**Karkloof100 officially recognised as qualifying race for Western States 2020**
4 October 2018
The Karkloof100 team received confirmation today (4th October 2018), that the Karkloof 100-mile race is officially recognised as a qualifying race by Western States 100.
The statement from John Redinger (President, Western States 100) reads:
“We are pleased to inform you that 2019 Karkloof 100 has been selected as a qualifying race for the 2020 Western States 100. Runners who complete the race within your time limit will qualify to enter a lottery where the runners for Western States will be selected.
The qualifying period for the 2020 Western States will be from November 5, 2018 through November 3, 2019. The lottery will be held on December 7, 2019 and the race itself will be run on June 27-28, 2020.”
This comes after the 2018 100-mile event returned a result of 77 finishers.
“To everyone – runners, crew, sponsors – who have supported the race from the very beginning, this is all because of your tremendous effort and belief; thank you”, said co-race director Jack Davis.
Registration for Karkloof2019 opens on Thursday, 11th October 2018.
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
24 September 2018
Local running team take top honours at 2018 Karkloof100
Something extraordinary unfolded in KZN over a long weekend in September, as almost 200 runners and their support crews, flocked to the Midlands to take part in the Karkloof100, one of only three 100-mile trail races in the country, that also boasts a 50-mile event.
What was extraordinary was not the fact that the field more than doubled from last year; or that the average finisher rate was 83% in both distances, something relatively unheard of in ultra-marathon distances. Nor were the weather conditions which included sunshine, heavy rain, hail and a wild lightning show all that extraordinary. What was extraordinary is the story behind the winners of both the 100 and 50-miler, both members of local NPO Southern Lodestar Foundation’s new ‘Dream Team’.
The ‘Dream Team’, launched earlier this year, is about affording talented runners an opportunity to realise their dream of regularly competing in races whilst at the same time becoming role models for the younger generation in their local communities, showing how running can change lives for the better. The team now has eleven athletes, ten males and one female, of varying running experience, and is keen to expand. Providing the athletes with running kit, race entries, training and support, the team adopts a personal approach to nurturing passion and building talent and is hands-on with its runners.
This approach clearly works.
Running his first 100-miler this year, 39-year old ‘Dream Team’ athlete, Albert Phungula crossed the finish line of the Karkloof100 victorious, having run the 100-mile route in a time of 17:52:40 – setting a new course record. Phungula, originally from Underberg, now lives in Pietermaritzburg and has two young sons, both of whom followed his progress throughout the 100-miles and were waiting, tired but excited, at the finish
line for him. Traditionally a road-runner, Phungula ran his 11thComrades Marathon this year but clearly has a talent for trail running and a head for competing as he ran a thoughtfully planned race that led him to the finish line with a lead of over 30 minutes over second place Andrew Erasmus, from Ballito. Third place went to Jock Green who led out from the front for most of the race, putting in an incredible performance overall.
In the 50-mile competition, which set off from Benvie Gardens, deep in the Karkloof on Saturday, 22ndSeptember at 7am, it was another ‘Dream Team’ member, Muzi Madikwa (36), from Richmond, who ran in a winning time of 07:06:26. The entire 50-mile race was a nail-biter as Madikwa jostled for first place with Ruan van der Merwe. At the final checkpoint, Madikwa, only minutes ahead of van der Merwe, received the news that Phungula was leading the 100-miler and likely to win; but van der Merwe made a quick stop and left the checkpoint ahead of Madikwa. With just 18km’s remaining in the race, it was anyone’s guess who would land up victorious. As Madikwa rounded the final corner into the finish, a mere four minutes ahead of van der Merwe, the crowd erupted with emotion, as they realized that the Dream Team, against all odds, had achieved something extraordinary and inspired a captivated audience with their sheer determination and raw talent.
The Karkloof100, only in its second year, has already gained cult status amongst locals and ultra-runners across the country and this year again attracted some of South Africa’s elite ultra-marathon runners, including the likes of Jock Green, twins Andrew and Steven Erasmus and last year’s winner, Bennie Roux. As one of only three 100-mile trail races in South Africa, “the popularity of this year’s event is testament to the success of last year’s inaugural event and the growing popularity of ultra-marathons, making it a firm fixture on the ultra-running calendar,” said co-race director, Andrew Booth of KZN Trail Running.
This year, the Southern Lodestar Foundation came on board as the main race partner with the idea of taking the race to the next level. The partnership has already proved a huge success with the Foundation’s One Run. One Life initiative that was rolled out to all Karkloof 100-milers this year. Just by entering the 100-mile event, each participant will indirectly feed a child at Khipinkunzi Primary School in St Lucia (Dukuduku District),Northern KZN, for seven years – the duration of their primary school journey and the most important phase of growth and development in a young child’s life. “The response to this project from runners has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Booth, “And then to have runners from the Foundation excelling in the actual race, has been something really special and goes to show just how phenomenal this partnership is for the race.”
Agreeing, Booth’s partner, Jack Davis of The TrailLab, said: “We’ve been blown away by the support for the race from everyone! There’s been so much positivity generated through the race which is more than we could ever have hoped for and we’re looking forward to a bigger and better event in years to come!”
Karkloof100 will be back again in 2019.
Check out all the photos on the Karkloof100 Facebook page.
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
27 June 2018
Elite international athlete to compete in KZN
KwaZulu-Natal’s premier hundred and fifty-mile footrace, Karkloof 100, taking place for the second time in September this year, is excited to welcome international elite ultra-trail runner, Kelly Wolf, to its field.
