Records tumble at 2016 Rhino Peak Challenge

2016-09-27 06:00
 Photo: supplied The Influential People (from left) Alexander Babich, Glen Haw, Tanya Smith, Sonja Krüger, Melissa Burg, Melanie Jacobs, Andrew Booth, Iain Don-Wauchope, Mbulelo Thinta, Ryno Griesel, Deon  Braun) at the 2016 Rhino Peak Challenge on World Rhino Day on Thursday, 22 October in the Southern Drakensberg.

Photo: supplied The Influential People (from left) Alexander Babich, Glen Haw, Tanya Smith, Sonja Krüger, Melissa Burg, Melanie Jacobs, Andrew Booth, Iain Don-Wauchope, Mbulelo Thinta, Ryno Griesel, Deon Braun) at the 2016 Rhino Peak Challenge on World Rhino Day on Thursday, 22 October in the Southern Drakensberg.

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RORY Scheffer and Holly Page celebrated World Rhino Day on Thursday by overcoming treacherous conditions and wind gusts of over 100 kilometres per hour to shatter the records for the Rhino Peak Challenge, setting new male and female Fastest Known Times (FKTs) for the 21km journey from Gooderson Drakensberg Gardens to the top of the iconic Rhino Peak and back.
As part of global World Rhino Day celebrations, the second edition of the novel Southern Drakensberg assignment seeks to raise awareness and funds for the fight against the plight of both the Rhino and the Bearded Vulture – an endangered inhabitant of the Maloti Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site that played host to the event.
As Scheffer and Lucky Miya met each other stride for stride for the majority of the encounter, the pair unknowingly spurred each other to both soar past the previous FKT of 2h45 by eleven minutes, with Scheffer’s late charge earning him the day’s line honours and the new FKT crown.
“This was definitely the shortest races I’ve done in the Berg but one of the tougher ones,” explained Scheffer. “The sheer altitude gain in the first ten kilometres was something quite different and the wind played a big part in things too.”
“It was a howling wind up the top that most people here had never experienced before and definitely played a big part in making the Rhino Peak Challenge tougher and slower than expected.
“It was beautiful though and definitely one of my favourite events, especially as the vibe here at the Rhino Peak Challenge is also quite unique.
“Yes we’re all here to go as quick as we can so that we can raise as much money as we can but everyone is a lot more relaxed than normal and the social side of things was great.
“None of us were really here to outdo each other and the fact that the FKT record was there to be broken was an incentive to push for a faster time in order for us to raise more money, not to try break the record as such.
“The organisation of the event was also top notch and I think the event is just going to keep getting better and better,” he added.
After a group of twelve influential people started the challenge at 7am, Scheffer and Miya – joined by eight other top male and female trail runners from throughout South Africa and abroad – followed at 9am and remarkably completed the combined ascent and descent in just two hours and thirty four minutes. Visit www.rhinopeakchallenge.co.za - Supplied.

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