JJ de Villiers, known to many in Hout Bay as a super-hero crime-fighter, proved he is a champion in the mountains too after recently completing Ryan Sandes 13 Peaks Challenge with his hiking buddy, Garth Loots.
“When you are a bit on the bigger side, sporting challenges like this are generally not aimed at guys like myself,” says JJ. “So it is really awesome that someone like Ryan Sandes, set up a challenge open to all to do.”
JJ and Garth completed the 126km route in 6 days earning their Multi-Day 13 Peaks Badge.
In his youth, JJ was a professional rugby player, but after a number of serious injuries to his knee, his career was cut short. Fast forward to getting married, having a few kids, and taking up a 24/7 job of protecting the Hout Bay community, before he knew it JJ was weighing in at 182kg.
“A year ago I realised I needed to do something if I wanted to live long enough to see my kids grow up, so I took up hiking,” explains JJ. “I started with short routes that got a bit longer and then longer still. I really started enjoying my time in the mountain, I started losing weight (I’m now down to 135kg) and it really helped with my head space.”
“When JJ saw Ryan’s post on social media about his 13 Peaks Challenge, he knew this was something that he could attempt. “