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Second Edition Of The Lesotho Ultra Trail Doesn’t Disappoint

Second Edition Of The Lesotho Ultra Trail Doesn’t Disappoint

 

The 2014 Lesotho Ultra Trail (LUT), Africa’s first Ultra SkyMarathon®, took place on the 29th of November in the Tse’hlanyane National Park in the heart of the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho.

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Anticipation amongst both organisers and competitors was at an all-time high as the weeks before the event turned to days. A full field, featuring both top international and local runners, descended upon Maliba Lodge on Friday 28th November to complete their final registration ahead of race day. Met by sweeping mountain vistas and a warm welcome from the lodge staff, all exuding an immense pride in the recent completion of their new reception building since the devastating fire in 2013, runners settled in for a weekend of skyrunning.

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Race director Andrew Booth paints the picture of what LUT is all about:

Considering the event has only just presented its 2nd edition, the atmosphere at Lesotho Ultra Trail is a diverse one, bringing people together from around the world who all have a passion for trail. Combine this with Maliba Lodge as the official race venue, and breathtaking trails that traverse the Maluti Mountains, and something special emerges. For me the event represents everything I love about trail running, it brings out so much emotion. As the race director I create a platform for the event to take place on, but its the people and characters of the race that have elevated it into something very special in a short space of time.

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At 50km in distance, and with over 2500m of vertical ascent, LUT is the quintessential Ultra SkyMarathon® and final of the South African Skyrunner® Series, a challenge to all that participate.

The feedback on the course from the entire field has been amazing despite it being incredibly tough,”

continued Booth.

“The second climb which starts with 10km to go is brutal and asked questions of every runner. It was great however to see nearly the entire field step up to the plate, fighting off temptation to drop. This course has captivated the trail running community, it’s incredibly wild and incredibly beautiful.

The racing began on a frenetic note, the opening pace being set by local runners Tsokolo Moavhi and Munyane Musiti, both never having raced a trail event before. It was eventual winner Lucky Miya however who stamped his authority on the race shortly thereafter, taking the lead at the top of the first major climb at 18km and never looking back.

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As the remainder of the men’s top 10 tried to play catch up, Miya consistently maintained his assault on the podium’s top spot, adding valuable minutes at each check point between him and the chasing group that consisted of Gareth Wyn Hughes (Wales), Andrew Hagen (RSA), Scot Jaime (USA), Tsokolo Moavhi (Lesotho) and Jono Niemann (RSA). It was at the main aid station at 38km however where the race was all but won for Miya as the gap had grown to almost 40mins.

Holding onto that lead, Miya crossed the finish line in an incredibly fast 5:31:38, a new record and an overall victory in the 2014 South African Skyrunner® Series to boot.

Booth muses:

One of the most exciting aspects of this years race was 4th placed Lesotho runner, Tsokolo Moavhi from one of the local villages. The progress of local runners in future races is going to be exciting to watch.

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In the women’s race, a very confident Su Don Wauchope, battling illness for most of 2014, began the race with a dominant performance, opening up a 10min lead on the chasing group consisting of LUT 2013 winner Tracy Zunkel, Trish Bahlmann and overall South African Skyrunner® Series leader Driekie Black in the first half of the race. It was on the final major hurdle, the last big ascent in the closing 15km of the race, that Don Wauchope was unable to hold on, relinquishing her lead to Bahlmann. Bahlmann seemed to strengthen as the race came to an end, claiming the victory in the women’s race and well deserved 9th place overall. Zunckel, having also passed Don Wauchope on the same ascent, claimed second place behind good friend Balhmann. Don Wuachope finished 3rd.

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In the end 136 runners from 9 countries started the 2014 LUT with only 10 forced to withdraw due to injury or cut-off.

To have successfully executed the second edition of LUT is a very satisfying achievement for the entire organizational team,

says James Hallett, media and PR manager for the race.

We’ve received many positive comments about the experience had by competitors, a true testament not only to the hard work that goes into an event like this, but also the passionate ultra running community who support LUT and affirm its status as one of the benchmark races on the running calendar.

For more details about the 2014 Lesotho Ultra Trail, including photos and results, head to www.lesothoultratrail.com
Final Results

Men’s top 10

  1. Lucky Miya (RSA) 05:31:38
  2. Gareth Wyn-Hughes (Wales) 06:04:49
  3. Andrew Hagen (RSA) 06:13:04
  4. Tsokolo Moavhi (Lesotho) 06:20:47
  5. Scott Jaime (USA) 06:28:01
  6. Munyane Musiti (Lesotho) 06:42:29
  7. Jonathan Nieman (RSA) 06:53:44
  8. Pedro Calderon (Spain) 06:59:55
  9. Mark Michell (RSA) 07:04:34
  10. Geoff Lee (RSA) 07:17:40

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Women’s top 10

  1. Trish Bahlmann (RSA) 06:59:55
  2. Tracy Zunckel (RSA) 07:07:12
  3. Su Don Wauchope (RSA) 07:20:36
  4. Drikie Black (RSA) 07:44:52
  5. Sarah Ridgway (AUS) 07:45:09
  6. Rosie Carey (RSA) 08:47:10
  7. Rachel Manyathi (RSA) 08:54:08
  8. Kristen Ohm Pendersen (Canada) 08:58:42
  9. Rentia Denissen (RSA) 09:14:13
  10. Sarah Richards (RSA) 09:34:18

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Keep up to date with LUT by following them on Facebook and Twitter:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LesothoUltraTrail

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LesothoUltra

Or by following Maliba Lodge on Facebook and Twitter:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MalibaLodge

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MalibaLodge

His Majesty King Letsie III’s 51st Birthday

Lesotho celebrates His Majesty King Letsie III’s 51st Birthday

His Majesty's Leotho Themed Cake

His Majesty’s Lesotho Themed Cake

On the 17th of July, one of our directors, Stephen Phakisi, had the honor of being invited to His Majesty King Letsie III’s 51st birthday held in Mokhotlong in Lesotho.

