I recently caught up with South Africa’s Ryan Sandes after his impressive victory at the 2017 Western States. You can listen to a full and in-depth interview HERE on Talk Ultra podcast.
Ryan’s story is one that inspires and it just shows what is possible.
“An impulsive decision one Sunday afternoon completely changed my life back in 2008. Could I run 250km, self-supported through a Desert? Without another thought, I maxed out my credit card and entered a race I knew almost nothing about. The lead up to the Gobi Desert Race consumed me but most importantly it enabled me to dream.”
You can read the full article on IRUN4ULTRA HERE
Episode 122 of Talk Ultra and we have a 1 hour interview with Pete Kostelnick all about his amazing, record breaking run across the USA. Ryan Sandes talks Raid de la Reunion and Casey Morgan talks about Madeira’s EcoTrail Funchal and the Everest Trail Race. The show is co-hosted by my good buddy from the Twin Cities, Kurt Decker.
RUNNING BEYOND BOOK is now published and available worldwide HERE
CLEANSPORT COLLECTIVE http://cleansport.org
- I pledge to honor myself, competitors, sponsors, sport and society by choosing to stay clean of performance enhancing drugs. Choosing to not play by the rules steals from hard working athletes who choose to do the right thing and challenges the health and integrity of sport. I will be a positive example in the community as an advocate and ambassador for clean sport. I pledge that I have and will always train clean, compete clean and live clean.
- I agree to be an outspoken advocate of clean sport
- I agree to donate $25,000 to CSC charity partner if I ever test positive
*plus other pledges for brands, amateurs etc
Lanes of Change
We are in this together. The more voices that speak in unity, the stronger we are.
It is time to intervene. Through our partners, we will support, aid and equip current drug testing regimes with the best and most updated tools and research.
We are a community with purpose. It is about the ecosystem of sport working together. We want it to be known that we support people over performances, and we celebrate honesty, integrity and transparency above all.
We are human, and we all make mistakes. Together with our partners, we provide a safe place for those who have doped or spoke out against those that have.
IAU TRAIL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Luis Alberto Hernando 8:20
- Nicolas Martin 8:30
- Benoit Cori 8:30
- Caroline Chaverot 9:39 – for me, THE ultra runner of the year!
- Azara Garcia 9:44
- Ragna Debats 9:47
- Nadir Maguet 30:17
- Urban Zemmer 30:28
- Marco Moletto 30:28 and Kilian Jornet 30:33
- Christel Dewalle 35:57
- Beatrice Delflorian 38:42
- Serena Vittori 39:04
Miguel Heras (Spain). Now 41 years old, Heras turned back the clock with his second-straight win, adding to September victory at Ultra Pirineu. Here, Heras overtook Jared Hazen (U.S.) with some 6k to go to win in 6:45. Hazen used a mid-race surge to break things open and then held on for second in 6:49. Cedric Fleureton (France) was third in 6:56.
Jasmin Nunige (Switzerland) won Ultravasan for the second time, and went on to run 8:00 here for the win, improving on last year’s finish by four minutes. Yngvild Kaspersen (Norway) stepped up in distance and ran strong for a second-place 8:13. I Núria Picas (Spain), who had seesawed with Kaspersen throughout, was third in 8:22.
IAU 24 HOUR
Dan Lawson from the UK took out the win (Dan has placed 3rd at Badwater and 2nd at Spartathlon) with 162 miles – ouch! Ondrej Velicka 2nd with 160 miles.
Maria Jansson set a new European record 155.74 miles – ouch! Patricia Bereznowska was 2nd with 150 miles.
