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Ultra-trail Cape Town

02-Dec-2017 Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

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6 REVIEWS
Trail Race Race Terrain
100KM / 62Miles
1 Day - 200 Runners

Alternate Distances: 65KM/40M 35KM/22M

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Brutal  

Entry From $2200 SAR

100km Ultra-trail

4200m elevation gain | 17 hour cutoff | 9 Aid Stations

4:00am | Start/End: Gardens Tech RFC Upper Orange Street | 3 Ultra-trail Mont Blanc Points

Route Description

Ultra-trail Cape Town is a point-to-point trail race that takes place on the pristine trails of Table Mountain, the iconic natural world heritage site and one of the new Natural Seven Wonders of the World.

Cape Town is of the worlds most popular destinations and the race covers the iconic landmarks of Table Mountain, Lions Head, Signal Hill, Hout Bay, Llandudno, the Constantia Winelands,  Kirstenbosch Nature Reserve  and Devils Peak.

Runners will have access to 9 aid stations between the start and finish and will never go more than 15 kilometers without an opportunity for aid. The route, while being predominantly on the mountain and within natural surrounds, is purposefully diverted into the city at certain points to tie together Cape Town’s varied cultural-, built- and natural heritage.

Cutoff Times

The 100km Ultra-trail has a permit for 17 hours and will be for advanced runners. Time-barriers for this race are stringent and you will have to submit qualifying races during online registration.

Due to the 17 hour cutoff, we have factored in two route diversions as fallback options if your race is not going well on the day. This gives everyone a fair chance of not being asked to stop the race at cutoff points.
1. At 25km (Constantia Nek) a direct transfer to the 62km course- an automatic time barrier diversion will apply here.
2. At 60km a diversion will be in place for those who will not make the cutoff- 15km (Constantia Winelands) will be cut out, giving you 85km total completed. In this case you will be credited as having finished the 62km course. 

Qualification

You will need to have done a 100km trail race in under 19 hours or 40/50km trail race at average time of sub 9:30min/km. For trail races between 50-90km an average pace of sub 10:00/km and 120-168km sub 11:30/km. For other races: Comrades: sub 10 hours, Two-Oceans sub 5:30 hours. We cannot accept marathon times unfortunately. You will be required to submit the qualifying races during entry and registration.

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Event Organiser
Stuart McConnachie

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Beginner

Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.

Intermediate

Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Advanced

Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Expert

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Brutal

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Review Ultra-trail Cape Town

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SteveGilbert84

06:41 30-12-16

Don't normally write race reviews, but ran the 65 km race in 2016 and have to report this was a great event over an epic course. Starting with a run through the city in the early hours of the morning, the race climbs Signal Hill and then traverses round Lions Head before climbing the long uneven rocky steps that make up Plattenburg gorge onto Table Mountain. Running on Table Mountain as the sun rises over the city is a view not to forget, but attention must be maintained as the running here is technical with some scrambling descents. Comfortable undulating running around the winelands of Constantia awaits after the long descent off Table mountain. Once the vineyards are behind you, the race goes through plush estates and pretty suburban trails before heading into forests heading back towards the city. This was the low point for me as rocky paths made running difficult and soaring temperatures really slowed my progress through this section and meant the University aid station couldn't come soon enough. Although the final section back to the city starts with a nasty ascent of Devils Peak, the contour path back round the front of Table Mountain provides beautiful single-track running to remind you how great this course is with a view back across the city and down to where you started in the early hours.
Organisation of the event was great with emails keeping you well-informed both before and after the event. Feed stations were well stocked, and the local running clubs manning each feed station gave great atmosphere and support. An event not to be taken lightly though as trails are technical and the cut-offs are enforced - full credit to those who made the cut-offs for the 100 km race as there was no time for hanging around with this schedule.
Finally, good luck to future participants with the weather. Traveling out for this race from the UK in the depths of winter left me a little unprepared for the 30+ degrees we hit during the latter stages of the race. That said, I hear the 2015 race was greeted by low cloud and hypothermic conditions with mountain exposure so maybe what we got could have been worse.
A definite bucket-list race not to be missed. Epic.

