The 2023 Lesotho Ultra has come and gone and 67 brave souls have returned home with epic campfire stories to share with their friends and families.
Leading up to the event the weather looked ominous and many nervous faces arrived expecting to be greeted with cold, rain and some potential snowfall. However, as we’ve learnt over the years, the mountains dictate the weather and not the weather apps. The conditions were fantastic from start to finish and we couldn’t have asked for better weather, barring the thick mist along the escarpment that made navigation tricky as runners struggled to see more than 5-10meters ahead of them. Thanks to the excellent marking from Lucky and Sizwe, of KZN Trail Running, everyone stayed on course, even when visibility was poor.
As always the local contingent of runners came through and dominated with most of them taking a podium spot across the bigger distances (a clean sweep on the 50km race).
Local legend and Olympic hopeful, “Sello” took the top step in the men’s 50km event in 6:08:53, ahead of Pompong Joseph Tsimong (6:56:17) in 2nd and Seatioali Mokhethi in 3rd (6:56:04). Carna Koch took a resounding in in the women’s 50km race in 8:14:00.
Full results are available HERE.
No event is a success without the help of a good crew, and we had just that! Mountain Safety maestro, Gavin Raubenheimer, and the medical team were out on course ensuring the safety of the runners and fortunately they had a very uneventful day out in the mountains.
Maliba Lodge and incredibly friendly staff made sure every runner felt welcomed and there was no problem too big for them to solve, runners were welcomed home to the sound of bells ringing and crowds cheering as the lodge staff made for an epic crowd and a warm welcome for all runners as they crossed the line, where runners were welcomed to an ice cold Maluti beer and delicious, hot meal.
Camp Davis, always a welcome sight by runners was fully stocked to cater for the runners on their way up the mountain. Camp Davis is made possible by a few locals and their donkeys who trek up in the night to make sure runners have supplies to get them through the course.
The other aid station, Camp Jube Jube (where apparently the party was) was manned by Grant and one very helpful spectator, Garry, who volunteered his services without hesitation, got stuck in and brought the gees!
Lesotho Ultra has resulted in a few new terms being coined (stumble-tude being the effect of the high altitude on one’s running gait) and this year’s “brutiful” is a dead-cert for the next revision of the Oxford Dictionary! Thank you to each and every one of you for embracing the race, every brutiful element of it, and showing such human spirit in the mountains.
Race Director, Rory Scheffer said “For years I have been involved in Andrew and Lauren’s events, mainly on the media team, and when I was asked to assist with directing one of the most incredible races on the trail running calendar, I was honored as I knew I had some big shoes to fill! Watching the Booths put on the incredible events they do over the years has been a privilege and I’ve learnt so much from them.
Lesotho Ultra has been a race that I’ve always admired and to be given the opportunity to take this challenge on on top of managing the media team, was an exciting one, to say the least. Thank you for letting me steer the ship and I can’t wait to see where the race will go from here!
As far as this year’s event goes, I couldn’t have done it without the incredible team we had on the ground.
To the runners, thank you for your support and well done to all that took on the challenge, it’s always a relief as a race director when everyone runs across that finish line on their on steam with a smile on their face. We hope to see you again next year, thank you!”