MUT by UTMB is rooted in the George community. Born from the local trail running community the event continues to support the region’s trail building and maintenance programmes. Garden Route Trail Running, in particular, has been the primary beneficiary of this relationship. The trail organisation has received R110 000 from the event in 2023 and will receive a further R125 000 in 2024.

“GTR, as Garden Route Trail Running is more colloquially known, is the lifeblood of trail running in George and the surrounding towns,” MUT by UTMB Race Director Zane Schmahl noted. “They look after over 400 kilometres of hiking trails and thereby ensure that local and visiting trail runners have safe and fun singletracks to run. Their impact extends far beyond MUT and the trails we use during the race, but as the region’s biggest event we know we have a responsibility to help fund their invaluable work.”

GTR Trail Troopers

The GTR Trail Troopers do amazing work keeping the trails in good enough condition to run, fast, year-round. Photo by Zane Schmahl.

“Last year we raised R101 000 through our ‘For the Trails’ initiative and added another R6 685 through the Green Friday entry sales campaign,” Schmahl revealed. “We topped it up to R110 000 in total and also contributed our time to trail building and maintenance days. As a race that is deeply rooted in the George trail running community, we love to run the Outeniqua Mountains year-round. The inspiration for MUT by UTMB was the trails we run on a near daily basis and maintaining them throughout the year is thus a labour of love.”

As the event grows its ability to contribute to funding the trail building and maintenance can hopefully increase proportionately too. “We have committed to donating R125 000 this year, upping our contribution from 2023,” Schmahl stated. “MUT by UTMB also recognises trail builders at our prize giving, awarding a ceremonial forester’s hoe to the person who did the most for the trails in the past year.”

For the Trails runs

MUT by UTMB’s For the Trails runs raise funds for trail maintenance and allows runners to familiarise themselves with sections of the route. Photo by Zane Schmahl.

To further support Garden Route Trail Running MUT by UTMB have launched the For the Trails runs. These runs are supported by HOKA ®, the Premier Footwear and Apparel Partner to the UTMB World Series, and feature sections of the routes used by the race. The series kicked off in December and concludes with The Vert Run on the 9th of March 2024. Along with raising funds, through the minimum R200 donation to GTR, the runs help prepare participants for what they will face during the MUT by UTMB race weekend.

“Trail running in the Outeniqua Mountains isn’t easy,” Schmahl emphasised. “The trails are technical and the constant changes in gradient defy any attempts to maintain a comfortable rhythm. We didn’t set out to create tough routes for our Marathon, 60K, 100K or Miler. The running is simply tough out here in the Garden Route. Acclimatising by pre-running some of the routes is the best way to mentally and physically prepare for the MUT by UTMB.”

Trail Maintenance

Trail building and maintenance is an endless job, especially with routes exposed to George’s exceptionally variable weather. Photo by Zane Schmahl.

“If possible, we’d like to encourage trail runners who are, or who are planning to, run the MUT by UTMB to join us for the final For the Trails run on Saturday 9 March,” Schmahl invited. “MUT by UTMB remains committed to ensure top quality trail experiences in the Outeniqua Mountains. This obviously means during race weekend, but it also extends beyond the trails we use for race routes and throughout the year.”

To share in MUT by UTMB’s love of the Garden Route trails visit Entries to all the distances, from the 10 kilometre MUT Lite to the 160 kilometre MUT Miler, are available here. The race weekend action will kick off with the MUT Miler on Friday, 25 May, and conclude with the final prize giving at 13:00 on Sunday, 26 May. For 2024 the race also boasts a new host venue, the Outeniqua Stadium in the heart of George.


The For the Trails runs are social events which participants can take as seriously, or not, as they like. Come join the final edition ahead of the 2024 MUT by UTMB on Saturday, 9 March 2024. Photo by Zane Schmahl.

Stay up-to-date with all the excitement and news in the build-up to the 2024 MUT by UTMB by following @georgemountainultratrail on Instagram and liking the Mountain Ultra-Trail by UTMB Facebook page.