For 18 years runners have assembled before sunrise on Long Street for the start of a race that takes them up and down three peaks surrounding the Cape Town City Bowl: Devil’s Peak, Maclear’s Beacon (via Platteklip Gorge) and Lion’s Head. Participants have 14-hours to complete this 50-kilometre Three Peaks Challenge, which is presented in proud partnership with K-Way.
Looking at the line up, race organiser Gavin Snell has his money on K-Way athlete Lucky Miya.
“Aside from Lucky, who is coming from Jo’burg for his first Three Peaks, no other names stand out for a hands-down win; he is the outstanding favourite. But, there are also always new people who come along to run that are completely unknown. Three years ago we didn’t know who AJ Calitz was; he won his first Three Peaks in 2011 and again 2012. He holds the course record for the fastest time ever.”
“But,” Snell adds, “Lucky doesn’t know the route and this may open the door for strong runners, like Dom Wills, who have the experience and speed and know the route.”
As Miya has never been on the course, his objective is just to make it through without taking a wrong trail.
“I’m completely in the dark about the route. I would have loved to come down early to scout the route but due to my work commitments this has not been possible. I’ll have to struggle and survive on the day,” he says.
In August Miya flew to Colorado to run the 21-kilometre, uphill-only Pikes Peak Ascent. He placed 19th overall and 4th in his age category.
“My experience and training from Pikes Peak will boost me a lot but Three Peaks will require great fitness to go up such challenging steep climbs,” he adds.
“I’ve had a busy year and I can feel the fatigue now so I won’t be going out 100%,” Miya explains. “On Saturday I’m going to have fun and be part of this event that my sponsor, K-Way, also supports. This year I will learn the route so I can go hard in 2015.”
Three Peaks is the type of event that runners return to year-after-year. Even race organiser Snell is in for his 18th run.
“And then there is Brian Key,” says Snell. “He is turning 76 in November and he’ll be running his 13th Three Peaks. Until a few years ago he was still running in the Top 10, even at the age of 70! Katya Soggott will be running her 3rd Three Peaks; she holds the women’s record.”
The Three Peaks Challenge, held in partnership with K-Way, starts at 05h00 on Saturday, 1 November 2014. 150 runners will attempt to ascend all three peaks by 19h00 – a 14-hour allowance. The course record of 4:50:21 was set by K-Way athlete AJ Calitz in 2012. Spectators are invited to watch the runners from Tafelberg Road, where there is an aid station. Information on the race can be found on the Three Peaks Challenge website – www.threepeakschallenge.co.za