RAID DE LA REUNION
- Francois d’Haene 23:44 that is 3 victories in 4 years
- Antoine Guillon 24:15
- Javi Dominguez 24:36 – who has had an incredible and consistent year
- Andrea Huser 28:00
- Juliette Blanchet 29:26
- Emma Roca 30:10
00:50:00 INTERVIEW with RYAN SANDES
Zach Bitter 13:30 beating Hal Koerner’s benchmark 13:47
Brett Sanborn 15:15
Ryan Kaiser 16:40
Dana Anderson 21:03
Adela Salt 21:32
Amy Rasor 22:17
Heather Anish Anderson sets new FKT for the 800 mile Arizona Trail – 19 days, 17 hours and 9 minutes
ECOTRAIL FUNCHAL MADEIRA
In the 80km race, Julien Chorier lead from the front and had a stunning day on the trails of Madeira. He arrived in Funchal looking strong. Casey Morgan placed 2nd just 6-minutes behind the Frenchman and Javi Bodas was 3rd, 19-minutes later. For the ladies, Wasmes Wasmes took a conniving victory 14-minutes ahed of Nadia Meroni and Sylvie Benech was 3rd, 1-hour after 2nd place.
01:28:07 INTERVIEW with CASEY MORGAN
DAVE MACKEY – an amazing and inspiring story unfolds
On Monday, October 24, Pete Kostelnick broke the longstanding record for running across the U.S. Kostelnick linked the San Francisco and New York City Halls in 42 days, 6 hours, bettering a 1980 46-day, 8-hour record set by Frank Giannino, Jr. Other than a lone zero-mile day early in the run, Kostelnick knocked out 70-plus miles day after day.
02:05:54 INTERVIEW PETE KOSTELNICK
UP & COMING RACES
New South Wales
Territoire de Belfort
Taranaki Steelformers 100 mile Around the mountain Solo | 100 miles | November 04, 2016 | website
Taranaki Steelformers 150 km Around the mountain Running and Walking Relay | 150 kilometers | November 05, 2016 | website
HEADS UP – I will be in Nepal for the next two weeks so, I won’t be putting out a ‘normal’ show. However, I have something special lined up. As many of you will know, Adam Campbell had a near fatal climbing accident just 9 weeks ago. I am pleased to say the recovery and healing process is going well. I caught up with Adam and I discussed the whole process and what lessons we can all learn from this in a 1-hour special. Episode 123 of Talk Ultra will be published automatically on Friday October 18th with a simple introduction and close.
Libsyn – feed://talkultra.libsyn.com/rss
Website – talkultra.com
“The simple act of running, placing one foot in-front of the other as a method of transport takes us back to our roots, our basic instincts. In search of a place to sleep, to hunt for food; it is about being in the wild, surviving and fulfilling a primal need.”
VIEW ON AVAUNT HERE
Join 2015 Marathon des Sables champion, Elisabet Barnes, South Africa’s unstoppable Linda Doke and the UK’s Tobias Mews in the 2016 Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun.
The 2015 edition of the race was an incredible, mind-blowing journey but in 2016, the race goes one step further and becomes ‘Transfrontier.’ The race will now pass over the Orange River and in to Namibia.
Known as one of the most scenic and unique trail running stage race events on the South African trail running calendar the Richtersveld Wildrun™ takes a new direction and in doing so become a cross-border trail running event; a worlds first! Extending to a linear 200km race, the five day crossing from South Africa to Namibia goes through the heart of the stunning /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have unlocked a truly unique opportunity to experience both sides of such a unique and powerful place – and to finish a long day at a natural hot springs in the middle of the wilderness is unbelievable!”said Owen Middleton,” MD of Wildrunner, the events company behind the Wildrun™ events.
Including the Vyf Susters, Hellskloof Pass, Armmanshoek, the Tswayisberge, Springbokvlakte and the iconic Tatasberg boulders, the new route will maintain the best of the first three days of the original edition but on day 4, the route will veer of its original course and cross the Orange River at De Hoop into Namibia. Yes, the race will go into the untouched southern section of the Fish River Canyon made famous by Ryan Sandes.
