Our races & commemorative runs

PuFfer
(Peninsula Ultra Fun Run)

At inception PuFFEr was the longest trail race in the Western Cape. You had to write a letter of motivation over and above being a super athlete aka slightly cooked to contemplate that distance (at the time).

Through the years we also had Tougher Puffer – at least nine of them where you get to Green Point, turn around and head back the way you came. Ask Beaumont Cooper, he ran all of them. This was a qualifier for Western States.

There was at least 1 RuFfer PuFfer which cut out the road almost completely. This was successfully undertaken by 4 or 5 runners in the late 90’s. Rumour has it this will be attempted again.

The Peninsula Ultra Fun Run has been inspired by the lack of a challenging ultra trail run in the Western Cape. The run capitalizes on the scenic beauty of our Peninsula mountain range. It is scheduled for Sat. 5th August ’95. The course starts at Cape Point, runs through the Peninsula’s various mountain areas and nature reserves, to the Waterfront. The total distance is about 80km.

This is a no-frills, not-for-wimps ultra for runners who run for the fun of it. There is NO prize money, NO sponsorships, NO big media coverage, NO fame. If you want to run it we expect you to be independent, self-sufficient and environmentally aware i.e. you don’t need to be told not to throw away any rubbish along the route, you know which mountain stream water is safe to drink and how to survive if things go wrong.

          You run this because you love running, you love the mountains & nature, and you love distance.

          However, the run is not made `tough’ just for the sake of it: we picked (more or less) the shortest possible route with the best running tracks and views, hoping to provide seconding points wherever it is practical. Although it is rated more difficult than e.g. Comrades, it isn’t meant to be a macho thing or `the ultimate killer ultra’.

– 1 –    Because of the terrain and reserve restrictions, this cannot be a mass run. We will limit entries to 35 to 50 runners.

– 2 –   You undertake to provide one seconding person to the organ­iz­ers whom we will assign responsib­il­ity for (wo)manning a fixed check­point/water table along the route.  Details of the seconding arrange­ments (± 2-3 hours duty) will be sent to accepted entries.

– 3 –   You have run a least one ultra in the last six months.

– 4 –   You have considerable mountain running experience e.g. you know how to survive if the weather turns bad; if you sprain your ankle on top of a mountain; or if a seconding point is unmanned.

You will disqualified from this run (& any future PUFfeR) if:

– Your second does not turn up at the time and place arranged by the organizer.

– Either you or your second does not attend the pre-race briefing evening at FHAC on Thu 3rd August 19:00.

– You leave any piece of rubbish (be it as little as a sweets wrapper or squeezy sachet) along the route.

– You wilfully disturb/destroy any animal or vegetation (excepting mosquitoes and Port Jackson)

– You disobey any official, warden, traffic officer, or the organizers.

– You don’t buy the organizers a drink at the finish 😉

– You obstruct, verbally abuse or are obnoxious to other trail or road users or any member of the public.

– You flagrantly ignore the normal rules of conduct in the mountains (and on the road), especially the rules re­lat­ing to safety, waste, erosion & hygiene.

Route descriptions will be sent out to all accepted entries. You can also view the proposed route at the FHAC club house. Some parts of the route are still under negotiation with the relevant authorities. In summary, the route will be Cape Point through the Cape Point nature reserve to (not over) Red Hill, via the Simon’s Town Water Catchment Area to Black Hill, via Ou Kaapse across Fish Hoek Valley to Silvermine Nature Reserve, via Tokai Forest Plantation (top forest track) and the Vlakkenberg footpath to Constantia Nek, via Table Mountain (along the jeep track past all dams to Maclear’s Beacon, then down Platteklip Gorge) to Kloofnek, via Signal Hill to the Waterfront.

“Running in heaven feeling like hell” 

This  is a no-frills 65km ultra-trail running event that has been held annually in Cape Town, South Africa, since 1995. It was conceptualized by Jean-Paul van Belle who ran it along with 17 others the first year.  Currently the coveted start is limited to 180 pre qualified runners.

Through the years we had Tougher Puffer at least nine of them where you get to Green Point, turn around and head back the way you came. 

There was at least 1 Ruffer PuFfer which cut out the road almost completely. 

