Two runners under five hours at Three Peaks

Run Ride Dive News
Run Ride Dive News

Photo: Shawn Benjamin

Two runners under five hours at Three Peaks

 This year’s edition of the Three Peaks Challenge, held in proud partnership with K-Way, saw perfect weather conditions and the very first sub-five-hour times; two of them! Race winner Andre Calitz took 17 minutes off the record he set last year and became the first runner to smash through the five-hour barrier to finish the grueling 50-kilometre course in 4 hours 50 minutes 21 seconds. Three-times winner Andrew Hagen clocked-in five-and-a-half minutes later to post an impressive sub-five time of 4 hours 56 minutes 5 seconds.

“After Andre’s record-shattering win last year we expected something of a humdinger this year and humdinger is what we got with both Andre and Andrew taking the Three Peaks Challenge into a new dimension,” says race organiser Gavin Snell, referring to the sub-5 hour times that these men ran on the 50-kilometre Three Peaks Challenge course.

This was the second successive year that K-Way-sponsored athlete Calitz took the win from three-times winner Hagen and in the process he knocked an astounding 17 minutes off his time from last year to become the first person to complete the Challenge in under five hours. His winning time was 4 hours 50 minutes 21 seconds. Hagen also managed to break the five-hour barrier with his time of 4 hours 56 minutes 5 seconds.

After completing the first of the three peaks (Devil’s Peak) only 10 seconds separated Calitz and Hagen at the Greenmarket Square turnaround. Calitz had predicted pre-race that any gains would need to be made on Platteklip Gorge and by the time he returned to Greenmarket Square after the second leg he was six-minutes clear of Hagen.

On the final leg, the race up Lion’s Head, Calitz proved his ascending mastery by increasing his lead by a further four minutes by the time he arrived at the beacon. A fast-descending Hagen made a strong attempt to catch Calitz but this burst of speed was too late to catch the strong-finishing Calitz who ended up five-and-a-half minutes ahead at the finish.

Calitz doesn’t find it a distraction to run with challengers like Hagen or Ake Fagereng. “It’s nice to run with Ake and Andrew as they know the route really well and all the short cuts too!” he says.

It is no easy task for Calitz to escape these runners. “I don’t put on bursts to try to shake them,” he explains. “I just run harder and harder till they drop”. And as he doesn’t like descending with someone on his heels, Calitz tries to break away on the climbs.

The women’s race also saw a record-breaking performance from Katya Soggot. She took control of the race from the start and went on to break Sylvie Harris’ six-year-old record (by a fraction under two minutes). Her winning time of 6 hours 15 minutes 27 seconds placed her 9th overall. Jane Wyngaard finished in second place (7:06:53) with last year’s winner, Caroline Balkwill, completing the podium (07:11:16).

 

  • 100 people completed the 2012 Three Peaks Challenge.
  • 74-year-old Brian Key continued to astonish with his 16th place (7:14:35). This was his 12th Three Peaks finish.
  • Race organiser Gavin Snell completed the challenge for a record 16th time. His knees are not impressed.
  • Husband and wife Mark and Annie Lemmon both completed their 10th Three Peaks. Ten people have now completed the Three Peaks Challenge 10 or more times. 60 people have now completed it five or more times (thus earning permanent numbers).

 

Results:

 

TOP TEN OVERALL:

 

 

1

ANDRE CALITZ

01:42:52

01:51:20

01:16:09

04:50:21

2

ANDREW HAGEN

01:42:42

01:57:38

01:15:45

04:56:05

3

DOM WILLS

01:51:44

02:13:29

01:35:58

05:41:11

4

AKE FAGERENG

01:47:38

02:29:08

01:34:25

05:51:11

5

LEN VERWEY

02:02:36

02:19:13

01:33:13

05:55:02

6

MARK PIKKER

02:03:39

02:28:53

01:29:40

06:02:12

7

RUPERT BECKER

01:51:37

02:28:36

01:43:22

06:03:35

8

COLE STANTON

02:04:46

02:25:06

01:42:01

06:11:53

9

KATYA SOGGOT

02:04:41

02:33:39

01:37:07

06:15:27

10

DANIEL SCHLIMPER

01:46:22

02:43:30

02:01:17

06:31:09

WOMEN:

 

1

KATYA SOGGOT

02:04:41

02:39:16

01:31:30

06:15:27

2

JANE WYNGAARD

02:13:34

02:55:36

01:57:43

07:06:53

3

CAROLINE BALKWILL

02:15:43

02:53:27

02:02:06

07:11:16

 

 

About Andre Calitz

Trail runner Andre ‘AJ’ Calitz is a record-setting South African trail runner. Over the past two years he has won numerous local races, frequently setting new records on challenging courses. He is sponsored by the outdoor brand K-Way.

In just the past six months Calitz ascended Table Mountain’s Platteklip Gorge a record 11 times between sunrise and sunset to win the K-Way Platteklip Charity Challenge. He then won the two-day Grootvadersbosch Trail Run, where he set new records on both days. At the end of August, running in wind and rain, Calitz won the 80-kilometre Hi-Tec Peninsula Ultra Fun Run (PUFfeR) and set a new record time of six hours, 59 minutes and 36 seconds, becoming the first runner to set a sub-7 hour time on the original, full-distance route.

 

Only three weeks ago Calitz placed second at The Otter, a 42-kilometre trail run on the iconic Otter Hiking Trail. Even more impressive was that Andre, together with race winner Iain Don-Wauchope, became the first runners to break the 4h30 barrier. Both runners broke the course record set last year by Ryan Sandes.

Although Calitz is a relative newcomer to trail running, his pedigree is impressive. He has been a multiple All Africa Triathlon Champion, South African Duathlon and Triathlon Champion and South African Cycling Champion. He also holds silver medals for Two Oceans and Comrades finishes.

Three Peaks Challenge:

Gavin Snell

Tel: 021 761 4438 (evenings), Cell: 082 792 9380

Email: [email protected]

 

 

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