Calderon shaping up for exciting UTD challenge

Photo - Gameplan Media

Spaniard Pedro Calderon is no stranger to the Drakensberg mountain range and this knowledge will stand him in good stead when he lines up an assault on the inaugural Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg on Saturday, 29 April.

The event, which consists of four different races, will pit some of the nation’s strongest trail runners against one another, with Calderon and French star Vincent Viet adding a slight international flavor to the exciting line up.

Calderon is based in Johannesburg but spends a lot of time racing and training in the Drakensberg, an advantage that he will need to expend heading into the 100km race.

“I know the Drakensberg really well, all the different regions so I am looking forward to getting back there and racing again,” Calderon mentioned.

“The SkyRun was my goal last year and I couldn’t complete it as I picked up a leg injury but I am back and got a good win at the Drakensberg Northern Trail race earlier in the year.

“Planning and training in the areas where you are going to race are important and I have a good idea of what I can expect from the UTD, and to get myself into the best possible condition for this race and beyond it is my goal,” Calderon added.

The field for the inaugural UTD is starting to become quite a formidable one with a number of the country’s top ultra-distance trail runners putting their hands up to take part in the race. With just over two weeks to go until the event Calderon is using UTD as a stepping stone onto the rest of his season.

“I am focusing a lot of my energy this year on the SkyRun towards the end of the year and I think that UTD will be good prep for the rest of the year for me.

“I am over my injuries and I am feeling strong ahead of the race so I just want to go out and have as much fun as possible.

“There is always a competitive element to my racing but I am not focusing on winning the race, I want to compete and challenge myself against the best runners and they will be at UTD,” he explained.

Despite not focusing on the overall win at UTD this year, Calderon’s not ruling out the possibility that he could cause an upset during the race.

“I know that the field will be very strong but a lot can happen in 100km so if I keep strong and run well, who knows!

“I have the motivation to do well but I will be focusing on using this race as a good build-up event for the SkyRun in November,” he added.

There is currently a CANSA deal that is limited to the first 50 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.