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phillipgibb

06:26 22-12-16

Great experience. Huge Challenge. The first cut off is insane if you are not prepared. One of the best things about this race is the relationships you build up in the months leading up to it; not only if you are a local who can attend the recces but also from abroad as the excitement builds up on different platforms.

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MindfulRunnet

12:04 10-10-15

A superb event. Brilliant technical trail running mixed with some easier jeep track sections. You get to see all the sights of Cape Town in a day.

This is set to become an iconic event on the world Ultra racing calendar

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coolhand

10:41 08-10-15

How does one even go about describing this event. A brilliantly planned route, taking in the best of Cape Town's stunning mountains and coast, running above one of the most beautiful cities in the world. A massive challenge for those wanting something real to aim at.

The route includes plenty of technical single track, open jeep track running, white beaches, rugged coastal trails, big hard climbs, mountain top running, unique fynbos, forest paths, river crossings, vineyards and green belts. It really is a highlights package of a crazy cool city surrounded by mountains and flanked by oceans.

It is certainly tough, so be ready. The weather can be anything from hot as hell to rain storm cold (as we found out this year in 2015!) so be prepared for all possibilities.

The organisers are passionate and professional, catering for all, elites, amateurs, locals and international runners. And they do an excellent job on all aspects of the race. From the communication in the lead-up, to scouting parts of the route beforehand, tracking, briefing and all round backup and support for all runners involved.

You can expect a world class event of a very high standard, with 10 Aid Stations for the 100km, each with plenty of supplies and great vibe. Most of these are accessible to supporters which is also great if you have family and or friends wanting to get involved supporting you en route.

The finish line is spectacular, set right under Table Mountain and hovering over the city of Cape Town. Arriving back where you started is like a dream come true, being welcomed in the Ultra Trail Cape Town family.

I can only highly recommend this event to anyone with a sense of adventure and who is ready for a tough 100km (or even 65km) trail event. For traveling ultra runners UTCT has to go on the bucket list. Come and experience it for yourself sometime soon.

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Moerieda

07:27 07-10-15

Superbly organised, not just on the day but from the minute entries opened right in the beginning of the year, followed by constant race updates via email, newsletters and recce runs during the build-up of the race. One just couldn’t help but be excited and expected an epic event. Well, the organisers did not disappoint with well marked routes; the most friendly and supportive volunteers that went beyond the call of duty in cold and wet weather and well stocked aid stations.
With 4400m and 3300 elevation gain for the 100km and 65km respectively and a strict cut-off of 15hrs for both races UTCT was never going to be a “walk in the park”; not even for the elites! The icy rain and wind on top of Table Mountain made for real challenging conditions with wet and slippery trails but I guess therein lies the beauty of this race. The route was tough but spectacular; traversing over different terrain from mountains, winelands and forests (the 100km route included running on the beach)
Without a doubt the ultra trail event of the year in South Africa – a definite bucket list race.
Highlight of the race – THE FINISH…each finishing competitor was announced via cowbell and cheered on to the finish line!

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mikkelz_za

04:55 07-10-15

What a challenge! The weather didn't play nicely on the day, but it didn't detract from the greatness of this event.

Although I live in Cape Town and grew up here, it's still a privilege to run on the trails around and on top of Table Mountain. I just feel sorry for the international participants who wouldn't have been able to see all the stunning views of the city on the day.

The race itself was expertly organised, from the communication and information in the months leading up to the race, to the registration and pre-race briefing and then on the day itself. The route was exceptionally well marked, with marshals and traffic officials wherever there were road crossings. The aid stations were very good, with more than enough to hydrate and feed you.

It is a very tough route (I ran the 65km), so I can only imagine how much more challenging the 100km must be. However, it is one of the most rewarding challenges I've ever had the honor to take part in and complete.

The UTCT organisers, volunteers and supporters made the event one to never forget!

If you need a reason to come to Cape Town, this is it.

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