At sunrise every first Saturday in November a crowd of runners assembles on Long Street in Cape Town for  for the start of a 50-kilometre race that will see them huffing-and-puffing up (and down) the three peaks surrounding the Cape Town City Bowl. Devil’s Peak, Maclear’s Beacon on Table Mountain and Lion’s Head are their targets as they take on the 19th Three Peaks Challenge in Association with K-Way.

The tradition of the Three Peaks Challenge was initiated in 1897 when Carl Wilhelm Schneeberger first completed a route that ascended and descended Cape Town’s three peaks, returning to the city after each one.

The Challenge was revived by Don Hartley in 1997 to commemorate CW Schneeberger’s achievement 100 years earlier and thus the annual tradition of the Three Peaks Challenge began.

“Three Peaks is a tradition that is incredibly close to my heart,” says race organiser Gavin Snell. He’s the only person to have completed all 18 editions of this event.

“It is a wonderful mental and physical challenge, but, more than that, is a great story with its rich history, tradition and people.”

Participants that stand out include Brian Key, who will be running for the 13th time. At 76 years young, Key placed in the Top 30 last year with a credible time of 7:55:59.  He turns 77 only two weeks after this year’s race.

“After a number of years of effort to find a member of the Schneeberger family, we’re delighted that Shaun Schneeberger, a great-grandson of the pioneer CW Schneeberger, will be taking part this year,” says Snell.

On the competitive side of the event the race welcomes back last year’s winner Martin Kleynhans and three-time winner and former record holder Andrew Hagen. Hagen is one of only two men – the other being AJ Calitz – to have run under five hours. Nic De Beer is in the starting line-up. Recovered from injuries, de Beer has indicated that he is using the event as part of his comeback to the trail-running scene.

Undisputed women’s favourite is Katya Soggott. She has won the last three consecutive events with unbelievably consistent winning times of 6:15:27,  6:15:02 (women’s record) and 6:15:44!

“There is something very special about the day and many people who enter thinking that they just want to do one to tick it off on their bucket list find themselves coming back for more,” says Snell.

“Besides taking place on the iconic Table Mountain, it is an interesting blend of city and mountain and has a camaraderie that can only be experienced by those who are fortunate enough to take part.”

Start in Long Street

The 5am start in Long Street



  • ·         Name: The Three Peaks Challenge in Association with K-Way
  • ·         Date: Saturday, 7 November 2015
  • ·         Start: Long Street, Cape Town at 05h00
  • ·         Finish: 19h00
  • ·         Time Limit: 14 hours
  • ·         Distance: 50km
  • ·         The Three Peaks: Devil’s Peak, Maclear’s Beacon (via Platteklip Gorge) and Lion’s Head
  • ·         Number of participants: 150 (limited entry)
  • ·         Records:

Men: 4:50:21 (AJ Calitz)

Women: 6:15:02 (Katya Soggott)

  • ·         Runners to watch: Men: Martin Kleynhans (winner 2015), Andrew Hagen (three-time winner and a former record holder plus he has run a sub-5 – one of two men to do so). Also Nic De Beer.
  • ·         Women: Katya Soggott is the most likely contender; but a newcomer could have what to takes to beat her.
  • ·         This is the 19th running of this event.
  • ·         Website:


The first South Africa Skymarathon®, which debuts on October 26 at Matroosberg Private Reserve in the Western Cape, has attracted the cream of the crop.

Matroosberg Trail ChallengeAJ Calitz, one of the country’s top trail runners, takes off as firm favourite, but will certainly not have things all his own way – other strong performers pose a stern challenge.

Calitz, a relative newcomer to trail running, has taken the sport by storm with several victories and new records including Puffer, Three Peaks Challenge and the Red Bull Lion Heart. He also triumphed in a 100km trail run in Verdon, in the Provencal district of France and last month finished third in a super strong field at The Otter, finishing inside the existing record.

Included in the chasing pack are SA Ultra Distance Champion and former Puffer winner Nic de Beer, SA trail team member Charl Souma and top local trail specialists, Noel Erntzen, Derrick Baard and Ake Fagereng. Last year’s winner, Michael Owen attempts a repeat.

The women’s event appears no less competitive with some serious talent looking to conquer the tough 36km course. Leading the field will be the experienced Linda Doke, adventure racer and 2013 Bat Run winner Annemien Ganzevoort, and Robyn Kime, 4x Dusi Canoe Champ and a rising star in trail running. Ingrid Peens, last year’s champion, will also line up at the start.

A Skymarathon® is a mountain race with a minimum of 2 000m in total elevation gain and between 30km – 42km over paths, trail, moraine, rock or snow; total asphalt must be less than 15% of the course.

“Skyrunning is hugely popular overseas, particularly in Europe,” says race director Ghaleed Nortje. “The Matroosberg is a perfect venue, with aSkymarathon summit at 2 249m, spectacular views, tough ascents and technical descents.”

Sponsors on board include VIVOBAREFOOT, Adventure Inc, Wintergreen, Protect, K-Way, Red Bull and Bio-oil; but Nortje seeks a title sponsor.

“There are many costs involved for such an event and we consider this is an outstanding opportunity for sponsors to become linked to Skyrunning; the sport, making its debut in Africa, will be massive here.”

The Witzenberg Municipality, in which the run falls, are also excited about the run and have offered full support for the event.

The Skymarathon® is not to be confused with South Africa’s first Ultra Skymarathon, The Lesotho Ultra Trail to be run in Lesotho on November 30.

Contact Ghaleed on or 082 887 3011,,

Arabella Challenge Trail RunAs much as I love running in the Peninsula it’s always great to head out of town and explore some new trails. The Western Cape is an unbelievable region for hiking and running with a kaleidoscope of trails to choose from. You can travel anywhere from an hour to 3 hours plus and find pretty special trails anywhere you go.

So when an opportunity to run the Arabella Challenge arose, I grabbed it. This event encompasses both mountain biking and trail running with both disciplines offering two options. I’ll be running the 17km trail run on the 28 April in and around the trails of Kleinmond.

The Arabella team have been looking at setting up an event for a while now and they felt that this was the right time.  The events were started as an a opportunity for cyclist to get their feet wet, and, with trail running being one of the fastest growing sports in the country, they felt the area lent itself to a trail running event. By splitting the distances into two runs they have given the novices a good opportunity to test their legs on a shorter course and the more experienced can run the longer more technical route.

They are hosting the same event in April and September.

Details: Trail Run

The Trail Run event will be split into 2 categories, 11km and 17km, with numbers limited to 100 runners in both events.

Both trail run events will take place on the Sunday of the two events in questions: The runs take place on April 28 and September 22. There will be one watering point along both routes.
The event starts and finishes at the Arabella Country Estate (Phase 2 site), situated at the foot of the Palmiet Mountain range. The race will take runners through breathtaking scenery including the Kogelberg Biosphere.

>> More Info  <<

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