run offers two different distances, a 38km runs and 21km run, for those that prefer the challenge of the mountain trails as opposed to the gravel road up and down Sani Pass.
There are still entries available for the trail runs as the event tries to continually evolve and offer an appeal to a wider array of visitors to the area.
The event will include a Southern Loadstar 6km Fun Run/Walk for those that are more inclined to a slower pace, based from the race headquarters at the Premier Resort Sani Pass, and is intended to be a accessible and manageable route aimed at recreational walkers and hikers. All of the proceeds raised through entries will go to assisting the crèches in the area.
Along with the fun run/walk, event organisers have also included the inaugural Stagger Market on the lawns of the Sani Pass Hotel where runners and locals and browse for arts and crafts, food and drink and share in the local hospitality and enjoy the Berg weather together in a family environment with live music.
For more information visit www.sanistagger.co.za
The 2019 Sani Stagger Marathon will once again be sold out as runners from all over the country come to take on the iconic Sani Pass in either the full marathon, half marathon or trail runs on Saturday, 23 November. – Anthony Grote/