The countdown has begun to Africa’s first Ultra Skymarathon®, the Lesotho Ultra Trail, on 30 November.
With just three weeks to go before the 55km ultra trail race through the Tsehlanyane National Park in the heart of Lesotho’s Maloti Mountains, anticipation is building amongst the trail running community for this, the second South Africa Skyrunning Association (SASA)-sanctioned event on the South African trail running calendar.
After the success of the Matroosberg Skymarathon® in October, skyrunning fever is running high, setting the ground for the imminent announcement of a national skyrunning series in 2014.
Sponsored by Race Food and The North Face, and hosted by Maliba Mountain Lodge, the Lesotho Ultra Trail will see a selection of South Africa’s best trail runners facing the challenge of an ultra-distance, high altitude course boasting more than three kilometres of vertical ascent, peaking at 3 155m above sea level.
Big names include South African trail star and winner of the Verdon Canyon Challenge in France AJ Calitz (K-Way/Vivobarefoot), mountain running legend and winner of the 2012 Otter African Trail Run Iain Don Wauchope (The North Face), 2013 SA Ultra Trail winner Nic de Beer, and Gauteng trail speedster Lucky Mia.
In the women’s field, Canadian ultra trail star Stacie Carrigan will be dicing the most competitive women's contingent of any southern African trail race to date, including Matroosberg Trail Challenge winner Robyn Kime (The North face), 2013 SA Ultra trail champ Tracy Zunckel (Race Food), 2011 Otter African Trail Run winner Su Don Wauchope (The North Face), SA ultra running legend Linda Doke (Salomon), Megan Mackenzie (Salomon), and Chantel Nienaber (Vivobarefoot).
With Lesotho offering world class skyrunning terrain, the Lesotho Ultra Trail promises to be an event not only worth every lung-burning breath, but is also set to become one of the continent's premier off-road ultras.