Aussie Lucy Bartholomew excited to hit the Mother City trails again
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CAPE TOWN – Australian ultra-trail star, Lucy Bartholomew, returns to Cape Town this summer in an attempt to regain the Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100 km title she won in 2017.
Since that time, UTCT has grown to become one of the most prestigious events on the Ultra-Trail World Tour and with many of the world’s best ultra-distance athletes heading to the Mother City within the next few weeks, Bartholomew’s task will not be an easy one.
It is incredible that Bartholomew is just 23-years old, given her ultra-racing CV, which has taken her to all corners of the world, successfully competing in 100 km and 100 mile races on all continents.
At just 15 years of age, Bartholomew ran her first ultramarathon alongside her father and by the time she landed in Cape Town two years ago for her first visit to Africa, she had already completed ten 100 km races, achieving podium finishes in most of them. She has weathered storms of controversy around alleged harmful effects of running too far too soon, and has largely escaped serious or prolonged injury.
More than anything, Bartholomew is enjoying what she does bests and is looking forward to her return to Cape Town. ”I am super excited to be returning,” said Bartholomew yesterday. “2017 was my first and only time to South Africa and Cape Town. I feel immediately in love with the people, the trails, the beaches, food and vibe!
“I was itching to get back last year but after a long year of travelling it was too much. This year I took some rest during my Europe travels so I could save something special for UTCT and make the trip happen. It’s been a challenging year so for me this is a nice way to finish with the biggest smile.”
Bartholomew easy-going life perspective and determination to have as much fun running as possible, belies her competitiveness and ability, and she chased down early leader Robyn Owen in 2017, taking the lead in the second half before winning by 40 minutes in record time of 11 hr 21 min 49 sec, 28 minutes faster than Zimbabwean Emily Hawgood’s winning time last year.
Lucy Bartholomew will attempt to regain the Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100 km title she won in 2017. Photo: Stephen Granger
On the back of her victory, Bartholomew gained a wild-card entry to the Western States 100 miler in June 2018 and ran the race of her life to place third behind American super-star Courtney Dauwalter, before placing 5th at the UTMB 100 miler in the French Alps. She remembers the emotions linked with the course rather than specific details. “I would be lying if I said I remember much of the course,” she admits. “I was on such a cloud in 2017 but I remember its beauty, its challenges and its rewards. I can’t wait!
“I am flying over with a friend and we are running a camp which will combine movement, mindfulness, nutrition and community the week before. We run these camps in Australia and this seemed like a great opportunity to give something back to the people here and connect with them over a fun weekend!”