Three Peaks Challenge 1897 – 2017

At 120 years old, the Three Peaks Challenge (Saturday 4 November 2017) can claim to be the oldest event in the country, or at least the event with the longest history. Back in 1897, when C.W. Schneeberger decided to see if he could summit all three peaks (Devil’s Peak, table mountain and Lion’s Head) between sunrise and sunset, returning to the start, the old Johannesburg Hotel, now 108 Long street, after each peak. He did this comfortably, taking 10 hours and 50 minutes including breaks.

Pete Trimble got wind of this some years later and thought he’d try break the solo record in 1927, which he did in 7.17 . It took another 50 years before someone attempted this; and Geoff Pitter thought 50 years was a good commemoration, so he completed the solo challenge in 1977, finishing in 6.51.

20 Years later in 1997, 100 years after Schneeberger’s run, Don Hartley thought it was time to organise a centenary run, and the modern day event was born. There where 13 runners on that first run, and for many years the event stayed quietly under the radar. Today, there are a 150 participants and about 450 more on the waiting list, and while it is still a relatively small event, it has gained iconic status.

Will the record be broken?

AJ Calitz stamped his authority on this race in 2012, when he won it for a second time in 4.50 and some change. While there are a number of strong contenders in this years race, no AJ unfortunately, I pick Lucky Miya and 4X winner Andrew Hagen to duke it out, and for one, if not both of them, to break the record. The weather looks good, not too windy or too hot, should be an epic day out for this 120-year anniversary.

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