At just 23 years old, Wolf has taken the ultra-running world by storm since turning professional in 2017. In just over a year, Wolf has dominated in her field, with podium finishes in major trail running events around the world. This year alone, Wolf was the first female home at the Tarawera ultra-marathon, a 102km race based in Rotorua, New Zealand. And more recently, won the Lavarado 120km ultra-trail marathon in Italy over the weekend. Both races are part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour, a collection of the most established and difficult trail races across the globe – something the Karkloof100 aspires to become part of.
Based in Telluride, Colorado in the USA, a town which lies at 8750ft in the San Juan Mountains, with a population of just 2300, Wolf’s backyard is literally her training ground. By day, she is a gymnastics coach but spends every spare minute exploring the mountains that she calls home.
As excitement for the Karkloof100, which is now just three months away, builds, co-race directors, Andrew Booth of KZN Trail Running and Jack Davis of the Trail Lab, are thrilled to have Wolf on the line-up for the 50-mile event.
“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to show Kelly not just the international standard of our event but also the beauty of our province and the hospitality of our country,” said Booth, adding that bringing Wolf to South Africa to take part in the race would not have been possible without international hydration pack brand Ultimate Direction – a joint sponsor of both Wolf and the Karkloof100 event.
“Although the race is still in its infancy, it has already drawn an incredibly talented field of local athletes. And now will welcome its first international runners, and first elite female runner. This is a great sign, a proud moment, and testament to the fact that South Africa is becoming a serious destination for ultra-marathon trail runners to visit and compete,” he added.
“We hope our future Karkloof100 events will entice more international runners to make this South Africa’s ultimate 100-mile trail event. Watch this space!” said Davis.
Wolf will be running alongside a mixed bag of national elite athletes as well as novices taking on the run of their life.
Karkloof100 takes place from the 21-23 September 2018 in the Karkloof in KZN. For more information visit www.karkloof100.co.za.
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
30 November 2017
ULTIMATE ENDURANCE RACE TO REACH NEW HEIGHTS IN SECOND YEAR
The Karkloof100 – a 100-mile endurance foot race through the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands is set to reach new heights in its second year. Officially set to take place over the weekend, 21-23 September 2018, details of a bigger, better and more exciting race were revealed at the launch event which saw organisers, sponsors, media and athletes gather at the Farmer’s Daughter in Howick on Wednesday, 29th November 2017.
Such was the success of the inaugural event in 2017 – the first of its kind in KZN and only one of three 100-mile trail races in South Africa – that the 2018 event looks set to attract even more interest from a bigger field of athletes, support crews and specialist sponsors.
Speaking at the launch, race co-director and founder, Andrew Booth, from KZN Trail Running was excited to announce that the number of entries available for the 2018 race has been increased to from 100 to 150 and that entries will be open from 30th November 2017 at 6am.
“Having captured the imagination of the local and international trail running community, we’re opening up the field for next year’s Karkloof100 to afford ultra-distance athletes from all over South Africa and the world the opportunity to participate in this extreme challenge that aims to push the boundaries of trail running in South Africa,” explained Booth. “After the success of year 1, we are aiming to see 100 finishers, which will give us a shot at becoming a qualifying race for the Western States 100, the oldest and most prestigious 100-miler in the USA.”
The 50-mile race distance is also back for a second year and will appeal to those athletes who were inspired by this year’s event, those who are looking to test their limits and those building up to tackle the 100-mile event in the future.
At the official launch, Booth announced a new major sponsor of the event, the Southern Lodestar Foundation. Established by three of this year’s Karkloof100 participants and passionate ultra-distance runners, Andre Redinger, Matt Dove and Rob Graham, the Southern Lodestar Foundation aims to provide education and nutritional support to disadvantaged children throughout Southern Africa using running as a tool to inspire change and deliver hope. “Having participated in the inaugural event and our foundation being in its infancy, it was apparent to us at the Southern Lodestar Foundation that our goals of inspiring change are closely aligned with the Karkloof100,” says Dove. “We see the event as a vehicle whereby anybody can achieve the ultimate with the correct knowledge, tools and support; a message that is so vital to the communities that we support.”
Karkloof100 was borne out of collaboration between KZN Trail Running and TrailLab, who together have an in-depth knowledge of both the local South African trail running scene and international endurance trail races.
The Karkloof100 is an out and back race starting and finishing at Yard41 in Howick. “The race format allows for maximum spectator engagement and aims to be as inclusive as possible, encouraging seconding along the entire route as well as the assistance of pacers for the second half of the 100-mile route,” said Jack Davis of TrailLab.
“The distance speaks for itself and the smooth, runnable tracks and trails of the Karkloof will make this an accessible 100-miler, attracting a top class, local and international field to compete over what is considered the ultimate distance in trail running.”
“The Karkloof100 aims to be South Africa’s leading 100-mile trail race incorporating elements of world-renowned 100-milers, whilst adding our own local flavor and we are delighted to have the Southern Lodestar Foundation on board as we work towards that goal,” said Booth.
Entries open today, 30 November 2017 and are limited to 150 for the 100-mile event and 75 for the 50-mile event. Details of the event can be found on www.karkloof100.co.za.
The Karkloof area is renowned for its matrix of indiginous forest, wetland and grassland habitats, much of which is inaccessible to the public. Participants in the Karkloof100 will experience these habitats in all their glory. Photo Credit: Terence Vrugtman.