Table Mountain Challenge 2011

Saturday 17th September – sunny, 23 deg, not a breath of wind: a perfect day for running around, up and over the most picturesque mountain in Africa. What’s more, a designer day to showcase Cape Town to visiting world class international trail runners as the most beautiful city on the continent.

Kilian Jornet rockhoppin' down Kasteelspoort
The Crazy Store Table Mountain Challenge 2011 did exactly that: it displayed Table Mountain at its best. For those not in the know, the TMC takes trail runners in front, along the side, across the back, up the furthest corner, over about 10 of the Twelve Apostles (well, Seventeen actually*) on the top, and down the far side of the mountain back to the starting point at Kloof Nek.

This year the route held an extra nasty in mid-course with the addition of the 3km Rooikat Trail on leg 2 above Kirstenbosch, stretching the original 35km route to a gut-wrenching 38km.
Ryan Sandes making cliffs look easy
And who knows how he does it, but every year race organiser Trevor Ball somehow manages to wangle a deal with the weather gods for the sun to shine on race day – and pelt down with rain the day after.

Will Robinson hauling up Llandudno Corner
As if that was not enough, this 6th running of the TMC was graced by the current kings and queen of international trail running, two of whom travelled thousands of miles to race on our iconic Table Mountain.

Salomon athletes Kilian Jornet from Spain, Anna Frost of New Zealand, and our very own international champ-of-trail Ryan Sandes had the rest of us chewing dust as they burned up the course in mind-boggling times, barely breaking a sweat.

Records were smashed, legs were stretched, hearts were pounded, and knees were given a monster workout. It was CRAZY trailing!
Anna Frost about to leap off a ledge
(photos courtesy of Eric Tollner/Red Earth, Jacques Marais and Chris Hitchcock)

Top 5 Men                                  Top 5 Women
Kilian Jornet    3:41                      Anna Frost         4:11
Greg Vallet      3:46                      Susan Sloan       4:27
Allan Benn       3:49                      Su don Wauchope  4:38
William Robinson    3:56               Hanlie Booyens    4:57
Bruce Arnett    4:02                      Linda Doke         5:07

Top two teams
Nicholas Rupanga, Greg Goodall, Ryan Sandes       3:27
Ryan Scott, Andre Gie, Mark Collins             3:41

* the 17 Apostles – from the Llandudno (southern) end: Grove, Victoria, Grootkop, Kleinkop, Corridor, Slangolie, Spring, Wood, Postern, Kasteels, Valken, Barrier, Jubilee, Porcupine, Grotto, Fountain, and Cairn buttresses.

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