Tough conditions highlight successful 2018 RPC

Photo - Anthony Grote / Gameplan Media

If the 21km of the 2018 Rhino Peak Challenge was not difficult enough, sleet, hail, wind and rain made conditions even tougher on World Rhino Day on Saturday, 22 September.

Two groups of ten elite athletes and ten people of interest set off up the iconic Rhino Peak with a goal of raising as much money for endangered species.

Ultimately R352 888 was the final number raised for endangered species. This amount is just under R50 000 more than was raised in 2017.

Conditions meant that the challenge for the Fastest Known Time was going to be tough, however Mlungiso Mazibuko did his best and fell just seven minutes short of Kane Reilly’s record.

He was closely followed by former Fastest Known Time holder Rory Scheffer, who finished two minutes behind Mazibuko while Rob Rorich was a further minute back in third.

The ladies contest was very one-sided with Toni McCann striding into sixth place overall in a time of three hours and five minutes. She was 22 minutes ahead of second place lady Naomi Brand.

Renowned adventurer Sibusiso Vilane took a very philosophical view on the day and the conditions that the participants were presented with.

“It was definitely a challenge, but that’s what you want from something like this,” Vilane mentioned.

“You could look at it in two ways, either moaning and not enjoying yourself or embracing the challenge and try and make the most of the day.

“I think that in the first two hours we had every type of weather you could think of, but it was a brilliant day!”

The day’s fund raising efforts were front and centre, but Vilane wanted to try and make the most of his day in the Southern Drakensberg.

“I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t spend too much time at the top as I was getting cold so I needed to get back down.

“When I got into the safety of the valley’s on the way down I managed to take a breath and actually appreciate the scenery.”

The Rhino Peak Challenge funds will go to the Rhino Conservation Project, Maloti Drakensberg Vulture Project, Wildlife ACT and the Drakensberg Crane Project.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS – 2018 Rhino Peak Challenge

1.Mlungiso Mazibuko 147mins
2.Rory Scheffer 149 mins
3.Robbie Rorich 150mins
4.Kwenza Ngubane 158mins
5.Philip Shezi 161mins
6.Toni McCann 185mins
7.Lucas Adams 198mins
8.Naomi Brand 207mins

People of Interest
1.Andrew Houston 171mins
2.Sean Brookes 227mins
3.Jo Maree 239mins
4.Sian Bester 253mins
5.Sibusiso Vilane 265mins