FEATs on foot

These ‘FEATs on foot’ are adventures that have been completed in South Africa – running around the coastline, over mountains, the length of the country…

Coastline of South Africa

Runners: Braam Malherbe & David Grier
Date: Start on 1 July 2008; end on 8 October 2008
Distance: 3278 kilometres
Duration: 100 days
Route: From Oranjemund via Cape Town to Ponte d’Oro in Mozambique along the coast. The pair ran six days with one day rest each week. They ran approximately 45-kilometres per day. In addition, on 18 July 2008 they ran 45km each (90km total) on Robben Island in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday.

Drakensberg Grand Traverse

Current record (men’s group): Ryno Griesel and Ryan Sandes
Date: 24-25 March 2014
Distance: 209 kilometres
Duration: 41 hours, 49 minutes

Griesel and Sandes broke the previous record set by Ryno Griesel and Cobus van Zyl (set 9-11 April 2010) of 60 hours, 29 minutes

Solo male record: Andrew Porter
Date: 31 May to 1 June 2015
Distance: (still to be verified)
Duration: 45 hours 08 minutes
This was a South-to-North run starting from the Bushman’s Nek border post and finishing at the Sentinel car park.

Andrew held the previous solo record of 61hours, 24minutes, 11seconds, which he set in December 2009. This was a North-to-South run.

Women’s group record: Laura Forster and Fiona McIntosh
Date: November 2008
Duration: 157 hours, 11 minutes

Mixed group record: Ryno Griesel & Linda Doke*
Date: 27-29 March 2015
Duration: 63 hours, 33 minutes
* Linda is the fastest woman on the DGT route.

Previous mixed group record: Team Merrell Adventure Addicts: Graham Bird, Hanno Smit, Robyn Kime and Grant Ross
Date: 11-14 November 2014
Duration: 78 hours, 57 minutes
Merrell Adventure Addicts bettered the previous mixed group time of 110 hours, 57 minutes established by by Christine Harris and Carlos Gonzalez in January 2010.

DOUBLE DGT- Jonathan Newman & Mike van Wyngaard
Date: Dec 2016 – Jan 2017
Duration: 15 days 7 hours 50 minutes
Distance: around 450km
Jonathan and Mike started with a South-to-North route, a few days off and then a North-to-South route. Andrew Porter, holder of the solo FKT, joined them for the return journey.

Route: Drakensberg Grand Traverse is an unmarked route of approximately 220km. It runs North to South and starts from the Sentinal car park and ends at the Bushman’s Nek border post. Various checkpoints/summits have to be visited along the way. These include:

  • The Chain Ladders
  • Mont-aux-Sources summit (3282m)
  • Cleft Peak summit (3277m)
  • Champagne Castle summit (3377m)
  • Mafadi summit (3451m)
  • Giant’s Castle summit (3314m)
  • Thabana Ntlenyana summit (3482m)

Thomathu Pass must be used to descend to Bushman’s Nek. The only other rules are that it needs to be entirely self-supported (i.e. no seconds, food caches or resupplies) and entirely on foot. GPS is allowed.
Website reference: drakensberg.ning.com/

Nine peaks, nine Provinces

The 9Peaks Challenge concept originated with Francois McGill and Esna Roux. They did this Challenge back in 2009 in 8 days, 11 hours.

Standardised rules for the 9Peaks Challenge as developed by Kobus Bresler together with Daniel Barnard and George Louw  (April 2014)

NEW Solo record
Hiker: Daniel Barnard
Date: 20-24 July 2014
Duration: 4 days, 16 hours, 34 minutes

Previous solo record
Hiker: Kobus Bresler (Kobus’ FEAT talk, October 2011)
Date: 22 – 29 March 2011
Duration: 8 days, 6 hours, 52 minutes
Route: Smaller peaks generally have footpaths to within a kilometre of the top. Peaks in the Drakensberg are more difficult to get to with their longer hike-in distance. Kobus’ route covered the nine Provinces in the following order: Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, North-West, Free State, KZN, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape. Kobus’ trip was solo and self-drive.

Group record:
Hikers: Daniel Barnard and George Louw
Date: 22-26 December 2012
Duration: 4 days 18 hours (the previous group record was 8 days 19 hours)
Route: Their route covered the nine Provinces in the following order: Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North-West, Gauteng, Free State, KZN, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Western Cape. They shared the driving.

Here is a record of all of the DGT speed times on the VE forum – maintained by Stijn Laenen.

The nine highest peaks (by height) in the nine Provinces are:

  • KwaZulu-Natal: Mafadi (3451m), south of Mont-aux-Sources
  • Free State: Namahadi Peak (3275m)
  • Eastern Cape: KwaDuma (3019m), on the Lesotho border near Ongeluksnek
  • Mpumalanga: Die Berg (2331m) in the Steenkampsberg
  • Western Cape: Seweweekspoort Peak (2325m), near Ladismith
  • Northern Cape: Murch Point, (2156m), near Nieu-Bethesda
  • Limpopo: Iron Crown (2126m), East of Polokwane near Ebenezer Dam
  • Gauteng: Toringkop (1913m), South-east of Jo’burg in Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve
  • North-West: Nooitgedacht West (1806m), in the Magaliesberg

The Jonkershoek Marathon / Traverse

Extreme Lights brand ambassador Coos Diener has written a piece on the route and the history of this challenge. Read Coos’ account of his attempt (December 2014).

Location: Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch
Distance: approx. 30 kilometres with 3,000-metres elevation gain
Record (FKT): Set by Christiaan Greyling and Edward van der Merwe on Saturday, 29 October 2016. 8 hours 21 minutes. Read Christiaan and Edward’s account here.

Old FKT: Ryan Sandes, Andre Gie and Kane Reily on Saturday, 24 September 2016. Distance of 31 kilometres with 3,200 metres of accumulative elevation in a time of 8 hours 35min. Read this story on the Red Bull website.
Old FKTSamuel Holtzkampf on 16 December 2015. Distance of 32 kilometres with 3,366 metres of accumulative elevation in a time of 8:44:57. Read his report.
Old FKT: 9 hours and 40 minutes set by Henco Jordaan in October 2000

Magalies Traverse FKT

This is a 76-kilometre, unmarked route across the Magaliesberg from the Hartebeespoort Dam wall to the Olifantsnek Dam wall. The route includes 14 trig beacons.

Location: Magaliesberg, starting from Hartebeespoort, North-West Province
Distance: approx. 76 kilometres
Record (FKT): Alex Pope, Brian Gardner and Stijn Laenen on Saturday, 17 September 2016. 15 hours 29 minutes.

Original FKT: Set by Terence Vrugtman & Jason Gradwell, on 1 May 2016, in 24h28m. Read about their FKT adventure.