Namibia
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Uis set for second Brandberg Ultra

The Brandberg Backyard Ultra (BBU) returns for a second instalment on 29 July, following the successful inaugural event at Uis last year.

The debut endurance race saw 48 runners test their mettle across the ultra, challenge category and fun run.

In a backyard ultra race, athletes need to complete a 6 706-metres lap every hour, starting at the top of the hour.

Should they make it back before the hour is up, they use the remaining time to rest before the next lap starts at the top of the next hour.

Fifty-year-old André Ross from Swakopmund was the last person standing after completing 20 laps (134 km), as nearest rival Frans Amakali (41) ended at 19 laps. Kirsty Brits (42) was the last woman to clock out after completing eight laps (54 km).

“On 29 July, we are doing it again, and this time we are buckling up for the long haul. Our top ultra runners are returning to Uis with a vengeance, now with some experience and hindsight. Our runners are coming prepared, and they are bringing challengers,” race co-director Riana Scholtz said yesterday.

“After a stellar inaugural BBU in 2022, we expect sensational results from the number and calibre of runners that have already entered the 2023 event,” Scholtz noted.

“As such, more than 10 entrants recently completed the Comrades Marathon (90 km ultra), while another handful competed in 100 milers (160 km) and multi-day events. To say we are excited about what is to unfold at the event is an understatement.”

The event is hosted by Namibia Ultra Trails, and directed by Riana and Nico Scholtz who have organised the Brandberg Rhino Run and Ride since 2015.

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) Namibia returns as the principal sponsor and presenting partner of the backyard ultra.

“The winner of the Brandberg Backyard Ultra will receive a cash prize of N$5 000. Should the distance they complete exceed 100km, the prize will increase to amount N$8 000 in total, and in the grand event that the total distance should exceed 100 miles (160 km), the winner will walk away with N$10 000,” said Scholtz.

Spot prizes like the best funny dressed runners and best supporters are also on offer.

The event will also incorporate an auction of goods and weekend packages as part of raising funds and awareness under the organisers’ ‘Rewild Campaign’.

“With this campaign they aim to accentuate and support Namibian non-profit projects aimed at species conservation, habitat preservation and rehabilitation as well as education. Beneficiaries of the 2023 auction will once again include Save the Rhino Trust Namibia, as well as Ocean Conservation Namibia, Desert Lion Conservation, and The Skeleton Coast Brown Hyena Project,” Scholtz said.

In addition, runners and supporters are encouraged to bring along used family-friendly books which will be donated to local public and school libraries in Uis and further afield in the Tsiseb Conservancy.