Three runners were mugged at gunpoint while they took part in RMB Ultra Trail Cape Town (UTCT) 100 mile race last weekend.
It comes after 2023 Western States 100 champion Tom Evans pulled out of the 100km race after he was attacked and mugged at knife point whilst running on Table Top Mountain in the build-up to the race.
Following the incident, event organisers promised “increased security deployments,” but three participants in the 100-mile UTCT still fell victim to assailants- before they went on to continue with the race.
Runners carry on
News broke of the mugging when the organisers of the race shared a Facebook post confirming they were “aware of the incident.”
“The Race Director, Stuart McConnachie, says that the three runners are physically unharmed and have chosen to carry on with the race,” the statement continued.
“The matter has been handed over to the South African Police Service (SAPS).”
The muggings took place near the town of Ocean View and the Simon’s Town checkpoint, meaning the three runners still had around 43 miles left to go in the 100mile race.
But they pushed on, opting to finish regardless.
“99.9% of it was wonderful”
British runner Al Leslie was among those who were mugged.
“We were just running between Simonstown and Kommetjie and me and Rickert Mulder were just going on the trail and these three guys were on the route,” he told local radio station CapeTalk.
“We initially thought they were marshals as there had been lots of marshals on the route, but they turned out not to be marshals but muggers.
“They pulled out a gun and a knife and took all of our stuff, but luckily no one was hurt.
“Then we just ran to the road and warned the marshals who were there.
“They were very aggressive. It was a very scary situation. When they point a gun right in your face, it is not something you get used to.
“In the moment, in the moment you just decide to keep going because otherwise you let the bad guys win.
“You train for this even, it’s an amazing experience. 99.9% of it was wonderful, but there was just this one bad event.
“We finished and we feel delighted… but the fact that we were mugged speaks to a bigger problem. It’s nothing to do with the race really, but it’s a problem that Table Mountain National Park has.
“I don’t know if SANParks take it seriously enough… I don’t know if they invest enough in security.”
Race Director insists UTCT was “a success”
RMB Ultra Trail Cape Town race organiser Stuart McConnachie also spoke on the show to discuss the muggings, insisting the event remained “a massive success.”
“The incident is dissapointing for all of us, but overall the event was a massive success,” he said.
“We’re very proud of it.”
“The route cover over 166km and it’s in the nature of the sport to be out there alone. We covered the route as well as possible.
“We believe there are greater issues at hand that ultimately we would like to address.
“We evaluated the situation, and we did have metro police and our own members out there patrolling.
“Once the hot spots had been identified, we felt that the runners were almost safe to continue because we had put that area under intense pressure.
“It was a massive success. The good will and the feeling generated by this event is quite something, and as much as this has put a dampener on things this was an overall amazing experience.”