VWS Trail Challenge 2022 - Table Mountain

Sun May 15, 07:00 - Sun May 15, 13:00

Gardens RFC


ONLINE ENTRIES have closed but race entries can still be purchased at the number collections at the Newlands Fire Base, Newlands Forest (along the M3 / Union Avenue) at the following dates and times ONLY:

  • Thursday, 12th May (17h30 - 19h00)
  • Friday, 13th May (16h00 - 19h00)
  • Saturday, 14th May (09h30 - 13h00)

You cannot purchase tickets outside these times at the venue. Our station at Newlands Forest will not be staffed outside of the times above, but we will happy arrange tickets for you during the number collections.


After a forced 2 year break due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are back with the Original VWS Trail Challenge (now in it's 16th running) on the slopes of Table Mountain, and with a brand new start location - Gardens RFC.

This race is designed as a trail run with stunning views over the city of Cape Town while enjoying invigorating trails on one of the 7 Wonders of Nature - Table Mountain. The start of the route has changed slightly to accommodate the new start venue at Gardens Tech Rugby Club but otherwise remains the same iconic route that you have grown to love. It presents a great running (or walking) experience to all who dare to partake in this great event. Take in the beauty of the lower slopes of Table Mountain and Devil's Peak, the rambling tracks of Deer Park, the glorious single track contour above Tafelberg Road and experience the majesty of early morning Cape Town.

Organised and run entirely by us, wildland firefighters of the Newlands Station of the VWS, all proceeds go towards our organisation, an entirely volunteer-run, non-profit entity dedicated to the protection of biodiversity and the preservation of our natural heritage. We receive no official or municipal funding and all funds (raised by our volunteers, via donations or events like this) are used for operational and logistical expenses when fighting devastating wildfires in the Western Cape.

The original VWS Trail Challenge offers runners a chance to do two routes: 20km or 10km (runners and walkers), with the race start and finish NEWLY located at Gardens Tech Rugby Club, Oranjezicht, Cape Town. Any donations are welcome and would be greatly appreciated.

You can also purchase awesome Limited Edition VWS Trail Challenge merchandise including 3 different 'tubular bandanas' to wear on the day, or as a reminder of a great day out! We really love the 2022 race design.... so get it now before the members buy them all :) All merchandise bought can be collected at the number collections.


Distance: 20km ROUTE

  • Price: R430
  • (Early Bird Special, 50 tickets – R390 - Sold Out)
  • Start: 07h15 (Mandatory Briefing at 07h05)
  • Cut off at 8km mark after 02:00 hours (09h15)
  • Final Cut off: 11h45
  • Runners should be self-sufficient.
  • See Routes and Profiles tab for maps

Compulsory Kit

  • Cell phone stored in a Ziplock bag (emergency number will be provided at Number Collections)
  • Limited water on route. Hydration Pack essential.
  • Race Number
  • Weather dependent, windbreaker/waterproof jacket
  • Space blanket

Recommended kit

  • Foldable / Running cup or water bottle (no cups at water tables)
  • Food / Snacks
  • Sun protection
  • Limited Edition VWS Trail Challenge Tubular Bandana :)


Distance: 10km ROUTE

  • Price: R310
  • (Early Bird Special, 50 tickets – R280 - Sold Out)
  • Start: 08h00 (Briefing at 07h50)
  • Cut off: 11h15
  • See Routes and Profiles tab for maps

Compulsory Kit

  • Cell phone stored in a Ziplock bag (emergency number will be provided at Number Collections)
  • Race Number

Recommended kit

  • Foldable / Running cup or water bottle (no cups at water tables)
  • Limited water on route. Hydration Pack recommended.
  • Weather dependent, windbreaker/waterproof jacket
  • Food / Snacks
  • Sun protection
  • Limited Edition VWS Trail Challenge Tubular Bandana :) 


Race Number (and merchandise) Collections

Race numbers can be collected in the days leading up to the race. These collections will take place at Newlands Fire Base, Newlands Forest (along the M3 / Union Avenue) at the following dates and times:

  • Thursday, 12th May (17h30 - 19h00)
  • Friday, 13th May (16h00 - 19h00)
  • Saturday, 14th May (09h30 - 13h00)

Event Prizes

There will be prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for each race, for both male and female runners and a King and Queen of the Mountain for the 20km Race.

