Rebirth of the 4Peaks

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Thabang Madiba PHOTO: CRAIG KOLESKEY

The 2020 4 Peaks Mountain Challenge will finally be taking place this weekend after the event was postponed due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, which has taken a huge toll on sport, particularly in South Africa.

Traditionally the iconic event takes place towards the end of September at the scenic Moolmanshoek Private Nature Reserve between Ficksburg and Fouriesburg in the Eastern Free State.

The tough 24km mountain run is widely regarded as the toughest of its kind in South Africa, and sees an elevation gain of 1800m.

In normal circumstances, the race attracts a field of some 300 trail and mountain running enthusiasts, but due to the current financial climate, this year will only feature a field of about 100 runners.

“We’ve had to postpone the event because of Covid-19, the lockdown and regulations, but we are good to go.

“We can rebuild our event, rebrand it and get some fire going again. This is full circle and we can say it’s chapter two after many years of doing the 4 Peaks, we are basically back to where we started.

“There were about a hundred athletes that entered, but we are looking forward to a great weekend in the mountains. That’s what it is about, it’s about spending time in the mountains.

“It’s not so much about the bells and the whistles, but about a proper experience, doing a hard course which is arguably the toughest 24kms in the country.

While the field is limited this year, the one battle that will be interesting will be between Lucky Miya and Thabang Madiba. Last year it was neck-and-neck the entire route and it came down to a flat-out sprint, where Madiba edged Miya by seconds.

Miya hasn’t won since 2016, while Madiba will be aiming to make it four wins in a row. – MORGAN PIEK