It’s no easy addition to the race, runners will need to cover 50km into a wilderness that is completely inaccessible by vehicle. Rich in wildlife, runners will have a once in a lifetime experience with a possibility of seeing Hartmann’s mountain zebra, kudu, gemsbok, springbok, Namibian wild horses and giraffe. It’s the race of a lifetime!
Tobia Mews is no stranger to incredible races, his recent book release called ’50 Race To Run Before You Die’ looks like it will need a new chapter, 51 Races…
“I am so looking forward to this race. For me it’s the epitome of adventure running wrapped up in one of the most stunning places on earth. And it’s partly Ian Corless‘s fault for producing such amazing photos from last year.” – Tobias Mews
After a long, tough day in Namibia, runners will spend the evening in a canyon at a natural hot spring, before taking on the final day of roughly 25km to finish at the /Ai-/Ais Hot Springs Resort and wrap up a powerful and truly unique experience.
Race dates are 13-17 June 2016
ENTRY CLOSES VERY SOON, APRIL 1st
International entries HERE
European entries HERE
The overall race distance for 2016 will be 200km and the daily distances will be – 36.3km + 32.1km + 34km + 48.3km + 21.3km.
Terrain is very mixed, varied and stunning and requires adaptation to sandy terrain, heat, climbing, remoteness and an ability to run with a GPS.
Need help with multi-day training? join our 2017 multi-day training camp in Lanzarote.
Details are HERE
Roland Vorwerk, marketing manager of Boundless Southern Africa, one of the driving forces behind the success of the event, said they are very happy to support this new cross-border trail running event.
“This new route contains even more highlights than the original Richtersveld Wildrun™, and promises to give participants a challenging but spectacular trail running experience.”
If you need inspiration, check out the film from 2015 below.
You can also view photo galleries HERE
The final day of the 2015 Richtersveld Wildrun concluded today with a course record day for Thabang Madiba and Katya Soggot.
It was a tough final day with technical trail, tough climbs, technical descents and amazing views.
James Cracknell was a no start to day 4, his swollen ankle far too painful to run on. James had handled the previous days mountains in his stride but the flatter 10km of the course was just too much. Reduced to a walk he contemplated undertaking the final day but during the night the pain continued and ultimately he made the correct call. At 38.3km it was a challenging last day that started with a long and steady climb over the first 17.5km to Akkedis Pass and then the fun started. Technical trail, ridge running, single track, slip sliding descents and incredible crystal fields would lead the runners once again to the Orange River and the finish in Sendlingsdrif. For many, it was a day of running together, overall classifications wouldn’t change and in the spirit of running for fun, the whole field embraced the last day and enjoyed it. However, one person decided that a course record was possible.
Thabang arrived at the technical ridges at Halfmens Ridge running like a man possessed, shifting from left foot to right foot he made the terrain look easy. He was on a mission and he did it. A final day course record confirmed his incredible skill and ability on this tough, challenging and incredibly beautiful course. Katya Soggot was once again crowned ladies champ and Nikki Kimball secured 2nd place ahead of Karoline Hanks.
Thabang Madiba 13:55:38
Dayle Wheeler 15:16:24
Filippo Faralla 16:46:25
Katya Soggot 15:26:57 (3rd overall)
Nikki Kimball 16:31:20 (4th Overall)
Karoline Hanks 16:46:19 (5th overall)
Full results HERE
Today the Wildrun lived up to expectations and really did become a wild run! The weather cleared, the winds dropped and the rain disappeared and we were all treated to a very special South African day.
Today’s course was special!
Notably, the Tatasberg Mountain is one of the most impressive sections of ‘trail’ I have ever witnessed. I use the term trail very loosely as it was a combination of scrambling and boulder hopping, not only on the way up but down. It was an intimidating section for some. A fear of heights not recommended. However, in pain, fear or discomfort on the climb was rewarded with incredible views. It was stunning!
Racing started at 0800 with separate waves; 0800, 0830, 0900 and 0930; slower runners starting first and faster runners in the last wave as per the previous day. Early running was relatively easy but the views were stunning. Particularly as early morning cloud cleared.
