The Three Peaks Challenge, held anually in Cape Town, is considered to be one of South Africa's toughest foot races. The race involves runners scaling the three peaks that form the Cape Town city bowl (Devil's Peak, Table Mountain and Lion's Head) in succession, returning to the start/end point in Green Market Square after each ascent. The race covers a total distance of 60 kilometers.
The race has its origins in the 19th century when, in March 1897, C.W. Shneeberger is said to have ascended the three peaks in one day. He started his walk at the Johannesburg Hotel in Long Street, and returned to the hotel after ascending each peak. On 25 September 1927, Sandy Trimble repeated this feat and improved on Schneeberger's time. Fifty years later it was done again by Geoff Pitter.
The tradition was revived exactely 100 years after Schneeberger's first walk when Don Hartley of Celtic Harriers organised a race from 108 Long Street on Heritage Day 1997. The route for the modern-day version of the race is: start on Green Market Square (at sea level), ascend Devil's Peak (1000m above sea level) via the Saddle, back down to Green Market Square, up Table Mountain along Platteklip Gorge and onto Maclear's Beacon(1086m), back down to the square, up Lion's Head (668m) and finally back to the finish on Green Market Square.
The record for the fastest course is currently held by Danny Biggs for his ascent of all three peaks in a time of 6 hours 7 minutes. The 2001 race was won by Arvind Varsani of the University of Cape Town.
The race will be held again on the 2nd of November 2002 and is limited to 100 entrants.
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