The Heaven & Hell Marathon is intended to provide the ultimate mountain running challenge in Africa, and is not recommended as a Comrades qualifier! The race is an absolutely brutal 44 km mountain run with 3 756 m total elevation gain over extremely technical terrain. That translates into 85 m elevation gain per km; an amount of climbing which no other race in South Africa comes close to matching. The organisers have also not been able to find any 44 km race globally that includes as much climbing as the Heaven & Hell.
The race is run at an average altitude of 2 150 m and the route has everything a mountain runner looking for the ultimate challenge could hope for – extremely steep gradients, ridiculously technical wilderness terrain, multiple crossings of the famous Bell River, two peak summits at over 2 500 m, pristine mountains and spectacular scenery. A few sections of the ascents and descents will require scrambling and liberal use of grass tufts as handholds!
Entries open on 1 February 2019
Participants can choose to enter the 22km half marathon distance with 1 878 m total elevation gain, or the ultimate challenge of the 44 km race with 3 756 m total elevation gain, which will be the most grueling marathon of your life, guaranteed. The 44km race comprises 2 laps of the 22km race. The cut-off time for the 22km race is a generous 12 hours. The cut-off times for the 44km is 12.5hrs. The record for the marathon set in 2018 stands at 8hr33min. Very few athletes are therefore expected to finish the 44km race within the cut-off times, but those who do will have the satisfaction of knowing that they completed one of the world’s toughest mountain races and will receive an engraved Heaven & Hell sheep-bell.
For friends and family members there will be an 8 km race (760m elevation gain and cut off of 6hrs) which follows the first section of the marathon route. We are excited to announce that we will also offer a 14km race. There will also be a scenic and enjoyable 5km fun run along the Bell River and various other fun activities for the whole family, including hiking, fly-fishing and tennis.
Please contact Hylton on 0725292747 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for more details
Heaven and Hell Mountain MarathonHeaven and Hell Mountain Marathon
Race Information 2019:
Date: Saturday 21 September 2019
Venue: Grace-Hill Farm, 4km East of Rhodes Village
Presented By: Alpine Swift Trails High Altitude Training Facility
• 44.2km race with
• 22.1km race with
• 14 km race with TBC elevation gain
• 8km race with
Race Start Times:
• 44km race – 06h00
• 22km race – 06h00
• 14km race – TBC
• 8km race – 08h30
• 5km fun run – 09h00
Race Entry Fee:
• 44km Race – R950
• 22km Race – R650
• 14km Race – R400
• 8km Race – R250
• 5km Fun Run – R30
Early Bird: 1 – 28 Feb 2019
A 10% discount is applicable for entries and/or meals and/or accommodation booked at Alpine Swift
Enter online at www.alpineswifttrails.co.za click on “Heaven and Hell” and scroll down to the online entry form.
Select your race and which meals you would like.
You will then be emailed an invoice for payment.
Your entry and meals are then secured upon payment.
The following meals will be on offer: Prices are per person.
Friday Briefing Dinner – R180 (3
Saturday Runners’ Breakfast – R80
Saturday Dinner – R180 (3
Sunday Prize Giving Breakfast – R140 (full spread)
There will be beverages and alcohol on sale.
There is limited accommodation available at the race venue (Alpine Swift Trails)
Please book this accommodation directly with Sunelle (do not book accommodation via any of our accommodation websites as this will be blocked).
Accommodation at Alpine Swift Trails High Altitude Training Facility:
All accommodation is self-catering.
Swallows Nest Chalet:
Exclusive private mountain chalet with spectacular views. Fireplace. Deck with Braai. Eskom. Sleeps 2. On Suite.
Amanzi Empilo Rondawel:
Training Facility Rooms 1-4:
Overlooking the 25m natural swimming pool and tennis court. Sleeps 4 in two bunker beds. The kitchen, ablutions, lounge, fireplace, braai areas are all shared.
Training Facility Family Rooms 5&6: Overlooking the 25m natural swimming pool and tennis court. Each room is on suite and has own fireplace. Double Bed and bunker bed. Sleeps 4
Self Catering Accommodation in and around Rhodes area:
Mt Nephin Guesthouse: Vicky Lee 072 405 4618
Rhodes Info: Margie 045 971 9003
Elizma den Heyer: 083 659 3271
Tiffindell Ski Resort: 045 974 9004
Tenahead Mountain Lodge: 045 971 8901
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
Please note that there are no money prizesTrophies will be awarded to all finishers of the 8km, 14km, 22km and 44km races within cut off.
Sponsorship Prizes will be awarded to the male and female winners of the 5km, 8km, 14km 22km
Please visit the “Routes and Profiles:” page for routes and profiles for all races. This info will be available from 1 March 2019.
The 22km race is as follows: An 8km loop on the southern side of the Bell River and a 14km loop on the northern side of the Bell River.
Those entering the 44km race are required to do the 22km route twice.
