days 'til the next Skyrun
Exciting new photos FROM THE 2002 SKYRUN The new entry form can be downloaded clicking on the donload link on the left
Skyrun 2003 will take place on the 29 November to 30 November
History; The first Skyrun took place in 1996 with, Joe Sephton (farmer), Dr Rudi Tethard (Regional Services Doctor) and John-Michael Tawse, (Missionary). Starting 05h00 in Lady Grey on a Saturday, reaching Balloch by 19h00 for an overnight stop over. Rudi and John-Michael finished at Tiffindel Ski, at 15h00 on the Sunday after leaving Joe at Balloch with an injured knee. (Skyrun was tested at walking pace.)
Skyrun is based on the "Skywalk Mountain Wilderness Trail", founded in 1991, by John-Michael, purely for spiritual motivation . Skyrun/walk and Wartrail Tri Eco Challenge may be organized at any time of the year, in cooperation with local farmers through the above address. The first official attempt at Skyrun was in 1997 with 15 mountain athletes and had to be called off at Snowdon when extremely adverse weather conditions threatened the safety of athletes. 1998 & 1999 saw the first success, in what could be seen as 130 km of mountain wilderness cross-country, with no footpaths, at an average height of 2500 meters and only 30 km of dirt road, totaling 160 km, (unverified), finishing in Rhodes.
The two events closest to Skyrun are apparently the Western States in America, and Reunion `s Grand Raid. The UK have 'Fell running' events in the Lake Districts, with 'fast packing in the USA', whilst South Africa has 'Berg Runners/Skyrunners.' Traditionally Skyrun starts on the last Saturday of November in Lady Grey at 04h00; the route takes the main ridge-line, backbone of the Witteberge/Southern Drakensberg mountain range, following the Herschel Border fence up until Tiffindel Ski. A halfway stop is available at Balloch cave, for athletes who do not make the necessary cut off times. The undisputed King of Skyrun is Bruce Arnett from Gauteng the only Skyrunner to finish under 24 hours, with a record time of 22hrs 57min. 1998, saw 50 athletes starting with 25 finishers and 1999 had 70 starters with 44 finishing the Skyrun. This year `s limit is a 100 entries. South Africa `s Extreme Ultra.
Skyrun 2002 will take place on the 29 November TO 30 November 2003, starting in Lady Grey and will be finishing at Tiffindel Ski, totalling 140km of mountain wilderness running. Skyrun is also registered with Border Road Running as part of ASA. The idea is to get maximum local participation and to include the local farming community, to whom Skyrun now belongs. Being an exclusive event, considering the extreme nature of the challenge, the participants are an exceptional rare breed of maverick extreme athletes. Other local events that fit the Skyrun profile are the Amatola 100 km challenge organized by Dave Gassner of East London and the PUFFER 80 km organized by Jean-Paul van Belle of Cape Town.