UCT students become the first in Africa to complete Everest Challenge.
So it’s official, five UCT students – Bruce Hughes, Wayde Finch, Jonty Adams, Liam Swanson and Craig Getz – became the first in Africa to complete 8848m of climbing in one ride and become members of the international ‘Everesting’ Club (www.everesting.cc/everesting).
The altitude is the height of Mount Everest and only 178 riders have officially completed the challenge including the five UCT students, who were inducted into the Hall of Fame officially on Tuesday night after they completed the challenge last Sunday.
The rules of the challenge dictate that the attempt must take place with repeats on one designated hill and the UCT team chose the route of the old Giro del Capo finale from Camps Bay High School to the top of Signal Hill, Cape Town – a route with an average gradient of 5% but with kicks of 15%.
Starting at 3.30am in the morning eight starters began the 24 laps of the route and 19 hours and 15 minutes later – with a riding time of just under 17 hours – five survived to finish.
After loading the Garmin devices onto the Garmin online software – to get a more accurate assessment of the challenge – the team discovered that they had exceeded the challenge by almost 1400m racking up an incredible 10 257m in altitude gain.
There was drama late in the challenge when captain Hughes, suffering from a stomach upset and dehydration, was hospitalised and unable to finish the final lap. Luckily, the elevation correction confirmed that Hughes had, in fact, finished and was included in the Hall of Fame.
The challenge also raised over R16 000 for the Velokhaya Cycling Academy thanks to donations from sponsors and the public.
For more information visit the UCT Cycling team’s page on http://everestingchallenge.wix.com/uct-everesting