Table Mountain is one of the world’s most popular attractions as it is one of the famed Seven Wonders. Many flock to the Cape annually just to marvel at its beauty, and a fair number of records have also been broken on the mountain.
One such record that was broken on Table Mountain was achieved by runner Andre ‘AJ’ Calitz in 2014, when he ran up and down Platteklip Gorge 14.5 times in just 12 hours That equates to 10 257 vertical metres.
“I just focussed on one lap at a time and thought, it is just 14 and a bit, that bit turned out to be about three-quarters of way to the top,” said Calitz to ClimbZA. “It is really difficult to get a rhythm as the steps are very uneven, sometimes even necessitating rock climbing on all fours. The other athletes were amazing, encouraging me every step – even the public got involved when they found out what we were doing.”
The effort earned Calitz a mention in the Guinness World Book of Records.
In 2020, Greek runner Kosta Papageorgiou attempted to run up and down Lion’s Head over the course of 500 days. He aimed to raise funds for a list of five charities, including Rape Crisis, Animal Rescue (Fallen Angels and African Tails), Chipembere Rhino Foundation, Depression SA and WSAR.
Other hiking and running enthusiasts were encouraged to climb the mountain with him, and make a small donation to his charity efforts – it did not matter if it was as small as R5.
“The hikes up Lions Head are for those who’s power was taken from them, or have had lost it during life’s events. It is a way to avenge those who suffer in silence, the humans and the animals,” the runner’s Backabuddy reads.
“We are not only here to exist, but to fight for and empower humans and animals around us. We need each other. No person is an island. I have dedicated to do the most simplest thing and reconnect with nature by going up a mountain 500 times. Along this journey I have come across animals, humans, plants and the true miracle of nature which is to bring peace back to the human spirit. To cut through all the materials we have become depended on and learn to trust and depend on each other.”