A runner at the 2013 event checks in at the third peak, Lion’s Head (above)

This Saturday sees the 18th running of the Three Peaks Challenge that assembles runners before sunrise on Long Street for the start of the 50km race. The race takes them up and down the three peaks surrounding Cape Town’s City Bowl. The runners have 14 hours to complete the race that conquers Devil’s Peak, Maclear’s Beacon via Platteklip Gorge and Lion’s Head. The Three Peaks Challenge is partnered with K-Way and race organizer, Gavin Snell, has his money on K-Way athlete Lucky Miya.

“Aside from Lucky, who is coming from Jo’burg for his first Three Peaks, no other names stand out for a hands-down win; he is the outstanding favourite. But, there are also always new people who come along to run that are completely unknown. Three years ago we didn’t know who AJ Calitz was; he won his first Three Peaks in 2011 and again 2012. He holds the course record for the fastest time ever,” says Snell. The time was 4:50:21.

“But,” Snell adds, “Lucky doesn’t know the route and this may open the door for strong runners, like Dom Wills, who have the experience and speed and know the route.”

This is Lucky’s first time doing the Three Peak Challenge and his main object would be to make it through the race without taking the wrong trail.

“I’m completely in the dark about the route. I would have loved to come down early to scout the route but due to my work commitments this has not been possible. I’ll have to struggle and survive on the day,” Lucky says.

Lucky recently did the 21km Pikes Peak Ascent in Colorado placing 19th overall and 4th in his age category.

“My experience and training from Pikes Peak will boost me a lot but Three Peaks will require great fitness to go up such challenging steep climbs,” he says.

“I’ve had a busy year and I can feel the fatigue now so I won’t be going out 100%,” Miya explains.

“On Saturday I’m going to have fun and be part of this event that my sponsor, K-Way, also supports. This year I will learn the route so I can go hard in 2015.”

This kind of event is the kind runners return to yearly and even race organizer Snell is in for his 18th time.

“And then there is Brian Key,” says Snell. “He is turning 76 in November and he’ll be running his 13th Three Peaks. Until a few years ago he was still running in the Top 10, even at the age of 70! Katya Soggott will be running her 3rd Three Peaks; she holds the women’s record.”

The Three Peaks Challenge in partnership with K-Way will begin on Saturday the 1st of November at 5am and will host 150 runners who are going to attempt to ascend the peaks before 7pm that night. If you are not going to be apart of the action by running, spectators are welcome to view the race from Tafelberg Road. For more information about the challenge this weekend visit their website – threepeakschallenge.co.za.