Fun is the UTD aim for easy-going Zunckel

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With a difficult 100km Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg ahead of her, Bergville local and Racefood star Tracy Zunckel has expressed her excitement for the challenge but wants to take it all in her stride when she starts the event on Saturday, 29 April. Image by Huck Orban/ Gameplan Media

Underberg – Training for the 2017 Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg is a thing of the past as athletes put the finishing touches to their assault on the Southern Drakensberg, a 100km challenge trail running star Tracy Zunckel is looking forward to starting in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Zunckel, a resident of the Northern Drakensberg town of Bergville, is taking the 100km event in her stride and feels that she is as ready as she will ever be for the challenge – her third race of 100km.

“I don’t know whether this is a midlife crisis or something!” laughed the Racefood sponsored athlete.

“So many people have asked me how I feel going into the race and I feel great! But that is maybe because I haven’t really had too much time to think about it!

“With three children, their activities take up most of your time so I have been running around after them and the race has crept up on me, but I am really looking forward to the event.”

With conditions set to be fair during the all-day adventure, Zunckel hopes that her positive attitude and her enjoyment of running will help her get through the tough periods that all runners inevitably face on such a long race.

“I just want to get through the day and have as much fun as possible. I will not be setting any time limits or specific goals as I really want to enjoy the beauty of the Southern Drakensberg.

“My family and I have hiked the Giants Cup trail and so I know the area reasonably well but if I can just enjoy myself and not struggle, because we all have those days, then I will have had a great race!” the bubbly Zunckel mentioned.

Zunckel has had a taste of 100km endurance events and despite this being the first edition of the Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg, she will be drawing on her knowledge from her previous experiences.

“I have done the Ultra-Trail Cape Town and the SkyRun which were both 100km but I have also done a lot of ultra-distance events so I have an idea of what I am in for.

“My approach is a simple one and it’s just a case of being persistent, walking the up hills and running hard on the down hills.

“It is such a special part of the world and to be able to run through some spectacular scenery makes it all the more enjoyable,” she added.

Zunckel’s approach to the 2017 UTD highlights her passion for the sport. Despite her obvious ultra-distance running pedigree, it is obvious that for her just being out amongst nature and doing what she loves trumps the will to win.

“I just absolutely love running as it gives some time to myself and away from the humdrum of life.

“I just feel like the event is going to be a special one and I am looking forward to the big glass of beer that I am going to have at the end!” Zunckel concluded.

As with all Running Man Adventures events a significant portion of each entry will be donated to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and we are also very pleased to announce that UTD will be partnering with Wildlife Act (www.wildlifeact.com) and assisting them to raise funds and awareness.

More information can be found at www.ultratraildrakensberg.com