For such a relatively small country, South Africa has more than its fair-share of exceptionally endurance athletes, adventurers, and explorers. Case in point, it was just a few weeks ago that I wrote about a new record setting run on the Drakensberg Grand Traverse that was set by ultra-runners Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel. Turns out they aren’t the only South Africans to set new records these past few weeks, as trail runner Andre ‘AJ’ Calitz recently put in an impressive performance on Table Mountain, the iconic landmark that overlooks Cape Town.
On Saturday, April 5, Calitz ran up and down the 1085 meter (3558 ft) tall flat-topped mountain an unbelievable 14.5 times in 12 hours. That gave him a vertical gain over that period of 10,257 meters (33,651 ft). That’s the equivalent of running up Everest, plus an additional 1409 meters (4622 ft), over the course of half a day.
The trail, which is a demanding climb up a tough trail, features more than 800 double-sized steps over a 700 meter (2296 ft) stretch, which added a unique element to the run. AJ indicated that the uneven steps caused more issues, rather than actually helping him. Still, he managed an ascent every 35 minutes. The climb typically takes hikers anywhere from 1-2 hours to complete.
The video below will give you an idea of what this trail is like, and how challenging it must have been to run up and down it, not just once, but 14+ times. That’s a pretty impressive feat of endurance. Well done Andre!
Thanks to Lisa for sharing this as always!
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