Champs blaze across Berg at UTD 2019

Spectacular weather for the Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg Festival of Trail Running on the weekend allowed trail runners to enjoy stunning views across the Maloti Drakensberg World Heritage Site. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

Spectacular weather for the Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg Festival of Trail Running on the weekend allowed trail runners to enjoy stunning views across the Maloti Drakensberg World Heritage Site. Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

Underberg – Incredibly there was a tie at the end of the 2019 UTD160, the longest event of the Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg Festival of Trail Running, as Finland’s Lauri Tuomaala and South Africa’s Naomi Brand won the men’s and women’s titles in exactly the same time on Saturday.

The pair scaled the highest peak in Southern Africa and raced across the escarpment for 28 hours, 34 minutes and 21 seconds to come across the line together at the race finish at Bushman’s Nek Hotel.

Talking at the end of the race Brand heaped praise on Tuomaala after the pair spent the majority of the race together.

“I can’t claim this, it was not my race only I have to thank Lauri but that is what 100 Milers are about, camaraderie and finding your pack and running together,” Brand said.

“This race has got everything in it that makes you feel like you are dying!

“The altitude really got to me because I have a little bit of an issue with my lungs and I was feeling nauseous, had a headache and I was feeling like I should pull out of the race at the top [of Thabana Ntlenyana].

“Tough is not the word, I expected to finish three hours earlier than I did and I have done 100 Milers before so it gives you an idea of where it lies against the others!”

Tuomaala is no stranger to trail running in South Africa having taken on the UTD100 in its first year finishing third as well as the Karkloof 100 Miler but him and Brand had never crossed paths.

“I didn’t know him before today but now we know each other quite well!” Brand said with a smile.

“We both waited for each other when the other wasn’t feeling great so it worked out really well in the end.

“All in all it was a wonderful experience but you get to stages where you wonder why you are doing it!”

Third to fifth came home within seconds with Steven Erasmus taking third, Matt Dove repeating his 2018 result ending fourth and Pierre Jordaan ended in fifth.

In the ladies race Tracy Zunckel ended in second place and Misty Weyer finished in third.

It was the Nicolette Griffioen show in UTD100 as she powered to the overall victory by just under 28 minutes ahead of Martin Malherbe in second and Mike Nash rounded out the podium.

The GCU62 was an exciting affair throughout with two runners in the mix right to the end but eventually it was Rory Scheffer who took the overall win, under three minutes ahead of Mosoeunyana Morapalla in second and Nomore Mandivengererei in third.

Mags Wright was the fastest lady over the 62 kilometres, followed 20 minutes later by Emily Clark in second and Sue Chapman in third.

Toni McCann, defending SDR30 winner, did the double when she took the overall win in the 30km race through the Southern Drakensberg.

Second was Leani Grimes and third went to Julius de Clercq.

1.Lauri Tuomaala (FIN) 28:34:21
2.Naomi Brand 28:34:21
3.Steven Erasmus 30:29:21
4.Matt Dove 30:29:22
5.Pierre Jordaan 30:29:24
6.Tracy Zunckel 32:10:52
7.Misty Weyer 34:54:11
8.Frikkie Pienaar 31:54:57
9.Morné Vorster 32:42:38
10.Anne Kirschenmann 34:04:02

1.Naomi Brand 28:34:21
2 Tracy Zunckel 32:10:52
3.Misty Weyer 34:54:11
4.Anne Kirschenmann 34:04:02
5.Rene Vollgraaff 34:57:31

1.Nicolette Griffioen 13:07:29
2.Martin Malherbe 13:35:26
3.Mike Nash 14:36:49
4.Erhard Sauer 14:52:08
5.Stewart Chaperon 15:00:49
6.Kyle Herring 15:04:44
7.Ian Metcalfe 15:20:55
8.Dale Herring 15:22:10
9.Tarrin Van Nierkerk 15:56:55
10.William Battersby 16:01:13

1.Nicolette Griffioen 13:07:29
2.Tarrin Van Nierkerk 15:56:55
3.Stephanie Roland 17:19:35
4.Kim Stephens 24:15:08
5.Bianca Vermaak 25:10:54

1.Rory Scheffer 6:13:33
2.Mosoeunyana Morapalla 6:16:06
3.Nomore Mandivengererei 6:52:26
4.Jock Green 6:52:58
5.Mtheku Sanele 7:12:02
6.Geoffrey Powell7:37:13
7.Lenanya Realeboha 7:39:23
8.Craig Smith 7:40:33
9.Jacques Buys 7:47:35
10.Kyron Raad 7:50:59

1.Mags Wright 8:13:25
2.Emily Clarke 8:33:33
3.Sue Chapman 9:00:52

1.Toni McCann 2:49:18
2.Leani Grimes 3:15:08
3.Julius de Clercq 3:32:31
4.Wynand Louw 3:39:27
5.Apiwe Gaga 3:49:07
6.Luzelle van Niekerk 4:06:23
7.Nicole Coetzee 4:09:28
8.Edward Rothwell 4:18:09
9.Graeme Smith 4:19:35
10.Shafeeqah Gordon 4:22:51

1.Toni McCann 2:49:18
2.Leani Grimes 3:15:08
3.Apiwe Gaga 3:49:07
4.Luzelle van Niekerk 4:06:23
5.Nicole Coetzee 4:09:28

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