As anticipated, AJ Calitz crushed Chris Solar’s previous world record of 10 060 m this past Saturday (5 April), ascending Table Mountain’s Platteklip Gorge 14, 5 times in 12 hours – that is, 10 257 vertical metres.
Owing to this, Calitz’ name is expected to be etched in the Guinness World Book of Records for greatest vertical height climbing stairs in 12 hours, but will take a couple of months to be verified by Guinness – adding to his already impressive set of records.
“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 ¾ way to the top,” said Calitz.
And compared to previous records set in building stairwells with handrails regular stairs, Calitz averaged 35 minutes per ascent up a rocky trail.
“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.”
“When I broke the current record, I had my coach, Christoff Smit and trail running legend Christiaan Greyling with me, and they urged me to carry on to make sure we have the record and improve it.”