These races are run at an average altitude of 2 150 m and the route has everything a mountain runner looking for the ultimate challenge could hope for – extremely steep gradients, ridiculously technical wilderness terrain, multiple crossings of the famous Bell River, two peak summits at over 2 500 m, pristine mountains and spectacular scenery. A few sections of the ascents and descents will require scrambling and liberal use of grass tufts as handholds! There are no roads, very few paths and jeep tracks, some rock hopping and 235 stairs to start off with! There are many climbs, many descents
The route is runnable in most places for those that have some form of mountain running technical ability. The route does not traverse steep cliffs, ledges or places where rope work etc. would be necessary. Athletes are however required to stay on the marked / GPS route at all times to avoid landing up in trouble as there are many potentially dangerous sections close to the official race route. Concentration is vital. You need to concentrate at all times to stay on the route. You also need to concentrate
Navigation on the 8km, 14km, 22km
The route will be well marked. The next marker will be visible from the previous one. Should you not pass a marker after having run 500 meters or more from the previous marker, the rule will be to return to the previous marker and to navigate your way again carefully to the next marker. All markers need to be passed. Marshalls will be placed along the route. Anyone found not following the marked route will be disqualified. Your GPS unit will confirm the correct route. Although the route is well marked, the GPS track needs
There will be 4 manned checkpoints:
Start / Finish CP
CP 1 (approx. 4.5km)
CP 2 (approx. 11.5km)
CP 3 (approx. 14km)
It is the responsibility of the participant to ensure that the
Water on the route:
The route passes a few watercourses. Depending on sufficient rainfall or snow, there may be running water in these watercourses. The water in the streams and rivers is usually drinkable. The water in the higher lying areas is some of the cleanest and
Seconding / Refuelling
Compulsory Gear for
• Space Blanket
• The route map
• Your race number
• Waterproof Jacket / Rain Jacket
• Your racing
• Warm jacket or fleece top
• Charged cell phone with race
• Basic hikers backpack containing at least 1L of water in
• First aid kit containing headache tablets, rigid strapping & knife/scissors.
• Trail running shoes or hiking boots that have sufficient grip. Road running shoes, sandals will not work in the mountains.
Compulsory Gear for 14km, 22km
This is an extreme event in the mountains where so many things could go wrong and therefore we are going to be strict regarding compulsory gear. Please
• Space Blanket
• The route map
• Your race number
• Waterproof Jacket
• Your racing
• Long sleeve thermal top
• Cap• Beanie
• Buff• Gloves
• Charged cell phone with race
• GPS unit (incl. batteries) with the race track
• 1 x set spare batteries for GPS unit
• Hydration backpack containing a carrying capacity of minimum 2L water.
• First aid kit containing
• Headlamp with spare batteries – only for the 44km race
• Trail Running shoes that have sufficient grip. Road running shoes will not work in the mountains.
Recommended Gear for 8km, 14km, 22km
• Waterproof gloves
• Waterproof long pants• Eye
Compulsory Kit Checks:
Kit checks before the start of the races.
Please ensure that you have all the necessary kit items listed in the Compulsory Gear above.
There will be random kit checks along the route.
Should you not be in possession of any of the listed compulsory kit as listed above, you will be disqualified from the event.
Race Registration and Medical Checks for 14km, 22km
At race registration for the 14km, 22km
Various Race Garments will be on sale at the race.
Rhodes falls in a summer rainfall area.
The race date was chosen as we don’t expect much rain or snow in September. However, it is possible that bad weather could set in at any time in these mountains and that is why a GPS unit is part of the compulsory kit.
Expect windy weather. It is usually more windy towards the top of the mountains.
Activities, Food & Fuel:
If you are not running in the main races, the following activities will be on offer at Grace-Hill Farm whilst the lap races are underway:
• 5 km Fun Run• Horse Riding R75 for 30 min
• Tennis – Tournament or Social on Race Day TBC
• Bird Watching
• Fly Fishing (Please bring your own rod and talk to management regarding licensing etc before you fish)
• Walks along the Bell River
• 4 x 4 routes and mountain bike routes in the area
• Viewing of the high altitude training facility in progress
• Picnic / Controlled Braai spots along Bell River under Willow trees.
There will be food, soft drinks, fruit juice and alcoholic beverages on sale.
There is a very well stocked tourist shop on the farm that sells food, beverages
Please note that there is no fuel station in Rhodes Village. Please fill up at the closest town before Rhodes (Barkly East).
For emergencies, Sean de Wet does carry sufficient quantities of petrol and diesel from his house in Rhodes Village. Sean can be contacted on 083 327 1724.
Fauna & Flora:
All events are run through private farmlands.
You may encounter Vaal Rhebuck, Mountain Reedbuck, Greywing Francolin, rabbits, sheep, cattle, goats, horses
Anyone found deliberately damaging any fauna & flora will be disqualified.
Assistance during the Race:
• No assistance may be accepted from any person or facility not connected to the event or crew. Seconds are permitted only at the
• No participant may carry equipment or supplies for another participant.
It is essential that if any participant retires from the event, that he/she notifies the Race Directors, Sunelle Dunn or Hylton Dunn and the timekeepers at the
All persons that are participating in the events or in the activities as mentioned above will be asked to sign an indemnity form. These forms will be signed at the compulsory briefing on Friday night or from the
From a personal note, we would like to mention that you are indeed entering what the toughest race in the country, if not in the world in terms of climbing ratio!! You will be climbing approximately 85 vertical meters per
Alpine Swift Trails
Grace-Hill Farm, Rhodes
Heaven & Hell Mountain Marathon
Routes and Profiles:
Routes and Profiles
5km Fun Run
|1||Alex Jongens||Alicia Grobler||Greg McQueen|
|2||Yonela Nyondlo||Dan Moody||Hylton Dunn|
|3||Lebo Molemane||Gerhard Vosloo|
|4||Mihaela Petcu||Janine Barnard|
|5||Mitzi Heiriss||Kevin Storm|
|6||Nonpumelelo Ginya||Nic Wiltshire|
|7||Palesa Sengoatsi||Oscar Mampetlane|
|8||Patience Mashela||Stone Gopane|
|9||Sally Moolman||Travers Pellew|
|11||Ayanda Khayikhaya||Duandri Botha|
|12||Nicole Coetzee||Sydney Speelman|
|13||Brink Botha||Xolile Madi|
Online Registration :
Upon submitting your online registration, you will then receive a quotation email from the race organisers. Your entry will be secure once payment is made