Trail running around South Africa’s Cape Town is becoming an increasingly dangerous sport. Three ultra-trail runners were mugged during the 100 mile RMB Ultra-Trail Cape Town (RMB UTCT) on Saturday.
The runners were all mugged near the Ocean View community while participating, and all of them carried on running in the Ultra-Trail after their ordeals.
This follows an incident a week ago when Western States 100 champion Tom Evans was mugged at knifepoint during training run on Table Mountain for the same race, causing him to pull out of the event
In a Facebook post, RMB UTCT organizers said: “[We] are aware of the incident involving participants in the 100 miler race taking place this weekend. The race director, Stuart McConnachie, says that the three runners are physically unharmed and have chosen to carry on with the race. All runners passing through the Simonstown checkpoint are being informed, and the matter has been handed over to the South African Police Service (SAPS).”
McConnachie added, “As much as this has put a dampener on things, overall it has been an amazing experience.”
“Sadly locals have been getting mugged daily since March but it’s kept very quiet. No one wants it to affect tourism,” posted one Facebook user in response to the RMB UTCT’s post.
After his mugging, Tom Evan posted on Instagram video detailing why he pulled out of the event, which was more for mental health reasons than physical ones:
“I have decided to go home and make sure that I am mentally alright which is something that I have always taken for granted. For those in Cape Town, look after yourself and those around you and please stay safe.”
More than 400 international runners took part in the Ultra-Trail, and more than 2,000 athletes in all cometed in the three-day event.
In response to Saturday's muggings, the Mountain Mender Fund Campaign opened a Backabuddy fundraising campaign to replace the runners' gear and for counselling, stating:
“ This funding page is established with a dual purpose: to assist these runners in replacing their lost gear and to provide funds for any necessary counseling services to help them overcome this traumatic experience. The goal is to ensure that these athletes can return to the trails with confidence and security.”
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