Run Wild – Table Mountain’s Cableway Charity Challenge


In April, Renee Cheary, PT’s Head of People and Operations, took on Cape Town’s daunting Cableway Charity Challenge – all in aid of a good cause. Read about Renee’s epic day on the mountains …

This was a race day like no other; it was a day that tested my limits, pushed my boundaries, and lifted my spirits. I participated in the Cableway Charity Challenge in Cape Town, an experience that was exhilarating and hugely moving. This event isn’t any race; it’s a massive challenge that combines physical endurance with the spirit of giving, all set against the breathtakingly beautiful backdrop of Table Mountain.

I have been looking forward to the Challenge since registering as it is something very different to anything I have done before. The Cableway Charity Challenge is unique in its mission and execution. Participants are tasked with climbing Platteklip Gorge as many times as possible from sunrise to sunset with the purpose of raising funds for Charities close to Cape Town’s heart: vulnerable women and children and Volunteer Wildfire Services. Knowing that each step was for a good cause definitely helped the legs keep moving.

Climbing Platteklip Gorge is no small feat. The path is steep, rugged, and demanding with an elevation of about 750m

Climbing Platteklip Gorge is no small feat. The path is steep, rugged, and demanding with an elevation of about 750m. With every ascent, my legs burned and my breath ran out, but the views from the top were unparalleled — a magnificent vista of Cape Town and the Table Mountain Range covered in her misty blanket, that made every drop of sweat worth it. The descent via the cable car was a chance to recover, aided by the cool breeze and the stunning scenery.

The day began before the sun was up and the mist had cleared. As I approached the starting line, the energy was real. Hundreds of participants, from seasoned runners to corporate and school teams with less experience, gathered, each one buzzing with excitement and plenty of nerves. After a quick warm-up and some inspiring words from the organizers, we were off.

The energy was real. Hundreds of participants gathered, each one buzzing with excitement and plenty of nerves

What really made the experience unforgettable were the people. Along the route, words of encouragement with other participants, general hikers, tourists, everyone charmed by the magic of the day.

Midway through the afternoon, the physical exertion was intense, but the atmosphere made up for it. Runners who completed their ascents caught the cable car down only to head right back up, determined to make each climb count. Some of the most touching moments came from seeing corporate teams and school groups banding together, their camaraderie and team spirit pushing each member to go further.

As the sun began to dip below the horizon, marking the close of the event, emotions ran high. Crossing the finish line for the last time, I felt a mix of relief, exhilaration and pure exhaustion. The announcement over the loudspeakers that we had collectively surpassed our fundraising goal was the cherry on top.

Post-race celebrations were humble but heartwarming. Participants shared stories of their climbs, exchanged high fives, and relished the goodie bags and the promise of some fantastic prizes. Every face bore signs of fatigue, yet there was a shared glow of achievement that no amount of tiredness could diminish.

Since its inception in 2009, the Cableway Charity Challenge has raised millions for charity, and being a part of that legacy is truly special. As I sat in the cable car descending the mountain, I reflected on the day. The physical challenge was immense, but the emotional and communal uplift was even more powerful as was the African song sung to us by the cable car crew.

Here’s to many more races, many more climbs, and countless more lives touched.

Learn more about the Cableway Charity Challenge nominated charities for 2024:

Ndihluthi, feeding under-privileged communities in Cape Town.
Abalimi Bezekhaya, a non-profit educating township farmers.
Funda Kunye, equipping caregivers with Early Childhood Development skills

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