France’s Viet to challenge for UTD glory
With entries for the first ever Ultra-Tail® Drakensberg inching towards closing, amongst the challengers from an elite perspective is decorated French runner Vincent Viet, who will take on the UTD 100 as part of his build up for the Ultra-Trail® Mont Blanc later in the year.
The event, which takes place on 29 April, incorporates a number of different races into the entire festival of trail running through the Southern Drakensberg starting at Sani Pass Hotel. The 100km Ultra-Trail Drakensberg is the major focus, supported by three other events, 62km Giants Cup Uncut, 30km Sundowner Run and the two-day Drakensberg Rock Jumper.
The UTD provides French star Viet with the perfect opportunity to hone his skills before he heads back to Europe for the summer months.
“I have been taking a six month break from living in France and have been based in Cape Town,” the 34 year-old Viet mentioned.
“I have always wanted to visit the Drakensberg and I heard about the UTD from runners in the Cape. It was a great opportunity for me to explore the Drakensberg in my running shoes!
“I am really looking forward to the challenge,” Viet added.
Viet’s pedigree will add value to the sharp end of the men’s field at the 2017 UTD with the Frenchman starting to hit good form as he continues his preparations for the European season.
“I started trail running about six years ago and in 2014 I finished fourth in the French Trail Running Championships.
“Last year I finished fifth in the Ultra-Trail Mont Blanc which was a great result for me,” he commented.
Viet has been busy since he arrived in South Africa at the beginning of 2017, with the Cape running season being the main focus for the star before he heads up to KwaZulu-Natal at the end of April for what will be a first-time experience.
“I have been trying to acclimatise myself to running in South African conditions although I am aware that running in the Western Cape and the Drakensberg will be different.
“I have taken part in the Spur Summer Trail Series, the Lion of Africa Half-Marathon and also the Addo Elephant 40km trail run.
“The landscape is beautiful and the people are incredibly friendly, I really enjoy running here,” a smiling Viet explained.
Taking on the might of the Southern Drakensberg is not a challenge that Viet is taking lightly, however he has been blown away by the beauty of South Africa and is more excited than anything for the Ultra-Trail Drakensberg challenge.
“It is unbelievably exciting that I am going to be discovering more about South Africa and after all that I have heard about the Drakensberg I cannot wait to see what it is like.
“The race should be the perfect build up for me when I take part in the TDS at the Ultra-Trail Mont Blanc which is 120km long.
“I feel that the Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg will be a good step in preparing me for the race in August,” the New Balance athlete mentioned.
There is currently a CANSA deal that is limited to the first 150 registered scholars, and offers them an entry into the Rock Jumper, which normally costs R1250, by making a R150 donation to CANSA when entering on the race website www.ultratraildrakensberg.com
As with all Running Man Adventures events a significant portion of each entry will be donated to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and we are also very pleased to announce that UTD will be partnering with Wildlife Act (www.wildlifeact.com) and assisting them to raise funds and awareness.