By the time the runners reached the climb of Tatasberg at approximately 16km, Thabang and all the usual suspects had pretty much caught all the early starters with the exception of 3 people.
Thabang made the boulders look easy as he hopped from one to the next. The other runners used a little more caution and a natural gap opened. Katya Soggot and Dayle Wheeler closely followed James Cracknell as he pursued Thabang, occasionally helping each across the larger boulders. Nikki Kimball trailed a little but only by minutes. At the summit the boulders started to clear providing the occasional opportunity to run.
The bottom of the climb opened up to a wide plateau and then a clear zigzag trail lead to the lush Orange River and across the water, Namibia. Lush green vegetation populated the left and right banks. It was a stunning contrast to what had come before. Running along the river banks, the sound of flowing water, birds and the occasional baboon made this day, arguably the best one yet.
Camp was located next to the river and of course, a braai was prepared for the arriving runners. Thabang Madiba arrived first (once again) closely followed by Katya Soggot, Dayle Wheeler, Karoline Hanks, Nikki Kimball and Filippo Faralla. But today really wasn’t about the racing, it was the course that was the hero. It was the Richtersveld National Park that had completely blown the minds of every runner and every runner on the Richtersveld Wildrun race.
James Cracknell had a tough day, his groin strain and twisted ankle from the previous day reducing him to a frustrating walk. He is currently unsure if day 3 is possible for him. He’s a stubborn and committed competitor and after travelling all this way, once has to think that he will fight his way through the last day even if it is slowly!
Thabang Madiba 3:24:03
Dayle Wheeler 3:32:31
Katya Soggot (1st lady) 3:32:31
Nikki Kimball (2nd lady) 3:49:10
Filippo Faralla (3rd man) 4:04:10
Karoline Hanks 4:04:10
Nikki Kimball has now moved up into 2nd overall, 10 minutes ahead of Karolin Hanks.
Thabang Madiba 3:24:03
Dayle Wheeler 3:32:31
Filippo Faralla 4:04:10
Katya Soggot 3:32:31
Nikki Kimball 3:49:10
Karoline Hanks 4:04:10
What a night! The wind blew, gusted and lifted tents off the ground. We were told yesterday that the last time it rained in the Richtersveld was August 2014. Well believe me, when the weather changes; it really changes!
The excitement continued into the morning and although the rain subsided (for a little while), the wind was going to be with the runners all day. Starting in three separate groups, 0800, 0830 and 0900 the field were split based on finish times from day 1; slower runners starting first at 0800 and faster runners starting last at 0900.
James Cracknell, the 2-time Olympic Gold Medallist for rowing finally joined the race after an epic journey of 48 hours. He departed Poland at 1900 on Sunday after commentating at the Rowing European Championships. He flew back to the UK, then flew to Joburg and followed with a connecting flight to Upington. The journey was finished off with 10 hours in the car to the race day 2 start line.
James arrive at 0800 in camp just giving him 60 minutes to sort out his equipment and get his head ready for a day on South African trails.
As expected, Thabang Madiba showed everyone a clean pair of heels as he slowly pulled away from Katya Soggot, Dayle Wheeler, Nikki Kimball and James Cracknell. Conditions were tough throughout the day and the beautiful Richtersveld landscape was shrouded by mist and permanent rain that varied in intensity.
Climbing and descending to Cp1 the runners once again climbed up and over the pass at Tswayiberg before then dropping down into the technical riverbed that would lead to the finish.
Thabang at this stage was already leading by over 10 minutes, behind Katya Soggot, Nikki Kimball and Dayle Wheeler pursued with James Cracknell not far behind. James was certainly struggling on the slick wet rocks as he slid from left foot to right with the occasional shout of ****ing hell! A groin strain picked up at London Marathon adding to his frustrations.
