The map and elevation of the 42km marathon. Image: https://kzntrailrunning.co.za/races/soutpansberg-mountain-marathon/
Date: 23 July 2021 By:
The beautiful Soutpansberg mountain range was selected this year to form part of the Mountain Marathon Series with a 42km, 21km and 10km scheduled to take place on 15 August this year.
The ethos of the Mountain Marathon Series, held in association with the Endangered Wildlife Trust and Trail Shed Adventure Gear, is to keep things raw and grounded. “We are going to look to the mountains and the earth for our pleasure. We aim to bring a good ‘karma’ to each race village, which will be set up in a simple, practical and warm fashion. Of course, there will be a few small tents and flags and supporting sponsors adding value where they can to each event, but the focus is on the massive natural assets we challenge ourselves upon - the mountains,” said the organisers.
While the focus is on the experience and developing our abilities and ourselves on mountain trails, the competition between the athletes will not go unnoticed, and some modest prize money will be awarded to podium positions. Age categories will also be recognized.
Schoemansdal as race village will place host to athletes as an ideal venue with both dorm-style and camping options and a variety of ticket and package options will be available. The greater area also has a number of lodge options within 30 minutes’ drive. All races will start and finish at Schoemansdal.
The Soutpansberg was selected as one of the eight venues for the races. To compete in the Mountain Marathon Series, you need to complete four of the eight races. Other races include the Ingeli Mountain Marathon, Drakensberg Northern Trail, Mnweni Marathon, the Kruger 2 Canyon Challenge, the Lesotho Ultra and Uitsoek Mountain Marathon.
“There is no doubt it will be a challenge in terms of climbing and at times technicality. It will include rocks, rivers, sand, forest, grasslands, wetlands, waterfalls and more. It’s a very wild space up there, with a surprise around each corner,” remarked the organisers about the Soutpansberg trail. The 42km will see athletes gain an elevation of 1 997 metres, with five water points along the way. Athletes will climb a total of 1 108 metres over the 21km race, while the 10km race will see athletes climb 689 metres with two water points along the way.
Athletes must note that the event has a 100-runner limit and online entries close at midday on Friday, 30 July. For more information about the series, the races and entry, visit https://kzntrailrunning.co.za/races/soutpansberg-mountain-marathon /.