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The Mountain Kingdom Awaits

Lesotho Ultra Trail

The Mountain chalets at Maliba

The Mountain chalets at Maliba

Set in the heart of the Maluti Mountain Range of north-eastern Lesotho lies a unique ultra distance footrace, a new challenge awaiting those seeking to push their boundaries and exceed their expectations of what it’s like to be a skyrunner.  Read more

Ultra SkyMarathon® continues to move steadily onto the world stage

As entries for the 2014 Lesotho Ultra Trail continue to pour in from around the world, including Spain, Belgium, Austria, England, North America and Australia, as well as continued local interest from aspirant skyrunners in Southern Africa, the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF) has announced that Africa’s first Ultra SkyMarathon® will be recognised as one of their official World Ranking ultra races for 2014. Being one of only thirty six top global events in this category, as well as one of only two events selected from the African continent, the Lesotho Ultra Trail heads into only its second year with already some big shoes to fill.

Read more

The Lesotho Ultra Trail 2013 – from the Race Director

At the end of the day a race director knows more about how their event rolls out than anybody else, that is the way it should be. So much happened at the Lesotho Ultra Trail 2013 that no one person there will know everything, not even the Race Director Andrew Booth who has penned his thoughts here.

Race Director Andrew Booth

A count down from 10 and 92 runners set-off on a 50km course layed out in Northern Lesotho’s Tsehlanyane National Park. With 2500m of climbing and sanctioning by the International Skyrunning Federation and South African Skyrunning Association, it was Africa’s first Ultra Skymarathon. Months of work was being put to the test, the next 12 hours would determine success, failure or mediocrity. Read more

Inaugural Lesotho Ultra Trail takes African running to new heights

Lesotho Ultra Trial LogoRunners from all over South Africa, as well as an international contingent from Belgium, Australia, Spain, North America, Britain and Canada, descended upon Maliba Mountain Lodge in the heart of the Maluti Mountains on Friday 29th November to participate in the Lesotho Ultra Trail – Africa’s first Ultra SkyMarathon®

Stormy weather in the days preceding the race kept organisers KZN Trail Running and Maliba Mountain Lodge staff on their toes as final preparations were made.

“The mountains are unpredictable as was the build up to race day,” commented race director Andrew Booth of KZN Trail Running. “We had to work around the afternoon thunderstorms when marking and do as much as we could in advance to ensure we were ready for crunch time. Having some of the elite athletes at Maliba days before the race added immensely to the vibe. We knew what we where working for, the event had huge potential and we had to pull it off.” Read more

Graham Jarvis Wins Roof of Africa 2013

Graham Jarvis winner of the Roof of Africa 2013 celebrates at the finnish line
 
Graham Jarvis has ensured a winning debut for the new era of Husqvarna in Hard Enduro by securing victory at the 2013 Roof of Africa.

Cold and wet conditions greeted competitors on the final day of the 2013 Roof of Africa. With more than 10 riders failing to make it to the finish on Friday and spending the night in the Mountains, it was going to prove to be another extremely challenging day for all the riders.

Chris Birch, Graham Jarvis, Blake Gudzeit and Altus De Wet were all penalized 3 minutes overnight for failing to report to DSP 2 on Friday, but Birch and Jarvis still held an substantial lead over the rest of the field and lead out this morning’s start just seconds apart. Read more

Travis Teasdale to tackle THE ROOF

Travis TeasdaleThe sixteen-year-old Travis Teasdale has competed in many forms of dirt bike racing in his short career – from motocross to the Junior Off-road Championship and enduro races, but it will be the first time the newly-crowned Junior National Champion will tackle the ‘Roof of Africa’ that takes place from 14 to 16 November in Lesotho. This extreme enduro race is renown as one of the toughest and most gruelling motorcycle events in the world and is the ultimate enduro motorcycle race for many riders – young and old.

Racing for Team Brother Broadlink KTM, the Grace College scholar from Pietermaritzburg has dreamed about competing in the ‘Roof of Africa’ from an early age, but he had to wait until after his sixteenth birthday in July for his dream to materialise. This year, after clinching his second Junior National Off-road Championship title (he won the 125cc Class Championship title last year and the Open Class Championship this year) and winning the E2 (200cc) Class at the final round of the Liquorland SA National Enduro Motorcycle Championship at Matatiele where he finished third overall, he will at last walk into the Lesotho Sun Hotel on Wednesday (13 November) to complete the documentation process for him to be able to be on the start line for the 46th ‘Roof of Africa’ in Lesotho. Read more

The North Face is partnering the Lesotho Ultra Trail

The North Face Logo in RedThe North Face South Africa continues to develop its focus on the local trail running market by announcing its partnership with the Lesotho Ultra Trail.

As the 2013 trail running season slowly draws to a close, the event has remained firmly in the sights of many of the country’s top athletes, highlighting all the future prospects of a race that is sure to be recognized as one of Africa’s premier outings in years to come. Read more

Lesotho Ultra Marathon next month!

organizers-logoThe fire has tested Maliba in the last couple of weeks but the one thing that remains constant is the enthusiasm and excitement for the Lesotho Ultra Marathon, set for 30 November 2013.

It is Africa’s first Ultra Sky Running Marathon and Maliba Lodge is privileged to be the host for this event.

Our race organsier Andrew Booth, from KZN Trail Running talks about the event coming up. Read more

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