“Hey Armand, I see you and Damien are doing the 13 peaks challenge starting this evening… any chance I could join?”
It was just one of those days, you know, the ones where you wake up feeling inspired for some bizarre reason! “I’ll pick you up in 5 hours, make sure you take lots of nutrition”.
I will admit this was the most impulsive decision I have ever made. Go attempt to be the first people to tag Cape Towns 13 peaks in under 24 hours as conceived by Ryan Sandes and Kane Reilly. Sure why not?
For the record, this would be my furthest ever run by crazy amounts!! It would be almost triple the distance or elevation and 4 times the number of hours of anything I had ever run before. I told Armand this fun fact and he had a little chuckle – “You’ll be fine, I think”. 2 of my closest friends, Calvin Amor and Logan Eales echoed these thoughts, saying it would be a crazy experience to have a crack at but also to bear in mind there is a very high possibility of complete meltdown. I accepted this as fact, telling them it was probably an 85% likelihood.
The challenge is simple, tag the following peaks on foot in order as quickly as possible.
Armand had tried two weeks earlier but not managed to break the 24-hour barrier and we were now back to try to claim the title of first people to manage the challenge in less than 24 hours.
Signal hill > Lions head > Table mountain (Maclears beacon) > Grootkop > Judas peak > Klein Leeukop > Suther peak > Chapmans peak > Noordhoek peak > Muizenberg peak > Constantiaberg (the mast) > Klassenkop > Devils peak > Signal hill.
We started just after 8pm in high spirits, and made good time on the first 2 peaks. Getting to the top of Plateklip though, I started to feel overwhelmed… we hadn’t even been going for 2 hours yet and the body was starting to feel a bit sluggish. I was getting very tired (bad nights sleep followed by a 5 am gym sesh followed by a busy workday straight into this impulse run decision). The reality that kept hitting me was that we had already spent a good amount of time on the mountain and yet we still had 22 hours to go.
The banter was good and some great conversations kept the mind off the scale of the task at hand. We tagged Mclears and traversed the top of table mountain under the full moon.