Once again in a bar over a beer or two Richard Sutton and Ken Findlay worked on the Old Fisherman’s Trail Challenge run idea. The idea behind the Old Fisherman’s Trail Challenge was to be a precursor to the Hout Bay Trail Challenge which has grown in popularity over the years.

Findley and Sutton took the scenic route from Hout Bay to Kalk Bay, following what is believed to be the path fishermen used to cross the mountains that separated the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

Over the years it has grown to be a very sought after race to do. It's not to too hard or as gruelling as the Hout Bay Trail Challenge. It is a great race for novices to start trail running with.

The race’s start and finish points alternate each year between Fish Hoek and Hout Bay. There are both advantages and disadvantages to the different route profiles. When you start from Hout Bay you begin with a relentless climb to the top of Blackburn Ravine – a climb of over 620metres, but then the rest of the route is a gradual descent into Fish Hoek on spectacular single track descent. While the start from Fish Hoek is much more runnable with a more gradual climb – you climb for the majority of the race, but the view at the summit is awesome and the descent at the end wild!

The top finishers of the Old Fisherman’s Trail Challenge are pleased to break 2 hours, with Michael Bailey holding the men’s record of 1:39:33 (2012) for the Hout Bay to Fish Hoek route and Ryan Sandes holding the record of 1:39:42 for the Fish Hoek to Hout Bay route. Michelle Lombardi holds the ladies record for both directions, Hout Bay to Fish Hoek in at time of 1:58:54 (2011) and Fish Hoek to Hout Bay in a time of 1:59:39 (2006).

The Fisherman’s Challenge is broken into 2 legs with a transition point at Silvermine Dam within the Table Mountain National Park. When the race first started, we had a few paired teams take on the challenge. However with finishing times getting faster and more runners wanting to do both legs, fewer teams entered, so it is now an individuals only race.

The race has always been environmentally conscious and we always encourage participants to take note of the beauty and the surroundings that we get to run in. We have to thank the Table Mountain National Parks for all their work that they do to keep our trails in good shape.

We support the Table Mountain National Parks and encourage all participants to make a small donation to the TMNP with their entry, so we can do our small bit to help maintain the trails that we use.