Less cloud, more sky will be the order of the day at tomorrow’s Wolkberg SkyMarathon®, the third race in the 2017 Skyrunner® Series.
The 35km race forms day one of the two-day 60km Clemengold Wolkberg Trail Run stage race in the Magoeboeskloof, near the picturesque village of Haenertsburg in Limpopo. Hosted and organised by Stanford Lake College, the race has grown in popularity in each of its four years, and on Saturday 273 skyrunners will toe the start line, ready for legs-and-lungs-burning exhilaration.
Run mostly on forest paths and logging roads, the race begins in the George’s Valley (1 250m) and crosses wintery grasslands as it steadily climbs 900m up to the summit of the Iron Crown, the highest point in Limpopo (2 126m).
As in 2016, a sharp selection of speedsters will be aiming for the podium this year. In the men’s race Edwin Sesipi will be defending his Wolkberg SkyMarathon® 2016 title, up against course record holder Bennie Roux, and mountain running elites Ryno Griesel, Ben Peligrini, Thabang Madiba, Bruce Arnett and Brian Gardiner. The women’s race is set to be just as exciting, with Nicky Booyens, Karine Bezuidenhout and Naomi Brand vying for top spots.
“We are very excited to have such a strong pro field competing for skyrunning honours at Wolkberg again this year – it shows just how popular running in the mountains has become in South Africa. But just as important are the hundreds of weekend warriors who will be taking on their first Skymarathon® in this tough yet beautiful leg of the Skyrunner Series® in 2017,” says race director Steven Willson.
The Wolkberg Skymarathon® will be starting at 7am and can be e-watched on Twitter at #SASkyrunnerSeries.