‘AJ’ Calitz and Annemien Ganzevoort: winners of the Platteklip Charity Challenge
André “AJ” Calitz and Annemien Ganzevoort took the honours at this year’s Platteklip Charity Challenge on Saturday. Calitz went up the mountain 12 times, and Ganzevoort took on the route nine times.
Bright orange and blue t-shirts dotted Platteklip Gorge for most of Saturday, April 6, when 140 intrepid runners raced up the mountain for charity in the seventh K-Way Platteklip Charity Challenge on Saturday. The run was in support of Sinenjongo High School in Joe Slovo Park, Milnerton, and raised R552 000.
One of the event organisers, Adam Pike, said while all the runners had done amazingly well, the real winners were the pupils at Sinenjongo High. By yesterday afternoon they had raised R552 000, and their aim had been R500 000. People can still contribute to the fundraising effort for the next week.
Runners did the 5.5km Platteklip Gorge route, which includes 760m of climbing, as many times as possible during the day. While the majority of entrants took about two hours to complete the loop, some, like Ganzevoort and Calitz, were clocking under an hour. By 3pm Ganzevoort was going down in the cable car to tackle her ninth time.
The route included 800 double-size steps over 2.1km; once at the top, contestants ran across the summit of Table Mountain, to the Upper Cable Station, caught a lift down and then ran the course again, until they were to tired to continue.
Calitz completed the first lap in a time of 35 minutes and Ganzevoort took it in 41 minutes, making her the first woman and third runner overall to reach the finish line in the first lap. Drenched from head to toe, she looked remarkably relaxed in the cable car on Saturday, going down for her ninth and final lap.
“The weather is perfect today, nice and cool,” she said.
This was the second year Calitz beat the field, smashing his own record of 11 laps that he set last year.
Lisa Pike and Hanli Fourie took time out at the Table Mountain Café after doing the loop three times.
Fourie had not done a mountain ascent this year. Instead she started training at the end of January, preparing herself on a step bench. She did the course four times, raising R12 800.
Pike and her husband Adam are regular forest and mountain runners. Adam Pike said the support from the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company and K-Way had been tremendous.
“We cannot do this without the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway and K-Way. They are our most important partners. The Fairview wine and cheese estate and Bos iced tea were also big event sponsors,” Pike said.
Pike said they had chosen to raise funds for Sinenjongo because the donations was being used to contract highly skilled maths and science teachers, who were also passing on their expertise to Sinenjongo teachers.
In recent years, corporate sponsorship has enabled the school to lift its matric pass rate from 27% in 2008 to close to 90% in 2011. Last year, 77 matric students passed – double that of the previous year – with 56 qualifying for tertiary education.
Pike said the accumulative effect would likely be that more children would matriculate, become highly skilled and their children would go on to do better.