With such an amazing skyrunning location on offer, coupled with confirmation of some of the world’s best athletes, it was no surprise that entries into the inaugural Lesotho Ultra Trail – Africa’s first Ultra Skymarathon® were sold out within weeks of them opening, affirming its place on the world trail and skyrunning calendar. Runners from South Africa as well as from all over the world including Australia, India and the USA, ensured they did not miss the opportunity to secure their spot on the start line of this high altitude, African running experience, snatching up the valuable slots in a mere 15 days.
Speaking on behalf of event hosts Maliba Lodge, Marketing Manager Nicola Gerrard commented on the overwhelming response from the running community:
“Honestly, I didn’t think that was going to happen when we first looked at this event, but the enthusiasm and excitement from everyone has been amazing. From a weekend walkers perspective, I think running at 3000 metres is crazy. But I can see that trail running as an activity at Maliba will be present a fantastic future prospect. The organisers have been equally excited and supportive from the start and are seriously motivated to make this an event to remember.”
With top international names such as Americans Mike Wolke, Joe Grant and Dakota Jones as well as Canadians Stephanie Case and Adam Campbell racing alongside some of South Africa’s best, the focus now shifts to the build up to the event.
Gerrard continues on the importance of the international exposure:
“Lesotho as a country is a beautiful destination, but often a hard place to market as it is relatively unknown overseas. The top international and national athletes that will heading to the race in November add huge weight to our efforts of promoting the country and the national park as an international trail and skyrunning destination.”
At a distance of 55km, and with almost 3300m of vertical gain, the Lesotho Ultra Trail will encompass some of the most spectacular high altitude mountain trails that the Tsehlanyane National Park has to offer, affording runners the opportunity to experience the true meaning of skyrunning while immersed in the rich culture of this beautiful “mountain kingdom”.
Written by Nicola Gerrard