Media Release: Countdown to only 100-mile Marathon in SA
South Africa’s only 100-mile (160km) marathon takes place in one month’s time on 2 and 3 May in the Addo Elephant National Park.
The gruelling trail run, which is now in its fifth year, begins in the town of Kirkwood, then winds its way over the rugged Zuurberg Mountains before ending in the Park’s Addo Rest Camp. Designed to test the runners both physically and mentally, the trail follows the mountains and valleys of the Park on narrow tracks with some stretches on gravel roads.
The event also includes a 50-mile (80km) trail run and a newly-introduced 25-mile (40km) trail run which both start in Kirkwood but follow shorter routes to the Addo Rest Camp endpoint.
With only a few days to go before entries close on Monday 6 April, the list of entrants for the trail runs is climbing. Twenty-one runners, including last year’s men’s and ladies winners Bruce Arnett of Johannesburg and Jo McKenzie of Sedgefield, have signed up for the 100-mile run while the 50-mile and 25-mile run have 62 and 35 entrants respectively. Interest from the international community is also strong with entrants from Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Arnett, who also took first place in 2005 and 2006, completed the 100-miler in 2008 in 19 hours and 34 minutes over a course, which involved running through the night with only a head-torch and glow-sticks to light the way. McKenzie was both the first woman and third place winner with a time of 22 hours and 48 minutes.
Three local residents, who live in the township near Kirkwood, took the top three places in the 2008 50-mile run, led by Michael Hendricks in a time of 8 hours and 14 minutes. The Addo Elephant National Park will once again sponsor entry fees and running kit for the three local runners to promote development in the communities surrounding the Park.
Although runners do not have to worry about dodging the Park’s well-known elephant herds, the routes cover areas that are home to wildlife such as eland, mountain reedbuck, red hartebeest and the endangered Cape mountain zebra as well as warthog and ostrich. The very elusive leopard also roams the area, as do troops of baboons.
For more information, visit www.extrememarathons.com or contact Nadia on 083 309 7755.
Issued by: South African National Parks
Enquiries: Megan Taplin, Regional Communications Manager, Addo Elephant, Camdeboo, Karoo, Mountain Zebra National Parks, tel: (042) 233-8609