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 opened a day after the launch, on the 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.