The run starts at the entrance to the Cape Point Reserve and ends in Green Point, the finalized route is agreed in consultation with Sanparks.

The route in 2022: race starts at approximately 05:30 am at Cape Point Gate where you head towards Plateau Road to Red Hill to face your first biggish climb. On Red Hill before the descent to Simons Town, you head left towards Pinehaven to the Waterworks at Lewis Grey Dam. You then take the trail to Black Hill Road where you head down into Sunvalley and on to Noordhoek Main Road all the way to Silvermine Road and then onto Wagon Trail for the next big climb into Silvermine Reserve and then to level 5 all the way to Vlakkenberg, followed by the descent to Constantia Neck. This is where the big / massive climbs begin. First climb up the stairs or jeep track to the …. Hut, then at Camel rock to Macclears Beacon which is the very highest point of the range, Take a moment to look back and see just how far you’ve come. You then head to and down Platteklip to Tafelberg Road, past Kloof Neck and up towards Signal Hill and then down to the finish at Hamiltons Rugby Club

Red Hill

The first Red Hill Classic was run almost half a century ago as a training run for the Peninsula Marathon. No one could find a suitable short cut so, instead of a customary 20 mile (32km) marathon-prep course, the distance was set at 36km. In 1984, when the Two Oceans Marathon introduced qualifying marathon criteria for their event, a six kilometre loop was added for those who wanted to extend themselves from the 36k Classic to a full marathon (and has been a permanent fixture at the race since 1992).

The route has remained constant over all this time save for two exceptions:

  1. The start line and first three kilometres has shifted around the perpetual roadworks to upgrade Kommetjie Road and Ou Kaapse Weg. However, Fish Hoek AC has built up a good relationship with the construction company and in 2019  they had a team working throughout the night to resurface the road for the runners – finishing up and providing the clearance to run just ten minutes before the race started.

  2. In 2008, a massive veld fire swept over the route resulting in road closures. People joke about building aeroplanes in the sky but the Red Hill race committee did just that – organising a new route on race morning and only finalising the marathon route after the race had already started.

The 2008 event was something of a defining moment for the club and since then the race medal and club logo were redesigned to include the three flames to commemorate the experience.

Four Hills 4 Lindsay

On 12 September 2006 the running fraternity was rocked by the sudden death of Dr Lindsay Weight.  For the Fish Hoek Athletic Club it has been a tremendous loss.  Lindsay participated actively in our Comrades preparations since 2001.  Lindsay loved the 4 Hills training run, and even though her duties on Comrades day restricted her to being confined to a radio studio, she would participate in this run nontheless.  

In many a column she has written of her experiences on this run, her appreciation for the personal touch, and the ethos of the run.  To this end we have decided to host this run in her honour.  From henceforth it will be known as the “4 Hills for Lindsay” 56km long run.

Port Run

The Port Run is a Fish Hoek Athletic Club tradition, and is held annually on the weekend before the Comrades Marathon.  The route is roughly the South Easter 15km race route, although it may vary according to where the designated port stop is in any given year. The run is essentially a taper run for the Club’s Comrades athletes, and they are joined by family members and fellow clubmates who are not doing Comrades.  Runners dress up in the club’s traditional old gold and black colors, and the “bumblebee” hockey socks are a staple part of the dress code, along with all manner of whacky headgear.

The Port Run ends at the FHAC Clubhouse where breakfast is enjoyed by all, and the Comrades runners are presented with their FHAC Comrades tops.  The Port Run originated in 1997, when an intrepid group of FHAC Comrades runners were doing their final taper run in a cold, wet and windy winter storm. Among the group were club stalwarts such as Brian Bothma, DJ Price, Brian Molyneaux, Gordon Bell, Martin Mills, Russell Mackintosh, Jim Harwood, Gerry Sweetnam and Gary Meyer.  Somewhere between the Sunbird Centre and Clovelly Golf Course, it was suggested by one of the runners that a glass of port to warm the insides would not be a bad idea.  In an instant DJ Price, whose home was on the South Easter route, and who happened to have a bottle of port in storage, suggested that the motley crew of bedraggled runners stop at his place.  The stop was made, waking his wife up in the process, and the port duly polished off before the runners continued (now more merrily) back to the Clubhouse.  This tradition has been repeated for every Comrades year since 1997.