At the line, Thabang Madiba completed the 36km stage in 3:14:03 with Soggot, Wheeler and Kimball crossing the line together in 3:33:35. Cracknell held on fighting some severe discomfort to finish in 3:41:56.
Georgina Ayre who had run well on day 1 frustratingly repeated Nikki Kimball’s error and made a navigational mistake by taking the wrong riverbed. This mistake was costly, as she finished the day 1 hour behind Soggot and Kimball. Karoline Hanks was 3rd lady on the day in 4:03:23.
As the day came to a close, a break in the weather came and with it the sun, a welcome return! Everyone has fingers crossed for a warm and sunny day 3 at the Richtersveld Wildrun.
Thabang Madiba 6:45:35
Dayle Wheeler 7:14:49
Katya Soggot (1st lady) 7:25:22
Karoline Hanks (2nd lady) 8:13:05
Nikki Kimball (3rd lady) 8:13:06
Filippo Faralla (3rd man) 8:13:10
Day 1 0f the Richtersveld Wildrun got underway today on the stroke of 8am. It was a day of blue skies, white fluffy clouds and BIG landscapes as runners travelled from Sendelingsdrift to Dekoi covering 35.1km.
Pre race favourite Thabang Madiba ran a sold first day after initial worries about using a GPS for navigation. However, after a Navigation 101 master-class, he settled early and after Cp1 was heard saying, ‘The GPS is working great!’ Not having to worry about navigation allowed Thabang (from Pretoria) was allowed to run free and at the end of the day he had pulled away from 2nd place Dayle Wheeler by 10 minutes. Filippio Faralla finished 3rd man but was 5th on the stage.
Nikki Kimball for the ladies played a savvy waiting game in the early stages by running in 3rd place. She was actually 5 minutes behind Katya Soggot (Cape town) at Cp1. But at the end of the ‘Five Sisters” (5 consecutive mountains) she had taken the lead and was looking strong. A navigational error unfortunately ruined all the hard work… by the time Nikki realised her mistake, the damage was done and she needed to back track. “What can I say, I made a mistake! I switched off a little as I was running on a very defined path and when I eventually realised I was off course, I knew the damage was done,’ said Nikki post race.
Katya Soggot took over the lead but didn’t realise her position until she received information from the next control. From here on in it was a formality, Katya just needed to run a consistent effort and the day would be hers. Karoline Hanks who had run in 2nd for most of the day consolidated her position and Georgina Ayre finished 3rd.
Nikki unfortunately finished 4th 20 minutes behind the ladies leader. It was an expensive mistake
As day 1 came to a close, the winds started to increase and with it rain! To put this in perspective, the last time it rained in the Richtersveld was August 2014. With day 1 over, runners may well be in for a cooler and possible wet night. Conditions are expected to continue into the morning with hopefully dry conditions arriving at 11am.
British Olympic rower, James Cracknell unfortunately missed day 1 due to an extension by the BBC for him to continue commentary at the rowing championships in Poland. However, he is expected to arrive late in to camp on Tuesday and will start day 2 on Wednesday. Of course he will not be able to contend overall classification but our plans are for him to do day 1 at the end alone.
Thabang Madiba 3:31:33
Dayle Wheeler 3:41:15
Filippio Faralla 4:09:47
Katya Soggot 3:51:48
Karoline Hanks 4:09:42
Georgina Ayre 4:15:33
Please note, we have been trying to upload images but the storms are taking out our wifi connections making the process extremely difficult.
Here is a selection – more images to follow
It is days before the second Richtersveld Wildrun™ kicks off and anticipation is building for what promises to be a tight race through one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world.
This four day, 150km stage race is one of the most challenging trail runs in South Africa and runners can expect to take on a harsh, mountainous desert as they are tested to the limit. Similar in format o the iconic Marathon des Sables, ‘Wildrun’ is notably different in that runners are not self sufficient: equipment is transported for them and food is provided.
