Date – 6 November 2021
Venue- Maliba Lodge/Tsehlenyane National Park
The story of Lesotho Ultra
In late 2012 KZNTR was putting on quite a few short course events with Umngeni River Run at top as our “premier stage race”, Oh how things have changed, but we often refer back to this period as a critical growth period for trail running. Nicola Gerrard, who I had been at university with several years before, gave me a ring out of the blue and said she was the marketing manager for Mailba Lodge and would we be interested in hosting one of our trail runs there. “There are quite a few trails and I am sure you could get and 7km and 14km there” I remember her commenting. It was a common distance at the Talbot Series back then. So that December, Lauren very pregnant with Ben, we took a trip to Maliba Lodge. Like everyone’s first visit to the lodge we were in complete awe of the towering peaks around us. We asked about going to the top, but were met with frowns and comments of the dangers up there. Obviously we didn’t take too much heed and while Lauren relaxed in the Lodge, Andrew explored with a radio in hand, checking in on his pregnant wife every now and again.
It was obvious that this was a great opportunity to put on something really special. Laurens Dad mentioned the trip and exploration for a potential ecent to James Hallet over Christmas in Pennington. James had recently become the Chairperson for the South African Skyrunning Association and his ears pricked. We visited the lodge together in April of 2013 and launched the first Lesotho Ultra with only a simple 50km on the last weekend of November in 2013.
The race ran with hitches typical of a first time event, but was still a great overall success. The 38km was only introduced in the 3rd year.
Having been a “Skyrunning” event during that time, it was a very obvious inclusion in the MMS. In was pitched at the final of the 2020 series where the overall winner would be decided. However in the 2021 format to count in the final results runners need only run any 4 of the 8 events. Of course you can run all of them, but the best 4 positions will count!
Maliba Lodge is a beautiful lodge deep inside the Maluti Mountains. All bookings from 2020 have been carried over, so at tis stage we are not releasing in lodge accommodation. However it is very likely that some space will become available.
Dorm and camping are both currently available.