Heaven & Hell 2016 – Results

Race Results

Event Name Total Time
1 lap race Dawn Green 3hr41min
1 lap race Jake Green 3hr41min
2 lap race Sydney Speelman 3hr43min
2 lap race Xolile Madi 3hr43min
2 lap race Byron Duke 3hr51min
2 lap race Lyndon Nash 4hr20min
2 lap race Gerhard Vosloo 6hr45min
2 lap race Bertus Uys 7hr12min
3 lap race Alicia Grobler 9hr22min
4 lap race Tony de Castro 9hr39min
6 lap race Bennie Roux 12hr59min
6 lap race Hylton Dunn 12hr59min

Race Report

The Heaven & Hell Mountain Circuit Run 2016 Race Report

On Saturday the 1st of October, Grace-Hill Farm hosted the inaugural Heaven & Hell Mountain Circuit Run where athletes are challenged to repeatedly summit a mountain at 2473m above sea level, in a circular lap format. The event consists of a 1,2,4 or 6 lap race. Each lap is just over 8km in length and includes over 800m of elevation gain, and no other race in Africa requires nearly so much climbing per kilometre.
Upon arrival at Grace-Hill Farm, the athletes and race crew had mixed feelings about this daunting challenge. The field was a mixture of experienced athletes from various backgrounds. Nerves were somewhat settled once the race started at 05h30am on Saturday in perfect weather conditions.
The route is highly technical, but the beauty and splendour of the area helps the athletes to forget about the pain involved in completing this mammoth task. The route starts at 1820m above sea level and briefly follows a river bed before turning upward via 235 stairs leading to the top of the first foothill. The runners then traverse a ridgeline to Check Point 1 where a descent and another rise leads them to the base of the major climb. This long, uninterrupted climb up the steep mountain slope includes an elevation gain of some 500m and ends at checkpoint 2. A gradual climb then leads to a steep, narrow gorge which in turn leads to Checkpoint 3 on the 2473m summit of the mountain. The runners then start the challenging, sharp descent down the rock strewn mountain slopes leading down to a forest section and river bed which is followed to the  finish area.
The profile of the 6 lap race was recorded as follows courtesy of Bennie Roux:

 

All athletes are required to carry compulsory kit as well as their own food and water supplies. For safety reasons, the athletes need to pass all the route markers and check in at the 3 checkpoints.

Results were as follows:

Event Name Total Time
1 lap race Dawn Green 3hr41min
1 lap race Jake Green 3hr41min
2 lap race Sydney Speelman 3hr43min
2 lap race Xolile Madi 3hr43min
2 lap race Byron Duke 3hr51min
2 lap race Lyndon Nash 4hr20min
2 lap race Gerhard Vosloo 6hr45min
2 lap race Bertus Uys 7hr12min
3 lap race Alicia Grobler 9hr22min
4 lap race Tony de Castro 9hr39min
6 lap race Bennie Roux 12hr59min
6 lap race Hylton Dunn 12hr59min

The mountain circuit race is a unique event for South Africa. The hardship of overcoming the mountain is the ultimate challenge.

An event like this relies heavily on the contributions of organisers, marshals, medics, sponsors, catering, landowners and checkpoint assistants; our thanks go to the following:

  • Twizza
  • Fred Leask from U-Mac Poultry
  • Philip, Deidre, Simon and Raymond Gush
  • Mariaan, Ananda & Bianca Henning
  • The Barkly East Reporter
  • Margie Murray & Rhodes Info Centre
  • Sean de Wet
  • Johan & Toni Spies
  • Gardmed Ambulance Services
  • Sunelle Dunn and all Staff at Alpine Swift Trails High Altitude Training Facility & Grace-Hill Farm
  • Tony & Liezel de Castro
  • Alta & Theo Welter
  • Bernard Reyneke
  • Irene Walker
  • Robin Turnbill

All athletes and race crew had comfortable accommodation and were treated to local cuisine. Particular thanks to Mariaan Henning, Deidre Gush and Toni Spies for the mouth watering meals provided during the course of the weekend.
A 5.5km Fun Run was also held which followed a scenic route along the reach of the Bell River flowing through Grace Hill Farm.

Results of the 5.5km Fun Run:

First place:         Zenzile Booysen – 21min42sec
Second place:    Vuyo Nameko – 22min03sec
Third place:        Sinethemba Njxazozo – 23min56sec

The event also showcased the development of Alpine Swift Trails which is our newly completed High Altitude Training Facility. The facility caters for all the needs of athletes wishing to acclimatise and train at altitude. Apart from training, athletes will have access to pilates, gym, physiotherapy, body assessments, swimming, coaching and nutrition.

The highlight of the event was that personal relationships were developed due to the small size of the field comprising like-minded individuals with a passion for extreme mountain running. We are very grateful for the invaluable assistance provided by local residents and farmers. Their combined efforts produced a unique and highly successful race which we believe will become an iconic event for those with passion for testing their personal limits in an unspoilt mountain wilderness. We are ultimately grateful to the Lord Jesus Christ for answering our prayers and enabling us to host this event.

Hylton & Sunelle Dunn.