Hout Bay ultra-trail athlete, Linda Doke, became the first person to achieve the 13 Peak Challenge in under 24 hours and running solo, when she arrived back at the start at Signal Hill three minutes before 7pm on Saturday, clocking 22 hours 57 minutes for the grueling 110 km route.
The challenge has become the ultimate in trail running adventure in the Cape, following trail star Ryan Sandes’ throwing down the gauntlet earlier this year, and takes in thirteen of the toughest, most iconic peaks in the Peninsula.
Sandes was aware of adventurous mountain trail challenges in other parts of the planet, such as the Bob Graham Round in the Lake District in England and felt inspired to introduce a similar challenge in his favourite training grounds in Cape Town. He pioneered the challenge with running friend Kane Reilly earlier the year.
Under-estimating the length of the route, the pair were forced to abort their attempt after summiting the twelfth peak, as the light failed them, but the challenge had been set to tag 13 peaks in the circuit - Signal Hill then Lions Head, followed by MacLears Beacon, Grootkop, Judas Peak, Klein Leeukop, Suther Peak, Chapman’s Peak, Noordhoek Peak, Muizenberg Peak, Constantiaberg, Klassenkop, Devils Peak and back to Signal Hill.
Sandes is encouraging runners and hikers to do the 13 peak circuit to make full use of daylight hours, and tackle the circuit over two or several days, maximising the impact of the stunning views from the peaks.