Rhodes Village – The 2020 edition of the brutal Heaven & Hell Mountain Marathon in the Southern Drakensberg Highlands will include a new 88km race boasting 7510m elevation gain and in this race, the first male will receive R25 000 cash and so will the first female provided they finish within the 25 hour cut off. The race consists of 4 x 22km laps and is open to anyone that is 25 years or older. Entries cost R2500 and entries open on 1 October 2019.  Race date is 26 September 2020. Early Bird entries cost R2000.

The 2019 edition of Heaven and Hell is just around the corner and will be held on Saturday 21 September 2019. Runners that believe that they will be able to complete the new 4 lap race to be held in 2020 are welcome to use the 2019 race as a “practice round”. There are still entries available for this year’s 1 lap race (22km) and for the 2 lap race (44km). Are you brave enough to attempt the new 4 lap race coming in 2020??

The Heaven & Hell Marathon is intended to provide the ultimate mountain running challenge in Africa, and is not recommended as a Comrades qualifier! The main race is a brutal 44 km mountain run with 3 756 m total elevation gain over extremely technical terrain. That translates into 85 m elevation gain per km; an amount of climbing which no other race in South Africa comes close to matching. The organisers have also not been able to find any 44 km race globally that includes as much climbing as the Heaven & Hell.

Based in the Rhodes Village area in the Southern Drakensberg, the race is run at an average altitude of 2 150 m and the route has everything a mountain runner looking for the ultimate challenge could hope for – extremely steep gradients, ridiculously technical wilderness terrain, multiple crossings of the famous Bell River, two peak summits at over 2 500 m, pristine mountains and spectacular scenery. A few sections of the ascents and descents will require scrambling and liberal use of grass tufts as handholds!

Participants can choose to enter the 22km half marathon distance with 1 878 m total elevation gain, or the ultimate challenge of the 44 km race with 3 756 m total elevation gain. The 44km race comprises 2 laps of the 22km race. The cut-off time for the 22km race is a generous 12 hours. The cut-off times for the 44km is 12.5hrs. The record for the marathon set in 2018 stands at 8hr33min.

For social runners, there will also be an 8km and 14km mountain run, and also a 5km scenic and enjoyable 5km fun run along the Bell River and various other fun activities for the whole family, including 4 x 4, fly-fishing, tennis, bushman paintings, horse riding.

For online entries or more info, visit www.alpineswifttrails.co.za or call Hylton on 0725292747 or email at hylton@alpineswifttrails.co.za