Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg Festival of Trail Running Diary Note

 No: utd1901

 12 Mar 2018

Embargo: None

Written by: Nick Tatham

UTD 2019 adds new cash incentives

Underberg – The 2019 Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg, taking place from 26 to 28 April, will throw in an added incentive this year along with its other two races UTD100 and GCU62, are now offering cash rewards for athletes that break the pre-determined jackpot times.

With three different distances on offer at UTD, runners will be in line for a R20 000 prize should they dip under the Jackpot times in any of the three events. Should more than one runner beat the set times then the Jackpot will be shared

In 2018 Jock Green cruised to the best time in the UTD160 when he finished the demanding course in just under 27 hours; however organisers are dangling the carrot at 24 hours for 100 miles.

“We are really excited by the incentive plan that we have in place; and to have the top runners in the country fighting not just for the title but potentially having a crack at the Jackpot prizes will be great,” event organiser Spurgeon Flemington said.

“The times that have been set are definitely achievable but it will take a great effort to get there. Strategy will be crucial so that you don’t risk blowing the title in pursuit of the Jackpot.”

There were no lady finishers at the 2018 UTD160 so the time to beat has been set at 27 hours. The added incentive here is that this year’s lady’s winner will become the inaugural lady’s champion of the gruelling race.

The UTD100 is now in its third year with the records belonging to Frenchman and 2017 winner Vincent Viet, and local legend Tracey Zunckel.

For a shot at R20 000 runners in the men’s category are going to have to go below 12 hours - Viet’s record is 12:37 - and for the women they will have to run a sub-14 hour 100km race in order to hit the Jackpot.

Zunckel ran a 15:23 in 2017, which was two hours faster than Julia Hackland's time over the 100km route last year.

The Giants Cup Uncut (GCU62) will see runners traverse the entire Giants Cup trail with the men’s Jackpot time sitting at six hours. The current best time is 6:38 by Ian Peterkin in 2018.

The ladies record for the GCU62 sits at 7:50 achieved by Landie Greyling in 2017. The barrier for the ladies has been set at seven hours flat.

Despite the added incentive of a cash bonus the event gives runners so much more in that it is truly a unique running experience.

“To be able to race through two different countries during UTD160 as well as traverse the highest peak in Southern Africa (Thabana Ntlenyana) makes it completely one-of-a-kind.

“It has to be an event on any serious 100 miler’s bucket list!” Flemington added.

The UTD100 takes in the iconic Sani Pass with runners ascending and then descending part of the famous pass. Runners will also tackle the entire five Day Giants Cup Trail route during the GCU62 which takes them through some of the Southern Drakensberg’s most pristine trails and scenery.

Men – 24 Hours
Women – 27 Hours
Men – 12 Hours
Women – 14 Hours
Men – 6 Hours
Women – 7 Hours

More information can be found at www.ultratraildrakensberg.com


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2018 winner of the UTD160 Jock Green could be coaxed back this year as event organisers have added a R20 000 cash incentive for runners to break certain time barriers at the 2019 Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg Festival of Trail Running from 26-28 April. Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

With the added incentive of R20 000 should runners dip beneath the pre-set times for each of the three races, runners will enjoy some spectacular scenery at the Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg Festival of Trail Running from 26-28 April. Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

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