There will also be awesome random spot prizes for any runners and walkers at the prize givings. Spot prizes will be awarded in two different time slots based on when runners / walkers are finishing. Everyone will stand a chance to win!



Please note that by submitting your entry form you declare that you are physically and medically fit and able to participate in this event and assume all risks of such participation upon yourself. 

You participate in the race at your own risk and hereby indemnify the organising committee, officials, all race helpers, all sponsors, the national and provincial race bodies, local authorities, City of Cape Town, SANParks, Table Mountain National Park and the Volunteer Wildfire Services (including its director and members) against any injuries or any other claim (including COVID-19 matters) whatsoever which may arise as a result of your participation.

Volunteer Wildfire Services reserves the right to cancel the race if the conditions on the day do not allow for the race to be run safely or should there be a large wildfire at the time of, or just before, the race. Additionally, if cancelled due to the event permits being revoked or cancelled (for whatever reason), due to new COVID-19 restrictions or if considering the health / safety of all runners, walkers and VWS members it is felt cancelling is the only option, please consider your entry fee as a donation, as we are not able to reschedule the race this year.

Race Rules

  • COVID-19 pre-screening will be required via an online platform before number collections, and shoudl you fail the screening you will not be able to take part in the race.
  • Masks / face covering are to be worn at all times, except during the race when they can be removed.
  • Social distancing to be practiced wherever possible in the staging area and surrounds.
  • All entrants must be in possession of a race number, issued by the organisers, which must be worn on the front of the runner’s shirt.
  • Race number orientated correctly and not covered (during the race).
  • Participants must keep to the designated race routes (as indicated in the race maps) at all times. 
  • Marshals and traffic officials must be obeyed at all times. Failure to comply with these instructions may lead to immediate disqualification.
  • No seconding shall be allowed on the route. Some refreshment stations will be provided however each runner is required to have sufficient water for their own needs.
  • No littering permitted at any stage. Failure to comply will lead to immediate disqualification.
  • Damage to Flora/Fauna or any historical site will lead to automatic disqualification.
  • No unauthorised cyclists, vehicles, rollerblades or scooters will be permitted on the route.
  • It is the responsibility of each participant that he/she is medically fit and healthy to participate in the event.
  • Volunteer Wildfire Services reserves the right to accept or reject any entry.
  • Minimum age of 16 for the 20km race. Minimum age of 12 for the 10km race, but 12 - 16 year olds must accompanied by a guardian.
  • Pets are not permitted.
  • While the Volunteer Wildfire Services places participant and member safely above any other priority or obligation, Volunteer Wildfire Services will not be held liable for any injuries.


20km ROUTE

The route starts at Gardens RFC (the brand new start location). The runners head up from the rugby club, via a short road section, onto the mountain through Deer Park. From there the route heads up the hill along the undulating jeep track and towards the S-bends on Tafelberg Road below the cable station. At the S-bends runners will head along the tar road for a very short sections, and re-join a single track above the Mocke Reservoir. The runners will continue up Kloof Corner until they reach the contour path above Tafelberg Road. At this point, they turn to the east and run in the direction of Devils Peak. Runners will cross over the Platteklip Gorge path and continue on the upper contour ascending the route up onto the saddle between Devils Peak and Maclears Beacon.

Runners will head over the saddle, where King and Queen of the Mountain is located, and descend via Newlands Ravine. Upon descending this ravine, the route heads back east and travels around Devils peak on the contour path. This Route is a combination of single track and boardwalk. Runners will ascend past the Kings Blockhouse (with a quick drinks break) and re-join the Contour path travelling back in the direction of Deer Park below Oppelskop. Runners will continue along this route until reaching the Devils Peak Path, at which point they descend to Tafelberg Road again. From the road, the runner will travel approximately 500m before descending down the jeep track and making their way back to the start / finish line past the Platteklip Washhouses.