Batrun in Cape Town

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Batrun in Cape Town

We triple dare you to try this three-peak night-time trail run up the Mother City’s mountains

Of all the racing events that occur in Cape Town, the annual Batrun, which takes place on Saturday, 18 February 2017, is definitely the most, well, batty. The night-time challenge involves conquering three of the Mother City’s most treacherous icons – Devil’s Peak, Table Mountain and Lion’s Head – with just the globe of a full moon for a guiding light. Unfortunately the event is sold out but you can still join the waiting list in the event of cancellations.

Started by a small group of nutters back in 2002, the now-public race is for both serious competitors and those who just want to give their bodies the ultimate challenge. There are no medals at the finish, just a few cold beverages, lots of cheers and a mountain-sized feeling of accomplishment.

The Batrun begins and ends at the Gardens Tech Rugby Club, and the route is simple: runners go up to the top of Devil’s Peak and back to Tafelberg Road, then it’s to Maclear’s Beacon on Table Mountain and back down to Tafelberg Road. Finally, runners make their way up Lion’s Head before the final descent back to the rugby club.

The crazy/brave competitors tend to be faced with less than ideal conditions, like rain, mist and poor visibility, but the spirits tend to be quite high, with icy beers, hot coffees, snacks and a party mood at the checkpoints and finish line making up for the hard times.

Traversing a total distance of 30km, including more than 2200m of climbing, the trail run is definitely not for the faint of heart. There are cut-off times along the route, but some choose to make a jol out of it and take their time completing the circuit, while the hard-core folk can conquer it all in a few hours.

It is, of course, important to keep safe, and competitors should make sure they have enough water and snacks as well as safety equipment, like a head torch, whistle, space blanket and rain gear, in preparation for the worst. It is also a good idea to get to know the route ahead of time, which will make it a little easier to navigate under the dark blanket of night. 

So lace up those boots and gear up to take on Cape Town’s peaks as part of this kooky race. It’s a tough one, but just look at it as ticking off multiple bucket list items in a single go.


 The following items are essential if you want to enter the race:

  • Outer shell top (jacket): Waterproof, breathable as specified by the manufacturer – must have integrated hood and tape-sealed seams
  • Running shoes: Trail shoes recommended
  • Running pack/race vest: No waist packs
  • Buff/beanie: Close fitting synthetic or wool fabric – lightweight and quick drying
  • Long sleeve mid layer: Close fitting synthetic or wool fabric – no cotton
  • Headlamp/torch: With batteries and in good working order 
  • Spare batteries: New or fully charged and correct size
  • Survival blanket: Size 1.4m x 2m minimum
  • Adhesive bandage: Size 5cm x 100cm minimum
  • Whistle: Pea-less and easily accessible at all times to sound an alert if required
  • Charged phone: Leave in 'Flight Mode' to conserve battery
  • Hydration: Bladder or bottles with minimum 1.5L capacity of which 300ml in reserve at all times
  • Food: 250 calories in reserve at all times


Entries for the Bat Run are SOLD OUT, but you can visit to join the waiting list. For more information, email [email protected]

The race starts at 7pm, and should end at 4:50am.


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