The 21st running of SkyRun taking place this upcoming weekend, has all of the makings for a real humdinger with two of SA’s leading ladies vying for the title of Queen of the Mountain.
2016 Defending champion, K-Way Athlete Nicolette Griffioen, will be back to reclaim her crown after making SkyRun her goal race for the year; and hot on her heels hoping to recoup her 2014 title will be Salomon athlete Landie Greyling.
“This is the first year that we have had such a competitive ladies field at SkyRun,” says race organiser Michael de Haast from Pure Adventures. “Nicolette and Landie are two of the best lady trail runners in SA, and we are hoping that between them we will have a real race on our hands, who knows they might even break the sub 14hours time?”
In 2014, Landie set a new course record-breaking course time of 16hrs10min, which was then smashed by Nicolette last year in 2016 by going sub 16 hours (15hrs16min). “No woman in the history of the race has been able to break the sub 14-hour time achieved by male competitors,” says Michael, “but we know how strong these ladies are and we know that endurance and toughness are where they excel, so we are hoping for great things this year!”
Other elite ladies to watch in field this year are local Lady Grey athlete Tracy Zunkel, who despite being very strong last year had a few navigation issues; Merrel athlete, Tracey Campbell, whose adventure racing background gives her an edge when it comes to toughness and endurance and 2016 2nd place lady Misty Weyer, who has had a very successful year to date and is looking like she might have what it takes to be on top of the podium.
SkyRun will be taking place on the 18th of November 2017 in the small town of Lady Grey In the Eastern Cape. The race encompasses three distances – 100km, 65km and 42km. The 100km and 65km races are unique in that they are truly self-supported and self-navigational races, where athletes tackle the remote terrain of the Witteberg Mountain range with a map, compass or GPS unit and a backpack containing all their food, water and compulsory equipment that will enable them to survive in this harsh environment, while operating at an average height of between 2200-2500 metres above sea level.
For more information, visit skyrun.co.za.