Posts Tagged ‘devil’s Peak’

Three Peaks Challenge – Will the record go?

The record for the Three Peaks Challenge (Next event – November 6, 2010) is one of the longest standing trail records in the Western Cape, if not the country. (Quick disclaimer – I have based that on no more than the fact that the record was set in 2001 and as most trail runs these days only started after that and others have had their records broken regularly – I came to that conclusion – am happy to be corrected – end of disclaimer.)

The Three Peaks Challenge, for those that don’t know, is an annual event which starts at Greenmarket Square in Cape Town, pretty much at sea level, and involves running (or walking for some of us) up Cape Town’s three peaks; Devil’s Peak, Maclears Beacon via Platteklip Gorge and Lion’s Head, returning to the square after each peak.

A fun and challenging day out for most of us fun runners but there’s always a group of super charged, super fit and super fast runners, who go out to win it and break the record if they can. The record is held by Chad Ulansky, a Canadian cross country skier, who in 2001 entered at the last minute, you could in those days, and blitzed the tough course in 5:27:29 – a record that still stands today, albeit with a bit of luck.

Guys have come close but the record stands. Three time winner (1998, 2002, 2003) & multiple comrades gold medallist, Danny Biggs, threatened the record in 2002, winning in 5:33:51, Bruce Arnett, one of the country’s top trail runners, came agonisingly close in 2008, finishing in 5:28:08, missing it by 39 seconds. Considering that Arnett is from out of town and did not know the route that record is lucky to be still standing.

But stand it does, last year’s winner, Andrew Hagen (also the 2007 winner) also came close with an impressive 5:34:27 .  So can the record go and who can win it? Not knowing all of the entrants and their abilities, two names stand out for me; double winner, Ake Fagereng (2004 and 2005), won this year’s Hout Bay Trail Challenge, looks in good form and is probably just favourite ahead of Hagen. Hagen, always a threat, is an effortlessly fast runner with a well disguised, competitive edge. Should be a good one and I think that record may be in danger.

Me, I’ll be enjoying outing number 9 in my favourite run on the calendar. Those mentioned above are the ones that I see at the square after my first two peaks – they are already finished and sitting around drinking beers.

See the history, results and  pics at

Three Peaks Challenge