WHAT IS THE ULTRA X?
For 2020 we will have registration and race briefing for Day One on the Thursday evening at Champagne Sports. This will be the opportunity to register, meet other athletes and also prepare for the first day of racing with race briefing.
The challenge will start at the 3rd biggest dam in South Africa, the Sterkfontein Dam, which sits as the highest dam in South Africa, at 1706m above sea level. The crystal-clear waters of Sterkfontein are legendary and well sought after by fishermen and swimmers alike. Our brave athletes will choose between a 2km or 4km swim option, with the 4km swimmers doing 2 laps of the well-marked swim course. The athletes then mount their bikes and leave the Freestate down the formidable and winding Oliviershoek Pass in the Northern Drakensberg and into KwaZulu Natal. The Oliviershoek pass is approx. 18km long and takes athletes from 1815m above sea level down to the farming community of Bergville and Winterton at 1041m above sea level. The route is 105km and finishes at the prestigious Champagne Sports Resort in the Central Berg. One water table will be provided at the 50km, making athletes responsible to prepare themselves properly for the challenge ahead. After the 18km descent from the Freestate, the route ambles along some of the most beautiful yet exposed areas in the Drakensberg. The athletes will wind their way through Bergville and Winterton, past the famous Thokozisa store and on to Champagne sports, where athletes will receive a Hero’s welcome. That evening, athletes will be treated to a legendary dinner, accommodation and stage 2 briefing for their second stage of the ULTRA X challenge.
After a breakfast fit for a king at Champagne Sports, athletes will embark on a 145km cycle route. This challenge will push the athlete’s endurance limits to reach places they haven’t been to before. The Bike route takes the athletes back to the farming town of Bergville, Ladysmith and past Spioenkop Dam, then to Winterton. The athletes then head home, back to the comfort of Champagne Sports Resorts. However, the challenge is not over yet, as the athletes will then set off on a gentle 8km Run around the beautiful and award-winning Champagne Sports Golf course. That evening, athletes will again be treated to a fabulous dinner, accommodation and the final briefing for stage 3 of the ULTRA X challenge.
After much needed buffet breakfast at Champagne Sports, athletes will embark on their 3rd and final stage of the ULTRA X. Day three is arguable the toughest challenge, with athletes taking on a 21km short course, or a 31km trail running routes. The Run routes will be staged on the highly sought after Cathkin Trails, which meanders along mostly single track trails in the foothills of the majestic Drakensberg mountains. Athletes will be encouraged to carry some hydration and nutrition, as Aid and feeding stations will only be provided every 10km. With the Champagne Sports Resort being situated at 1532m, altitude and the weather will be the biggest challenges to face come the final leg of the ULTRA X competitors. All the Athletes will finish their gruelling run back at Champagne Sports, where in true legendary fashion, champagne will flow to celebrate the athletes conquering this ‘ULTRA X challenge.
After a short prize-giving and awards function and lunch, our legendary athletes will depart for home for some much-needed rest and recuperation, getting them ready for the next challenge ahead.