Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg Media Release

 No: utd1713

 20 Apr 2017

Embargo: None

Written by: Nick Tatham

UTD continues ongoing Ezemvelo influence

Underberg – Runners and adventurers alike will be in the final stages of their preparation for the upcoming inaugural Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg, but their influence goes further than just their entry as part of their entry fee goes directly to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

Organisers of the event are in the process of putting the final touches to the many trails that the runners will use during the four different events over the three days from 28-30 April. The signature 100km Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg, the 62km Giants Cup Uncut, the 30km Sundowner Run and the two-day 30km Rock Jumper have attracted runners of all different abilities.

Race organiser Spurgeon Flemington has been influential in bringing runners to the Southern Drakensberg for a number of years through the popular Giants Cup and now UTD; however his events would not be possible without the support of John Crowson – Conservation Manager for the Southern section of the Maloti Drakensberg Park.

Crowson’s vision of incorporating events into the park became a reality when he was approached by Flemington a number of years ago with the concept of hosting a two-day running event along the 60km hiking trail in the Southern Drakensberg.

“I was approached by my boss who suggested that we try and set up an event in the Southern Drakensberg as there was a mountain bike race near Giants Castle and there was the Mont-Aux-Sources Challenge.

“We contemplated it and then, luckily, I was approached by Spurgeon who suggested that he wanted to start the Giants Cup.

“This solved our dilemma of trying to get an event started and the dream or objective was achieved,” Crowson said.

It is known that a percentage of Flemington’s entry fees go towards Ezemvelo Wildlife and this money is crucial in helping the organisation with basic running costs during the year.

“All the money that is raised for Ezemvelo goes towards maintenance of the trails as well as the upkeep of buildings etc.

“These funds are crucial for us in order for us to maintain a pristine environment for people to enjoy the whole year round.

“Not only do the funds play a huge part in supporting us but the events are also catalysts in exposing people to the Southern Drakensberg and hopefully encouraging them to return to the area.

“We can’t say for sure that the events are a direct influence on our numbers but we do hear a lot about people saying that they will return to the area after they see it for the first time,” Crowson continued.

Flemington’s passion for the Southern Drakensberg and conservation is unwavering and this mutual love for the area helped the pair strike up a positive relationship that has blossomed into a trust between Ezemvelo Wildlife and Flemington’s events.

“Spurgeon is 110% committed to conservation and the protection of the environment. He has proven his commitment to conservation by also stating quite categorically that all funds raised from his events is spent in the Southern Drakensberg.

“My trust in Spurgeon is 100% as he would not do anything detrimental to damage or scar the environment,” Crowson added.

The event has been running a deal with CANSA where the first 50 scholars registered will receive an entry to the two-day Rock Jumper which normally costs R1250, by making a R150 donation to CANSA when entering on the race website www.ultratraildrakensberg.com. Entries for this close on Friday, 21 April.

As with all Running Man Adventures events a significant portion of each entry will be donated to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and we are also very pleased to announce that UTD will be partnering with Wildlife Act (www.wildlifeact.com) and assisting them to raise funds and awareness.

More information can be found at www.ultratraildrakensberg.com


Photo Caption Photographer Click to download the hi-res pic
Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg Logo - jpeg  

The KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife trust will once again be a great beneficiary of the 2017 Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg, like all of the events that Spurgeon Flemington and his team host when the races take place from 28-30 April. Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

Conditions of usage of photographs: All photographs supplied and hyperlinked herewith may be used free of charge, with full credit to the photographer and agency as provided. The photographs may not be modified or retouched in any way, but may be cropped to suit the layout requirements of the publications. The photographs provided may be used exclusively for editorial purposes, and may be reprinted in any newspaper, magazine, television programme or on any website. These photographs may not be used for any commercial or promotional purpose, including but not limited to posters, advertisements, commercials, promotional email correspondence, point-of-sale material or any retail promotion. Should such usage be desired, please contact us at the details below.
Is this of no value to you?
This media release is intended for use by media professionals covering this specific activity or sport. Should this release not be relevant you, please advise us immediately and we will be glad to remove your name from this particular database. It would be useful to us if you could advise us which subjects you would like to continue receiving releases on.
For any further information, or if you cannot access the images, please contact:
Gameplan Media
(031) 764 3017