Nice Britain cross nation runner Tom Evans has been brutally robbed of his wedding ceremony ring and a high-tech operating watch at knifepoint whereas coaching in South Africa for one of many hardest ultra-trail races on the planet.
Former British military captain Tom, 31, was left in worry of his life when he was ambushed by two robbers whereas out operating alone on Desk Mountain in Cape City yesterday.
The previous Welsh Guards captain was rugby-tackled by two males near the King’s Blockhouse, inbuilt 1796 on Satan’s Peak, and fought again regardless of being outnumbered two-to-one.
He managed to seize again his snatched cell phone and despatched the bigger man packing – however the smaller mugger pulled a machete and a kitchen knife from a backpack.
Elite athlete Tom – sponsored by Crimson Bull and Adidas – mentioned: ‘As soon as the knife was at my throat they made it very clear they might kill me if I carried on combating so I finished.’
Elite runner Tom Evans has been robbed at knifepoint whereas coaching in South Africa for one of many world’s hardest races
Thieves made off with valuables together with his wedding ceremony ring – his spouse is worldwide triathlete Sophie Coldwell (pictured with Tom)
Tom Evans and Sophie Coldwell on their wedding ceremony day final yr; they marked their first wedding ceremony anniversary lower than every week in the past
Tom Evans and Sophie Coldwell out on an tour collectively. He mentioned giving up his wedding ceremony ring was ‘very arduous to do’
He continued: ‘They bought my iPhone 15 after which took my Garmin watch – each price about £2500 – then went by means of my backpack pulling all the things out, asking how a lot issues have been price.
‘Then they noticed my wedding ceremony ring and mentioned if I did not take it off they might lower if off. I’ve simply celebrated my first wedding ceremony anniversary and I requested them to not take it.
‘The knife was pushed in more durable and I believed Sophie would fairly have me again in a single piece than the ring, so I took it off and gave it to them – which was so very arduous to do.
‘They instructed me to not comply with and ran off, and I headed again down off the contour path and down in the direction of Rhodes Memorial and the college to report what occurred.’
A fellow runner discovered traumatised Tom and guided him again down the mountain and reported the assault – one in every of a string of muggings on path runners and hikers.
The South African Nationwide Park Rangers searched the world together with police however might discover no hint of the pair who attacked as Tom was out on a 40km mountain coaching run.
Tom was one of many star runners who had high celeb billing for these competing within the RMB Extremely Path Cape City 100km race and was scorching favorite to win the robust occasion.
However the mountain ordeal has traumatised the elite athlete a lot he not feels secure to proceed his coaching programme. He’s flying dwelling on a British Airways aircraft tonight.
Tom of Loughborough, Leicestershire, mentioned: ‘I’ve spoken it over with Sophie and it is smart that if I am unable to get myself in the proper mind set bodily or mentally [I should] fly dwelling.
‘I’ve travelled throughout Africa and had nice experiences however that is my first time in South Africa and in Cape City and it is extremely unhappy that I’ve been compelled to depart.
‘However what occurred was very traumatic with two males with a machete and kitchen knife threatening to kill me – and that can sadly be my reminiscence of my first go to over right here.
‘Will I come again? Who is aware of? I’ve all the time wished to do the Cape City ultra-trail because it is without doubt one of the hardest on the planet and I hope sooner or later I’ll catch a aircraft again.
‘However it’s not truthful on Sophie to return up on that mountain to coach every day and if I am unable to prepare then I am unable to do myself justice within the race – so I’ve no choice however to pack my luggage.
‘I solely bought right here on Tuesday so it has been quick however sadly not-so-sweet.’
Desk Mountain in South Africa, the place Tom Evans was mugged at knifepoint for his valuables
Tom Evans operating the 50km Extremely Path in Snowdonia earlier this yr. He completed first
Tom says he is not positive whether or not he’ll return to South Africa after his traumatic expertise – which occurred on his first go to to the nation
The previous soldier married worldwide triathlete Sophie Coldwell, 28, in November final yr and so they celebrated their first wedding ceremony anniversary on the twelfth of this month.
He modified careers after participating on the planet’s hardest race – the 251km desert extremely Marathon des Sables – the place he completed third. He then left the British military to turn out to be an athlete.
This yr Tom has received the 100 mile USA Western States Endurance Run and the 33 mile Extremely Path in Snowdonia and completed second within the USA Black Canyon Extremely 60 mile race.
He has run for Nice Britain’s cross nation and path operating workforce and is coaching for the following Olympics. He had hoped to have a good time Xmas by successful the Cape City extremely.
Tom had flown into Cape City Worldwide Airport on Tuesday. A British physician, Kar Hao Tech, was shot lifeless at a close-by township in August and an American vacationer, Walter Fischel was shot within the mouth earlier this month.
Tom was operating alone on a rugged path in preparation for the rugged 100km RMB Extremely Path in Cape City subsequent Friday which takes athletes up and down quite a few mountains.
On the day Tom was mugged the Minister of Police Bheki Cele revealed the newest crime figures, which confirmed 76 murders and 115 rapes befell each day in South Africa within the final 3 months.
Authorities officers insist, nonetheless, that the majority crime takes place within the townships and poor areas and gang turf wars and medicines. Assaults on vacationers, they are saying, are uncommon.
Most vacationers who’re victims of crime mistakenly wander alone into recognized hazard spots. Dr Tech and Mr Fischel had reportedly been led into harmful areas by their satellite tv for pc navigation techniques.
A Desk Mountain park ranger mentioned: ‘This path runner sadly was attacked by opportunist muggers however he broke the golden rule to go on the mountain alone.
‘We can’t stress sufficient that runners and hikers ought to benefit from the mountain however in teams – as if alone you’re a goal for muggers or helpless if in case you have a fall.’
The crime state of affairs in South Africa was not helped in August, when the ANC Authorities ordered the early launch of 15,000 males from overcrowded prisons to deal with extra criminals.
A pointy spike in knife and gun muggings in vacationer areas has been reported for the reason that mass launch and Cape City police are organising additional patrols for the summer season.