The second event in the 2018 Bos Sport Mountain Challenge Series, amplified by Jaybird.
The Helderberg Mountain Challenge has everything to offer, and it always carries a few plot twists. Forest, incredible fynbos, boulder hopping near the summit, narrow ridge line running, incredible views, tricky slopes and traverses below huge rock faces. Participants can choose between the 24km 15km and 11km routes. The 24km route has an elevation of 2 150m, and features the infamous climb to the Dome (1137m above sea level) which runners must reach after their West Peak (1003m above sea level) climb.
The Helderberg Mountain Challenge was the original; the very first race in the inaugural Mountain Challenge Series in 2010, with a field of 104 runners. Katya Soggot holds the record for the most wins at this race, a total of 4. In 2017, the event received its biggest entry field of 831 runners, and 2018 looks set to be another showdown of talent, tenacity, and grit.
It takes place in the Helderberg Nature Reserve, which is situated in Somerset West, an hour outside of Cape Town, on the slopes of the beautiful Helderberg Mountains, overlooking False Bay. When visibility is optimal, runners will enjoy a heady mix of ocean views, stark rocky outcrops, and rich vegetation. The reserve is managed by the City of Cape Town with the support of the Friends of the Helderberg Nature Reserve. The Reserve reaches up as far as the cliff faces, and the peaks above the Reserve are managed by Cape Nature.
The natural vegetation of the reserve is largely Cape Winelands Shale Fynbos. This vegetation embraces the amazing variety of the Protea species, including sugar bushes, pincushions, and cone bushes. There is also a wide variety of geophytes, such as watsonias and orchids. There is abundant bird life and over the years some 170 species have been recorded. The Cape Sugarbird is frequently seen in numbers across the stands of Protea. There are several species of antelope. However, these are quite shy and seldom spotted by runners. Various reptile species, including tortoises, lizards and the occasional snake, can be seen. Small grey mongoose have been known to dart across the trails.
The 2018 event takes place on Sunday 19 August, and online entries are currently open. All Race Information including important compulsory kit requirements listed on the website.
Proceeds of HMC go towards The Friends of Helderberg Nature Reserve. The friends is a volunteer group that provides support to the reserve.