Hey there, Don't forget to log in and join the conversation Log in

Ultra-trail Cape Town

02-Dec-2017 Montreal Avenue, Oranjezicht, Cape Town, South Africa

YOUR RATING

Image Mask
7 REVIEWS
Trail Race Race Terrain
100KM / 62Miles
1 Day - 1250 Runners

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

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Advanced  

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 presents three trail races of 100km, 65km and 35km that traverse the mountains of the beautiful Cape Peninsula. The host city Cape Town is a world-class destination that features highly on any 'must visit' list. Cape Town is shaped by two oceans and Table Mountain National Park, a dramatic mountain chain that stretches from Table Bay in the north to Cape Point in the south.

The races all traverse sections of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Signal Hill, Orangekloof, Llandudno, Hout Bay, the Constantia Winelands, upper slopes of Kirstenbosch Nature Reserve and Devil's Peak, which form part of the iconic natural world heritage site and one of the new Natural Seven Wonders of the World.

All three races consist of technical terrain with steep ascents and descents. Weather can vary drastically with near sub-zero temperatures in the early morning on top of Table Mountain to 30 degrees plus during the latter part of the day.

Participants are reminded that UTCT races are genuine mountain excursions and that the necessary care and respect be taken when running within Table Mountain National Park and surrounds.

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.

Avatar

Event Organiser
Stuart McConnachie

VIEW PROFILE
LIKE WHAT YOU READ?
SIGN UP FOR MORE

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

You must be logged in to add your review, click here to login or register

Comment Arrow

lankytoreador

08:07 24-06-17

What an event! From the jaw dropping scenery to the varied terrain to the impeccable organisation - everything about this challenge is epic. I ran the 100km in December 2016 and despite having done a couple of 100milers previously this easily ranks as the hardest thing I have ever put myself through.
The registration at the foot of Table Mountain was very straightforward and the 4am start accompanied by flares, classical music and cheering spectators is something I won't forget in a hurry. After a couple of miles through central Cape Town you hit the trails of Lions Head and Signal Hill. The sunrise over Cape Town was awesome and helped to distract from the slog up Table Mountain - 500m elevation in 1.5 km! The challenging terrain underfoot running along the top leads to a technical descent and it was here I realised I may have underestimated the challenge that lay ahead. I've never had to worry about cut-offs in any other event but it dawned on me I didn't have a lot of time to play with to make the first one and avoid being diverted onto the 65km route. This is a theme of the whole event - despite being extended from 15 to 17 hours the 100km is very time challenging. The rest of the race was a procession of highlights. The heat on the brutal hike up Suther Point where it got so steep you were rock climbing, the friendly faces at all the aid stations manned by local running clubs was so welcome, the beauty of the winelands and finishing off running along the side of Table Mountain looking tantalisingly down on the finish the whole time just begin to tell the tale. This is all rounded off by the best post race atmosphere I have had.
You have probably gathered I am a fan of this race. Now it is part of the Trail series it will only grow in stature. If you are looking for a trip and race of a lifetime sign up - just don't expect it to be easy!

Comment Arrow

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.

Avatar
Comment Arrow

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.

Comment Arrow

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

Comment Arrow

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.

Avatar
Comment Arrow

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!

Comment Arrow

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.

Have you run one of these races?

Add your race review
to the race page for your
chance to win great kit
like these

Not a member?

Join Now

It takes less than
a minute