The only night race permitted in Table Mountain National Park, Batrun 2016, presented by BOS Sport and supported by First Ascent, saw a Cape institution taken up a notch under the new leadership of Summit Events. On Saturday 20 February, just before sunset, 130 mad batters lined up on the fields of Gardens Tech Rugby Club; a night flight of note lay ahead. The cloud was grey and low, the wind was whippy, and temperatures at the top of each of the three peaks dropped ominously as Table Mountain again dished out trying conditions while the full moon rose. With 10m visibility at the top, runners longed for the echolocation skill of a bat.
From the runway the batters took off towards Devil’s Peak, up and down, followed by Platteklip to Maclears and back down to Tafelberg road, rounding off with a session on Lion’s Head to complete the picture. 30km, 2200m ascent, 90% in the dark.
Michael Davidson stormed out from the start line, reaching Dead Man’s Tree in 14 minutes. As the headlamps disappeared in to the cloud, spectators turned to the live tracking to follow the fierce battle that unfolded upfront. By the time the leaders had conquered the Devil, 18 year old Chris Strydom was in the lead, followed by Lucas Adams and Piet Calitz. High speed dancing and some legs popping resulting in a reorganisation of the top three men by the time the Lion had been tamed. Chris Strydom held his impressive lead, finishing in a time of 03:53:14 with Lucas Adams flying in strong at 03:59:33. Damien Schumann swooped in third in a time of 04:07:29.
Taryn King was the first lady home in a time of 04:52:35 with Dunya Ansems second at 05:01:06 and Michelle van Zyl hitting the landing strip at 05:19:57.
Pizza, beer and boerie rolls awaited all the batters as they come home to roost. Some broken, some just about hanging upside down, all smiles as the winners lifted their old-school trophies and howled at the moon.
Batrun is an institution, and a race that will continue to attract the maddest and badest of the nocturnal trail blazers.
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Sports & Outdoor Communication Specialist