British ultra-runner lost his wedding ring, £2500 watch and iPhone after being threatened with a machete
Tom Evans, winner of the Western States 100 earlier this year and a GB international in cross-country and on the trails, has withdrawn from next weekend’s Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100km race after being brutally mugged during a training run in South Africa.
The former British soldier had to hand over his wedding ring, hi-tech wristwatch and phone after two men ambushed him as he ran alone on Table Mountain in Cape Town.
The 31-year-old was rugby-tackled by two men but he fought back before one of the men pulled out a machete from his backpack.
At this point Evans stopped fighting and had to give up his wedding ring, which he only began wearing in November last year after marrying international triathlete Sophie Coldwell.
“I was mugged, beaten up, attacked and held at knifepoint and everything I had with me was taken,” he said. “So I’ve decided not to race next weekend.
“Physically my body is okay. I’ve pretty beaten up and incredibly sore today and I’ll be okay, but mentally it will be hard to get over something like this. It was so unexpected and happened so quickly.”
On the attack itself, he added: “Once the knife was at my throat they made it very clear they would kill me if I carried on fighting so I stopped.
“They got my iPhone 15 and then took my Garmin watch – both worth about £2500 – then went through my backpack pulling everything out, asking how much things were worth.
“Then they spotted my wedding ring and said if I didn’t take it off they would cut if off. I have just celebrated my first wedding anniversary and I asked them to not take it.
“The knife was pushed in harder and I thought Sophie would rather have me back in one piece than the ring, so I took it off and gave it to them – which was so very hard to do.
“They told me not to follow and ran off and I headed back down off the contour path and down towards Rhodes Memorial and the university to report what happened.”
READ MORE: Tom Evans wins Western States
A fellow runner found Evans and helped him back down the path where they then reported the incident.
“For those in Cape Town, look after yourself and those around you and please stay safe,” he added. “It’s been an awesome year and I wont let two criminals spoil my year on the trails.”
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