At the front of the field, three of Southern Africa’s top trail runners and an American ultra-running legend will go toe-to-toe as they battle it out for top spot. Bernard Rukadza and Katya Soggot will both return to defend their titles and will come up against the likes of South African long distance trail running champion, Thabang Madiba and three-time Western States 100 mile champion, Nikki Kimball. Both Rukadza and Madiba have been enjoying superb form in 2015 with Rukadza securing his second straight ProNutro AfricanX title in March and Madiba taking second place at the same race and at the Otter African Trail Run in October 2014. Madiba will be hoping to go one better at the Wildrun™ and take first place, but he will be up against it thanks to Rukadza’s form and route experience from the 2014 event. This is also the first time Madiba is taking on a run of this magnitude and he will have to adapt quickly to stay in the hunt.
“Stage racing is one of the races that helps to find your strength in running. You learn to push while in pain and learn techniques to apply to survive all stages. A win will be a big bonus for me but I’m looking forward to give all my best,” said Madiba.
In the ladies field, Katya Soggot will be representing South Africa off the back of a string of victories in the Western Cape, including the Spur Silvermine Mountain XL, Spur Cape Summer Trail Series™, Three Peaks Challenge, Matroosberg Challenge and Jonkershoek and Helderberg Mountain Challenges. She has been virtually unbeatable locally and will relish the opportunity to measure herself against an ultra-runner of Kimball’s calibre. With three Western States 100 titles as well as an Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc and Marathon des Sables title, Kimball is one of the top ultra runners of her time and will be hard to beat, but Soggot’s experience from the 2014 event is sure to come in handy.
“The magnitude of untouched wilderness, the comfort and welcome at every rest camp, and the elves who made it so. My feet touched where angels fear to tread. I never dreamt I would have the privilege to relive such an experience and I am overwhelmed with gratitude to Boundless Southern Africa and Wildrunner for the opportunity,” – Katya Soggot
Since its inception in 2014, the Richtersveld Wildrun™ has had amazing support from Boundless Southern Africa and marketing manager, Roland Vorwerk was equally excited about the quality of racing anticipated.
“The Richtersveld Wildrun™ route includes many of the Park’s most spectacular features, and includes trails that very few people get to traverse. We are looking forward to these runners experiencing the unique natural and cultural landscape of the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park and meeting the communities associated with this innovative event.”
From a British perspective, Olympic rower and all around endurance athlete, James Cracknell was scheduled to race the 4 day Richtersveld Wildrun. However, James already had a commitment in place to commentate for the BBC on a rowing event in Poland. This race commentary was due to finish in time to allow James to travel to South Africa. Unfortunately, the commentating has been extended by one day and although James will still travel to South Africa he will arrive late and miss day one of the race. Needless to say, James is somewhat perturbed by this. Never happy taking the easy option, James and myself are currently looking at doing day 1 of the race at the end. Of course, this would mean a solo run but the team at Wildrunner have confirmed that they can make this happen. So, although James will not be able to compete head-to-head with other runners, we will have an overall time for the 4 day run that we can compare to other competitors.
“What more can be said other than this is going to be one hell of a race! Bernard Rukadza has been on fire in the Cape recently, winning everything from marathons to short Spur Trail Series™ events, but Thabang Madiba comes with the South African long distance trail champion label and arguably more endurance experience. I can’t wait to see these two trail heavy weights going head to head, solo, and in the magical Richtersveld desert,” said Owen Middleton, MD of Wildrunner – the events company behind the Wildrun™.
It’s game on at the Richtersveld Wildrun™
At the sharp end of this year’s 150km, 4 day Richtersveld Wildrun™ race will be three of Southern Africa’s best trail runners, an American ultra-running legend and a double Olympian gold medallist.
Bernard Rukadza and Katya Soggot will both return to defend their titles and will come up against the likes of South African long distance trail running champion, Thabang Madiba, American ultra-running legend, Nikki Kimball and global adventure extraordinaire, James Cracknell.
