"I am pretty beat up" – Western States 100 champion brutally mugged at knifepoint during training run

second placed France's Mathieu Blanchard (L), winner Spain's Kilian Jornet (C), and third placed Britains Thomas Evans (R) celebrate on the podium of 19th edition of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc
The attackers stole Evans' wedding ring just one week after his first anniversary (Image credit: JEFF PACHOUD / Contributor)

British ultra runner Tom Evans has announced his withdrawal from the Ultra Trail Cape Town race after being attacked and robbed at knife point during a training run.

Evans, 31, who earlier this year became the first British man to win the famed Western States 100 race in California, announced the incident yesterday on Instagram.

"I was attacked and mugged on the trails at knife point where all my possessions were stolen. I am pretty beat up but I will be physically okay."

Evans was training in South Africa for the 100k race due to take place this weekend. According to reporting by Athletics Weekly, two men rugby tackled Evans during a run. He initially fought back but after one pulled a machete out, he surrendered his iPhone 15, Garmin watch and wedding ring. The attack took place just a week after the first anniversary of his marriage to triathlete Sophie Coldwell.

In the video, he reveals that he is physically sore after the attack but is pulling out of the race and returning home so that he can recover psychologically.

"Doing something that you love, it just seems so unexpected and happened so quickly," he writes, adding, "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."

Despite his victory in June, it's been a challenging year in ultra for Evans. In September, he started the legendary UTMB race in Chamonix as a favorite to win, but dropped out overnight after 81.5 km, later revealing that a search had been required to locate him after which he was taken to the hospital requiring treatment. 

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.