Rand Merchant Bank has joined up with Ultra-Trail Cape Town as the trail running event’s new title sponsor.
A 100-mile (160km) race, the new flagship race of the established UTCT festival of trail running that traverses the Table Mountain National Park and surrounds, now includes parts of the wider Cape Peninsula. Other developments see different race formats being introduced and UTCT will now comprise five events: a 23km, 35km, 55km, 100km and the 100-miler, all taking place between 25 and 27 November.
“With RMB coming on as a title sponsor, we are excited about where UTCT is headed,” said Stuart McConnachie, Race Director of UTCT. “The 100-miler has already sold half its entries and the 23km and the 55km are nearly sold out.”
RMB’s Chief Marketing Officer Alison Badenhorst said the bank was looking forward to its involvement in this event.
“Trail running is all about technical skill and endurance,” she said. “It is as much a mental game as it is a physical game. At RMB we believe solving difficult challenges requires a similar mindset, an ability to dig that much deeper and go the extra mile to find the right answer. We are particularly excited at the prospect of helping to grow and develop the community and sport of trail running. As a brand, RMB is committed to unlocking talent, and this partnership provides athletes with the opportunity to reach their full potential. We are also looking forward to engaging with our clients and runners while enjoying the healthy outdoors.”
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McConnachie added: “We have been able to showcase the pristine nature and mountains of Cape Town since 2014 when UTCT first started, and the event is now well-placed on the international trail running calendar, with increased awareness of Cape Town as a perfect running destination. The time was ripe for us to add the flagship 100-miler and include the crossing of the Cape Peninsula to the remote southern mountains, the trails surrounding Silvermine to Kalk Bay, Kommetjie and Simonstown.”
The race distance of 167km has an elevation gain of 7850m and a 45-hour cut-off time. The 100-miler runners will start on Friday 25 November at 17h00 and the first finishers are expected to come in from 14h00 on Saturday afternoon. The 23km and 55km will both start on the morning of 25 November, with the 100km on 26 November and the 35km on 27 November.
The UTCT 100km has attracted some of the best trail runners in the world, with top international elites such as Jim Walmsley (who broke the record in 2021) and Courtney Dauwalter, who won the women’s race in 2021, amongst others.
“In 2021 the UTCT events were sold out, so we now look forward to seeing the international runners returning, as we had over 500 take part from over 60 countries pre-Covid in 2019,” said McConnachie. “We are also encouraged by greater interest from across South Africa as awareness of the race has grown hugely. With the addition of the 100-miler, we now have a wide range of challenging events on offer.”
Entries and more information available at www.ultratrailcapetown.com.