In late July 2016, Sabrina Love Ambassador Jamie Marais will be the first person to ever attempt to run up Table Mountain a staggering twenty four times in a row. The Challenge date has been set for 24th August 2016.
Jamie recently made history by becoming the first person to repeatedly summit Lions Head for twelve hours consecutively as part of his training for the Table Mountain twenty four summits challenge. He managed to summit Lions Head no less than twelve times in twelve hours, running over sixty kilometres in the process with more than four and a half thousand meters of vertical ascent – effectively scaling half the height of Everest in twelve hours.
For this next challenge, Jamie will be repeatedly climbing Table Mountain twenty four times via the leg-breaking three kilometre climb of Platteklip Gorge. He plans to descend each time in the cable car, returning to the start at Platteklip Gorge and continuing back up the mountain until he has completed all twenty four summits.
This colossal challenge will result in approximately 72 kilometres of vertical climbing with more than 18 000 vertical meters of ascent, which is twice the height of Everest. This will be the greatest number of consecutive summits of Table Mountain ever attempted.
Pacing himself will be critical and he has specifically chosen the middle of winter for the challenge as he believes that the cooler temperatures will help him. “Its a catch twenty-two…”, says Jamie. “On the one hand, the cooler temperatures will help me to conserve energy and keep my body temperature cool, but on the other hand, I will be burning more energy in the icy conditions as I try to to stay warm while continuing right throughout the night”.
At 1050 meters high, Table Mountain in Cape Town South Africa has been described by Mayor Patricia De Lille as a “symbol of permanence in a world of change” and is arguably one of the most beautiful and iconic mountains in the world.
It is however also one of the most dangerous and underestimated, claiming more lives in the last 100 years than Everest. “The mountain itself is already a challenge, but medically, this poses very serious threats as well, not to mention the tremendous strain on my back, legs, heart and entire cardio-vascular system which needs to propel me up the mountain for an extended period of time – probably twenty four to thirty six hours – at sixty to eighty percent of my maximum heart rate. I lost at least two kilograms on my twelve hour Lions Head challenge and burnt over eight thousand calories. The Table Mountain twenty four summits challenge is going to be one of the most physically, mentally and emotionally demanding extreme endurance challenges ever attempted” says Jamie.
In a country that is facing enormous socio-economic challenges, Jamie is taking on four of the biggest physical challenges he could find across three different sporting disciplines in a project called the Four Giants Challenge. His objective is to inspire people to believe in themselves and to realise that “No Giant is too big to face”. “For me, this and the other challenges represent the massive challenges faced by so many thousands of fellow people in their daily lives. For some their giant is depression, for others its addiction, and for others its financial or career-related stress, sickness or physical disability”.
His mission is to raise awareness of the life changing power of sport and, using his physical ability to help those with a physical disability, to raise financial support for the Sabrina Love Foundation who care for children with special needs. “I want to use my physical ability to help those with a physical disability – people who could never do the sort of things many of us do on a day to day basis”.
“Many have lost hope, but I want people to know that there is always hope no matter how bad a situation may seem, and that exercise can change your life. No giant is too big to face and anything is possible if you believe”, says Jamie.