The Running Mann: The Mann in the Middelburg

I have visited Middelburg several times to run the Loskop Ultra Marathon, but have spent very little time in the town itself, as the Loskop route directs you straight out of town and towards the Loskop Dam. Therefore, I was looking forward to getting better acquainted with the Mpumalanga town during the Blue Mining MMC Marathon, which was the only January marathon I did not yet have on my running CV… – By Stuart Mann 

Matthew Healy Ultra runs himself onto the podium

After a 4 week high altitude training camp in Dullstroom in January, Matt made the long haul to New Zealand for his first race of the year at Tarawera Ultra-Trail By UTMB

Designed to capture the stunning and diverse landscapes of the Rotorua region and showcase what #TrailsFullofHeart is all about – connection with land and people in breathe taking surroundings on 105km of runnable trails with roughly 3000m of ascent.

The pace on Saturday was fast from the start and Matt was with the lead bunch. Last years winner Daniel Jones piled the pressure on, Matt measured his efforts to maintain a consistent pace throughout the race picking off runners one by one and moving into third place where he would manage a comfortable gap and find himself crossing the finish line to stand on yet another UTMB World Series podium behind now two times champion Daniel Jones(NZ) and Justin Grunewald(USA).

Races of this nature are not run on a weekly or even monthly bases as athletes need time to prepare with each Ultra Trail Run presenting its own unique challenges but then there is the recovery time post the race. The consistency Matt is showing is incredible and testament to his meticulous training and strategic race craft, in the past two years, Matt has accumulated incredible accolades:

• 2022 Mozart100 by UTMB, Austria – 10th overall, 5th in Category
• 2022 Nice by UTMB, France – 5th overall, 3rd in Category
• 2022 UTCT, South Africa – 6th overall and in Category
• 2023 Trail Alsace Grand Est by UTMB, France – 2nd overall(behind 1st by 58seconds)
• 2023 Julian Alps Trail Run by UTMB, Slovenia – 5th overall, 3rd in Category
• 2024 Tarawera Ultra Trail by UTMB, New Zealand – 3rd overall, 2nd in Category

Pushing the limits in Lesotho

In mid-April 2022, ultra-trail runners Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel set out on one of their most ambitious expeditions yet, a full circumnavigation of the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. We caught up with them after their successful finish, having run 1100 kilometres with over 33,000 metres of ascent in 16 Days, 6 Hours and 56 Minutes. – Moeketsi Mokoteli & The Red Bull Editors with Sean Falconer

Beware the Mountain Shark!

I have recently been called the ‘Mountain Shark,’ partly because I am a marine (shark) biologist who trail runs, but also thanks to my strategy of starting towards the back of races and sneaking up to overtake other runners the further we run. That strategy paid off in the recent RMB Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100km, where I also learnt a few things about myself along the way! – By Leigh De Necker

Mad About the Traverse

As a spectator at the Rhodes Dryland Traverse in 2021, I could already see why it is considered an aspirational, must-do, bucket-list event by many in the South African trail running community, and having ‘graduated’ to stage racing during 2022, I jumped at the opportunity to run it myself this past November. It turned out to be a wonderful running experience, in spite of a few challenges my side, and left me wanting more of the Swartberg trails, awesome vibe and banana bread! By Nicole Hayes