From left to right, Elov Olsson (Sweden), Ryan Sandes (RSA), Rob Krar (Canada) and Prodigal Kumalo (RSA) spoke about the Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100km at a press conference on Thursday. Photo: Stephen Granger

The Ultra-trail Cape Town takes place on Saturday.

Here’s what some of the leading athletes had to say at the pre-race press conference on Thursday…

Mimmi Kotka (Sweden)

Ryan Sandes told me about the great trails in Cape Town and that I should come to race the Ultra-trail Cape Town. And although I have struggled with health issues this year, I’m feeling strong and looking forward to competing on Saturday. It will be a celebration of the new food platform I have just launched with my Swedish athlete friends, Emile Forsberg and Ida Nilsson.

Francesca Panetta (Italy)

I chose this race because it’s wonderful! I’d seen a lot of pictures, and also saw the beautiful beaches and the sea. But I did not realise it was so cold! I’m quite tired now after a long year, and don’t know if I will be good on Saturday. I prefer the longer runs over 100 miles, but I will see on the day how I feel.

Kelly Wolf (USA)

I feel like I’ve been here a long time because of the length of the days compared with our winter! This race was not on my original plan this year, but I got excited about a chance to come out to South Africa, and possibly finish number one on the Ultra-trail World Tour – that would be an amazing bonus.

Stephanie Howe Violett (USA)

Wonderful to be in summer – first time in SA. Arrived late last week. Really amazed at the people. I’m here by myself. Impressed with Cape Town – food is wonderful and great sightseeing. I just love it here. Hospitality great.

I’m kind of a runner I can mould to my environment. So I’m good at whatever comes my way. I think my strength is that I’m more of a seasoned runner and able to draw on that experience. My aim is to end my season on a happy note, with a smile at the finish.

The leading women at the Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100km (from left to right): Francesca Panetta (Italy), Kelly Wolf (USA), Mimmi Kotka (Sweden), Nathalie Mauclair (France), Stephanie Howe Violett (USA) and Kerry-Ann Marshall (RSA). Photo: Stephen Granger
The leading women at the Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100km (from left to right): Francesca Panetta (Italy), Kelly Wolf (USA), Mimmi Kotka (Sweden), Nathalie Mauclair (France), Stephanie Howe Violett (USA) and Kerry-Ann Marshall (RSA). Photo: Stephen Granger

Ryan Sandes (South Africa)

Last year it was pretty intense – there was very little let-up. I think it will be the same again. Prodigal was five minutes faster than me last year, so I guess I’ll just have to run faster!

I was surprised how much our Himalayan Traverse in June took out of me – both physically and mentally. I was exhausted, and it took me three months to recover.

But I’m good now and looking forward to a great race. I’m really proud to be a part of the South African running community, and show these world elite athletes how good it is!

Rob Krar (Canada)

It’s been a pretty wild ride for the last year or two. I’m happy to be in Cape Town finally – I was to have been here last year. I’m looking forward to having a great day on Saturday, with my wife Christina crewing for me as in all my ultra races. 

Prodigal Kumalo (South Africa)

I’m feeling very strong and ready to run on Saturday. Whether I run faster than last year depends on my competition. I will if I have to. The only man who can beat me on Saturday is the one who has prepared well, is smart and strong on the day.

@StephenGranger3 


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