Today in the mag, we featured Vertical Kilometer races. In a nutshell, these events require you to run up a mountain. As it turns out, this isn't the only gruelling (read, crazy) thing that trail runners like to do. I've just received a press release about South Africa's first SkyMarathon.
So what's a SkyMarathon?? The goal is to 'run where earth and sky meet' – to qualify, the event has to exceed an altitude of 2000m, with enduring inclines exceeding 30% with climbing difficulties of less than 11 degrees. South Africa's first event sanctioned by the South African Skyrunning Association (SASA) will be the Matroosberg Trail Challenge (MTC). The MTC will take place on Oct. 26, and there will be some big names on the line, such as AJ Calitz, Nic de Beer, Ake Fagereng and Charl Soumer! Top female competitors will also feature, such as Robin Kime, Linda Doke, Annemien Ganzevoort and Chantel Nienaber.
I'll leave you with some more details from the release, but this looks like something to keep an eye on! If you want the blow-by-blow on race day, follow the event on twitter:
www.twitter.com/MatroosbergTC (or #MTC2013)
" The MTC is the first of two SASA-sanctioned events in 2013. The much-awaited Lesotho Ultra Trail, southern Africa’s first Ultra SkyMarathon®, will cover 55km in the Maluti Mountains in the Kingdom of Lesotho on 30 November. The starting line-up will boast one of the best ever fields in trail running in southern Africa, including Canadian ultra-distance trail runner of the year 2012 Adam Campbell.
Both races will form part of a national skyrunning circuit from 2014 – the details of which will be announced soon.
MTC race organiser Ghaleed Nortje is excited to have his race as the one that introduces local trail runners to skyrunning in South Africa.
“I’m really excited about the MTC being sanctioned by SASA, and by the prospect of it forming part of a national skyrunning circuit from 2014. Gone are the days when we trail runners had to drool over skyrunning events in Europe and the USA – our South African athletes can now be a part of the rich experience too, by participating in local skyrunning events,” says Nortje.
With just a few days to go before the race, all eyes are on the weather – just a fortnight ago the Matroosberg was still covered in snow. As with all mountain trail races, runners will be required to carry specific mandatory kit with them during the race to prepare for all weather eventualities. "
Photo by Andrew King