Sani Stagger Marathon Media Release

 No: SS1801

 04 Oct 2018

Embargo: None

Written by: Nick Tatham

Iconic Sani Stagger to test all this November

Himeville – The 2018 Sani Stagger Marathon is one of the most iconic races on the calendar, with its route taking runners to the summit of Sani Pass and back over 42 gruelling kilometres, a Comrades Marathon qualifier on Saturday 24 November.

The popularity of the event has snowballed, to the point that both the full marathon and the half marathon sold out in record time, showing the demand for entries to one of the more unique marathons on the calendar.

What sets the Sani Stagger apart is the fact that the race takes place on a gravel road to the top of Sani Pass and back to the Premier Resort Sani Pass hotel. The race will often form an important part of runners’ preparations for the Comrades Marathon.

With the altitude being a factor, many runners use the race as part of a training regime leading up to the Comrades Marathon. This coupled with the tough conditions that are experienced mean that the Sani Stagger medal is prized.

Excitingly, this year’s race will see the return of the first and second placed runners from 2017. Nkosinathi Duma, who won last year’s race by just over 20 seconds will be back to defend his crown.

He will have his work cut out for him when he takes on defending Comrades Marathon champion Bongmusa Mthembu.

Mthembu won the 2018 Comrades Marathon down run which indicates that he has got the ability to descend and that could put him in a strong position going into this year’s Stagger.

In the ladies race, defending champion Natasha Malan’s name is down on the entry list again.

She dominated the 2017 edition winning the ladies crown by 15 minutes over Adelien du Toit, whose name isn’t on the entry list for 2018.

Defending 21km half marathon champion Derek Wasserfall once again will be on the start line to charge down the pass.

Wasserfall has an impressive record at the event, having won the half marathon on three occasions and is currently the double defending champion.

Martin Ngwenya, who finished third in 2017, will be out to try and break Wasserfall’s strangle hold on the half marathon title.

With the top two ladies from 2017 not on the entry list that leaves the ladies half marathon title up for grabs.

Nicole Wiggill, who finished third last year, might fancy her chances of finishing on the top step of the podium on Saturday, 24 November.

New to the 2018 Sani Stagger calendar is the Stagger Trail.

Running Man Adventures are responsible for the Giants Cup as well as Ultra-Trail Drakensberg, two events that incorporate the many trails in the Southern Drakensberg.

With trail running growing in popularity they have decided to add the option of a 38km or a 21km trail run.

Both runs are based around the Premier Resort Sani Pass and take in some of the most exciting trail in the Southern Drakensberg.

For more information go to


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Sani Stagger Marathon Logo - jpeg  

Last year's winner Nkosinathi Duma will be on the start line again for the 2018 Sani Stagger Marathon on Saturday, 24 November. Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

Runners from all over the country will converge on the Southern Drakensberg for the 2018 Sani Stagger Marathon on Saturday, 24 November. Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

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