On Friday Ryan Sandes will be running a Fastest Known Time (FKT) for a 16km route across Table Mountain in Cape Town, which is amongst the new 7 wonders of nature and is a World Heritage Site. There is over 1400m of climbing, and super technical running along the 16km course. He has partnered with Red Bull for this project and they will be setting up a website where local runners can run the route and record their times and the runner with the fastest time will be able to join Ryan, as a spectator, when he travels to the Island of Reunion to run Raid of Reunion later this year.
The website will be live from next week
Table Mountain Crossing Fastest Known Time Route
The route is from Suikerbossie Restaurant to the SANParks information centre on lower Tafelberg Road. It takes in Llandudno Ravine and the Kasteelpoort beacon, from where it routes through the Valley of the Red Gods and toward Platteklip Gorge. Then via the Upper Table Mountain Contour path it winds to the Kloof Nek corner beacon and on to the finish.
Detailed Route Description (step-by-step)
Start at the main entrance gate to Suikerbossie Restaurant and run towards Llandudno Ravine (Hout Bay Trail Challenge leg 2 route).
Head up Llandudno Ravine where the first Check Point will be a quarter of the way up the climb. Once on top of the mountain, follow the trail towards Kasteelpoort and do not take any of the turn off’s, including the turn off to the WoodHead Reservoir.
Once you reach the beacon at the top of Kasteelpoort, continue straight through the Valley of the Red Gods and towards Platteklip Gorge.
Do not take the turn down to Kasteelpoort.
You will pop out at the top of Platteklip Gorge where Check Point two is. Head down Platteklip Gorge but DO NOT run all the way down to Tafelberg Road.
You must take the Upper Table Mountain Contour path towards Kloof Nek corner (you will run under the Cable Car) and turn down right on the trail once you get to the Kloof Nek corner beacon.
The third and final Check Point is on the Kloof Nek corner trail heading down towards Tafelberg Road.
Follow this trail down to Tafelberg Road. Once you hit the road, turn left follow the road down to the SANParks information centre in the parking-lot where the Table Mountain Trail Challenge starts.
Touch the far lefthand side (if you are facing towards the city centre) of the information hut and you have finished.
The run starts with a massive climb up Llandudno Ravine to warm your lungs and legs up. This is a super technical climb to the top of Table Mountain with lots of rock stairs and scrambling. Once on top of Table Mountain the route is a little flatter but don’t be fooled it is not completely flat. It is very technical running along a single track which can be quite overgrown and seeing large snakes is a common occurrence. The views on top of Table Mountain are amazing and makes every drop of sweat getting up to the top of the mountain worth while. Once you get to the Valley of the Red Gods you have a few small ladders to negotiate before descending Platteklip Gorge. This is the hardest part of the run for me, as you have big rock stairs leading down Platteklip which kill your legs and you also have to constantly dodge tourists hiking up the mountain. Once on the contour path, the running is fairly fast to the finish but your legs will be feeling tired after the big descent off Table Mountain. The route is around 16km, but is very slow moving and you can never get into any rhythm. I love the run as it is in my “back garden” and I feel right at home.