Khumalo Smashes Ultra-Trail Cape Town Record!

Penelope Cairns |

Prodigal Khumalo soared to victory at Ultra-Trail Cape Town on Saturday.

Image by Nick Muzik
Image by Nick Muzik

On Saturday, 2 December, hundreds of trail runners lined up for an epic race day. UTCT presents three trail races of 100km, 65km and 35km that traverse the mountains of the Cape Peninsula. The races cover sections of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Signal Hill, Orangekloof, Llandudno, Hout Bay, the Constantia Winelands, the upper slopes of Kirstenbosch Nature Reserve and Devil’s Peak.

Zimbabwean Prodigal Khumalo smashed the men’s Ultra-Trail Cape Town race record by just under an hour, in a sensational time of 9:51.00. Other SA race favourite Ryan Sandes was only minutes behind him in a time of 9:56:03, with Scotty Hawker from New Zealand in third place in a time of 10:04:27.

Prodigal Khumalo said of his win: “The guys really wanted it, we raced from the gun. I used the same strategy as last year but was better prepared, and with the competition around me, I had to push.”

All of the first three men finished under the current record, reflecting the elite calibre of competition in the race. The first woman across the line in the 100km race was Lucy Bartholomew, the 21-year-old trail-running sensation from Australia, in a time of 11:21:49, well ahead of second placed South African, Robyn Owen, who crossed the line at 12:06:40. Naomi brand, also South African, was in third place in a time of 12:20:23.

“There are not big mountains here compared to what I run in France, but this was tough, you have to have the full package – run fast and climb hills – I learnt a lot from this race, “ Bartholomew said.

Ryan Sandes was happy with the end result: “It was really tough against the Comrades guys; I tried to push early on the technical bits, so I had to work harder on the flats and the downs. It was really awesome to run a big race at home, and the encouragement from the crowds has been incredible, all along the route at the aid stations we felt that support.”

Nic Bornman, founder of the race, said he has seen the race grow exponentially since the inaugural event in 2014: “Each year the race has doubled in size, but this year, with being included in the World Tour, it has exploded, attracting numbers of elite international runners, which is fantastic to see.

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