The friendly Cape-based Zimbabwean and current Richtersveld Wildrun™ record holder, Rukadza, comes off his second straight victory at the ProNutro AfricanX with teammate, AJ Calitz and will be confident that he can defend his Richtersveld Wildrun™ title. He put in a dominant performance at the inaugural event in 2014, winning three of the four stages and thus goes into this year’s event with a distinct advantage over Madiba. “I know the route from running it last year and I definitely want to win again. I always want to push and improve my time and am looking forward to racing Thabang. He’s very good and it will be fantastic,” he said.
Gauteng-based Madiba, on the other hand, will be giving his all and plans to push the limits as he gains more experience in stage racing. He has set his sights firmly on improving his second place at the ProNutro AfricanX, but is philosophical on his approach to the Wildrun™. “Stage racing is one of the races that helps to find your strength in running. You learn to push while in pain and learn techniques to apply to survive all stages. It is only a matter of surviving and reaching the finish line. I’ve never done 150km in four days before and I’m super excited to give it a try. Life becomes interesting when you try new things and get out of your comfort zone. A win will be a big bonus for me but I’m looking forward to give all my best,” he said.
“What more can be said other than this is going to be one hell of a race! Bernard has been on fire in the Cape recently, winning everything from marathons to short Spur Trail Series™ events, but Madiba comes with the South African long distance trail champion label and arguably more endurance experience. I can’t wait to see these two trail heavy weights going head to head, solo, and in the magical Richtersveld desert,” said Owen Middleton, MD of Wildrunner – the events company behind the Wildrun™.
Also in the hunt, and sure to be nipping at the heels of Rukadza and Madiba, is second time Richtersveld Wildrun™ challenger, Filippo Faralla as well as British adventurer, James Cracknell.
Soggot vs Kimball
In the ladies field, Katya Soggot will be representing South Africa off the back of victories at the Spur Silvermine Mountain XL, Spur Cape Summer Trail Series™, Three Peaks Challenge, Matroosberg Challenge and fourth place at the Otter African Trail Race, to name but a few. Soggot’s continuous achievements will come in handy as she is up against three-time Western States 100 champion, previous Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc champ and current Marathon des Sables champion, Nikki Kimball.
Other top lady runners who are worth keeping an eye on, include the female winner of the 2014 Rhodes Ultra Trail Run and uber-experienced ultra-trail runner Karoline Hanks; third placed female at the Wildcoast Wildrun™ 2014 Harriet Cullinan; and second placed female at the 100km Cederberg Traverse, Georgina Ayre.
“Last year, the ladies race was very amicable, with Katya and Tracy Zunckel running together for a large portion of the time. This year will be so exciting to watch, with at least five really strong contenders for the title. Katya will be looking to defend her title, with the advantage of knowing the route and Nikki is certainly a tough challenger,” says Tamaryn Middleton, general manager of Wildrunner. “Karoline Hanks is also extremely strong and comfortable with self-navigation so is definitely one to watch.”
Soggot has said she has amazing memories from the Richtersveld Wildrun™ in 2014 and is ecstatic to go back again. “The magnitude of untouched wilderness, the comfort and welcome at every rest camp, and the elves who made it so. My feet touched where angels fear to tread. I never dreamt I would have the privilege to relive such an experience and I am overwhelmed with gratitude to Boundless Southern Africa and Wildrunner for the opportunity,” she said.
Since its inception in 2014, the Richtersveld Wildrun™ has had amazing support from Boundless Southern Africa and marketing manager, Roland Vorwerk was equally excited about the quality of racing anticipated. “The Richtersveld Wildrun™ route includes many of the Park’s most spectacular features, and includes trails that very few people get to traverse. We are looking forward to these runners experiencing the unique natural and cultural landscape of the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park and meeting the communities associated with this innovative event.”
Do you fancy joining these incredible athletes in South Africa?
Limited places are available through the UK agent. Please use the contact.