This iconic trail running series currently includes over 120 events in five provinces as well as Lesotho and givesadventure runners the opportunity to experience the ultimate journey through wild places. And participants will arguably not find anything wilder than running through the heart of the |Ai-|Ais/RichtersveldTransfrontier Parkwith its rugged mountainous desert landscapes on the border between South Africa and Namibia. The four-day stage race will see runners covering over 150 kilometres and climbing almost 3 500m over the total distance.
This Richtersveld Transfrontier Park is one of six national parks located within the Northern Cape Province and is widely considered a jewel in the province’s tourism crown. Normally only accessible via 4x4 vehicles, on foot or via the might Orange River, the vast openness and rugged landscapes of this remote corner of the Northern Cape ensure unforgettable travel memories. The park is also home to the Richtersveld World Heritage site, proclaimed by UNESCO not only for its unique floral diversity, but also due to the presence of the inhabitants of the Richtersveld Community Conservancy. It is considered an ultimate showcase for the real culture, real nature and real adventure that lies at the heart of the province’s appeal.
According to John Block, MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, the RichtersveldWildrun is an ideal vehicle to showcase the Northern Cape’s positioning as a premier extreme and adventure sport destination. “We are excited that an event of this magnitude will be taking place in our province and that world-class athletes of the calibre of Bernard Rukadza and Matt Hart will be forming part of the field. We wish all the participants the best of luck and hope that they take the opportunity to savour the incredible beauty that is the Northern Cape and the warm hospitality of its people. How often do you have the chance to meet some of the ancient tribes of Africa and are you able to experience the Nama lifestyle firsthand,” mentions Block.
Considered to be one of South Africa’s top trail running athletes, Rukadza will definitely put up a tough challenge, but organisers are expecting fierce competition from international participants such as American ultra-trail runner Matt Hart.