Since the inaugural Event in 2014, RMB Ultra-trail Cape Town® has grown to become a major international race, with participants coming from 47 counties and boasting one of the world’s best international athlete fields. The Event has also become synonymous with a week-long festival of running where the local community welcomes runners from across the globe to Cape Town.
The 100-miler route ventures from the northern mountain range of the Mother City to the more remote southern mountains, taking in additional trails from Silvermine to Kalk Bay, Simon’s Town, Kommetjie and Noordhoek.
The race starts with a climb out of the city up to Signal Hill and around Lions Head, which provides stunning views of the City and the Atlantic Seaboard. Runners climb midway up Table Mountain's north face and run a contour to Platteklip Gorge, the longest vertical ascent of the race, a notorious route with gradients exceeding 35 degrees, up Table Mountain. The Platteklip Gorge climb is a long grind that loads the legs early in the race. After 25km, participants will have already covered an elevation gain of 1700m.
On reaching the top of Table Mountain, runners traverse the famous tabletop ridge, before running along the magnificent 12 Apostles before taking on the technical descent of Llandudno Ravine, eventually arriving at Llandudno Aid Station. The route flattens out along the remote scenic coastal stretches of Sandy Bay and beyond. The second of the four steep climbs is the 600m climb to Suther Peak and a traverse of Karbonkelberg to Hout Bay Aid Station.
Participants venture into the Southern Peninsula after leaving the Hout Bay Aid Station via East Fort and Blackburn Ravine, the third steep climb. Now running in the dark, participants can enjoy the runnable southern trails from Silvermine all the way to Kommetjie Aid Station. Runners are rewarded with a flat 8km beach section to stretch out their legs from Kommetjie to Noordhoek. Participants then make their way along Chapman’s Peak Drive to the start of their fourth major climb up to Chapman’s Peak. From here, it’s homebound via Managanese Mines and Vlakenberg to Constantia Nek where they head through the vineyards and city greenbelts to reach Alphen Trail Aid Station. There is still some climbing through technical sections of Cecilia and Newlands Forests, followed by a steep drop down to below Rhodes Memorial and the last Aid Station on the outskirts of the University of Cape Town.
The final 10km requires digging deep with an intense climb to get up to the Blockhouse and lower traverse of Devils Peak. Reaching it marks the home stretch and presents incredible views of the City, the Atlantic Ocean, Table Mountain and Lions Head.