For the 3rd year in a row, Cape Town’s majestic Table Mountain will once again be the setting for Ultra Trail Cape Town (UTCT), one of Africa’s premier ultra-trail 100km races. In an effort to open the race to an even larger audience, the race also features 2 “shorter” distances of 65km and 35km that traverse the picturesque mountain ranges of the Cape Peninsula. The race covers distances of Table Mountain, Lions Head, Signal Hill, Orangekloof, Llandudno, Hout Bay, the Constantia Winelands, upper slopes of Kirstenbosch Nature Reserve and Devil’s Peak which form part of the iconic natural world heritage sites and the New Natural Seven Wonders of the World.
“Since officially opening entries, we have been inundated with queries and entries from all over the world,” says race director, Nic Bornman. “It’s great to see how trail running has grown in such a short time and we are sure that this year’s event will continue to build on this success. We designed all three routes to have as much variety as possible. This could only be achieved by tying together a complex network of jurisdictions, private property owners and city/national parks land. With Cape Town being one of these unique cities where you cannot divorce the natural landscape from the urban environment, I felt it was important for each route to weave together the city’s cultural, social and natural heritage.”
Bornman continues: “All three routes are front loaded with the major climbs happening early on. In the case of the 100km for example Table Mountain and Karbonkelberg (near Hout Bay) happen before the halfway mark, thereafter three medium sized climbs will see you home. As a general rule there are some good running stretches between climbs where runners can make up time.”
Trail running and particular ultra-distance events have become part of our normal mainstream sports since South African trail runner, Ryan Sandes, has taken on the best in the world and shown why South Africans can be the top at whatever they choose to be. “UTCT is a really awesome event, showing the best that Cape Town and more specifically Table Mountain has to offer,” says Ryan Sandes. “UTCT has already created a huge buzz amongst trail runners both locally and globally and I have no doubt it is going to become a ‘must-do’ race on every international trail runner’s calendar.”
This year the race organisers have increased the overall cut-off time for the 100km ultra race by 2 hours, giving competitors 17 hours to complete the distance, cut off points will still be in place so as to ensure all competitors safety. As with all ultra-distance events each competitor will need to carry a number of mandatory items, which will be checked along the route. The race is currently at 90% capacity, with only 40 entries remaining for the 100km route and 60 for the 65km route.
Web – ultratrailcapetown.com
Facebook – @Ultratrail.capetown
Twitter – @UltratrailCT