Adventure racer Tatum Prins ascended Platteklip Gorge on Table Mountain an impressive nine times between sunrise and sunset (11hrs) on Saturday. One of 75-odd participants in the Webber Wentzel Platteklip Charity Challenge, Tatum beat the field overall to complete the greatest number of ascents. She accumulated 49.5km and 6840m of ascent in 10h15.
“An awesome 17 year old did eight ascents and a couple of people completed seven,” she says. Most of the field completed five ascents. The route up Platteklip Gorge includes 800 double-size steps over a distance of 2.1km. Once at the top, the contestants need to run to the upper cable station, catch a lift down and then run back to the start. Each lap is 5.5km in distance, with 760 metres of climbing.
For Tatum this was a ‘feel good’ day. “There is just no other way to describe the feeling you have when you are doing something for someone else, especially the cutest AIDS-affected orphans who are shouting your name as you attempt to go up Platteklip as many times as you can,” she describes. “There were people who had never been up Platteklip, they had barely trained but were willing to go up and up and up all day for this fantastic cause. There was such an incredible community feeling.”
“I had a brilliant day out and was constantly reminded of how good it felt to be a part of something that was giving back. We had 11 hours to summit Platteklip as many times as we could. I had put down that I would do it nine times; and I had to do it or I would lose out on the donations I’d collected for the Masikulisane Creche.”
Tatum says that tourists and people who had heard about the event cheered for the runners, giving everyone support. “The more times we went up the harder they cheered,” she says. Tatum’s biggest highlight was when the children from the Creche arrived; “I had to fight back the tears as they shouted my name”.
“Well done to everybody involved: the organisers, sponsors, participants and the most of all the people who sponsored our every ascent. It was a day never to forget!”
*Image from McCain Adventure Addicts’ website