7 reasons to summit Cathedral Peak on Mandela Day

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 2 July 2018 Tags:,

Want an opportunity to scale one of the highest peaks in the Drakensberg, raise money for a good cause and get a discount on accommodation all at once?

Cathedral Peak Challenge. Image: supplied

Here’s why doing the Cathedral Peak Challenge on Mandela Day (18 July 2018), marking the centenary of Madiba’s birth, is a great idea:

1. You’ll feel good, mentally and physically

Cathedral Peak Challenge. Image: supplied

Whether you walk or trail run the 20,7km to the top of Cathedral Peak, climbing a total of 1531m to the final altitude of 3005m, you’ll feel great.

The sense of accomplishment for reaching the highest free-standing peak in the Drakensberg, the endorphins released from excercise and the view will make it worth every bead of sweat and blistered toe.

2. It’s for a (very) good cause

2017/2018 Mrs South Africa, Nicole Capper will attempt to summit again, this time leading a group of 67. Image: supplied

You have the option of topping up your R250 race entry by R100. The funds raised will be used to purchase sanitary pads to help keep a girl child in school, as part of the Caring4Girls programme.

Up to 50 days of school are missed each year by young girls in poorer communities who are not in a position to buy feminine hygiene products. UNICEF states that more educated women tend to be healthier, work and earn more income, have fewer children, and provide better health care and education to their children. So it’s easy to see how important it is for girls not to miss school.

3. You can summit as part of a team

Cathedral Peak Challenge. Image: supplied

Nicole Capper, Mrs South Africa 2017/2018, has already conquered the mountain but as an advocate for woman’s health she’ll be doing it again. She has issued a call for 67 individuals to join her in raising funds and awareness and has committed to leading this group to the peak. Why not join her?

4. Your ascent will be mirrored by a tougher one

Cathedral Peak Challenge. Image: supplied

While you are running or hiking up Cathedral Peak, a 67 strong Trek4Mandela team will be climbing Mt Kilimanjaro at the same time for the same cause.

This contingent will be led by Sibusiso Vilane – the first black African to conquer the three Poles challenge: South Pole, North Pole and Mount Everest. The collective funds raised from this double summit (there will be two teams attempting to summit this year) will also be allocated to the Caring4Girls programme.

Also read: Why Madagascar is paradise for trail runners

5. There’s prize money up for grabs

Cathedral Peak. Image: supplied

Cathedral Peak Hotel has put up R25000 as prize money for each of the three race categories, including the fastest male, female and mixed team of two. The route record for 2018, currently sits with Christiaan Greyling who has conquered the peak in 2h29min. The race on Mandela Day will be the second in the series of five Cathedral Peak Challenge races.

6. You can save on the cost of your accommodation

Cathedral Peak Hotel. Image: supplied

Although you needn’t stay at the Cathedral Peak Hotel – situated in the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site to take part in the Challenge, if you do, you’ll get a 25% discount for the duration of your stay while running the Challenge.

7. There’s a mini version

Cathedral Peak Challenge. Image: supplied

For those who can’t make the full ascent but want to participate there’s The Cathedral Peak Challenge Mini. It’s the same route, but stops shy of the peak, ending at the Base Camp just below the summit. It is an untimed and unsupported route that can be completed on any day (weather permitting) between 1 June and 30 September.

For more information visit cathedralpeak.co.za/challenge