The 21st Mont Aux Sources Challenge

The 21st Mont Aux Sources Challenge

Runners go to great heights

The 21st Mont Aux Sources Challenge brought to you by the Old Mutual Wild Series takes place this weekend, on Saturday 5 September. The event is timed each year to coincide with International Vulture Awareness Day.

International Vulture Awareness Day has grown from Vulture Awareness Days run by the Birds of Prey Programme in South Africa and the Hawk Conservancy Trust in England, into an international event that seeks to bring attention to the plight of the world’s vulture population.

The 50km Mont Aux Sources Challenge takes place in the Royal Natal National Park, part of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site, and home to the endangered Bearded Vulture.

The Bearded Vulture once roamed freely from the Cape of Good Hope, along the eastern mountain spine of Africa, and into northwest Africa. Now it is thought that the only population left in the southern hemisphere resides in the isolated and rugged Maloti-Drakensberg highlands. It’s believed that less than 100 pairs remain.

Over the past six years the Mont Aux Sources Challenge has raised R800 000, which is a true testimony to the fact that people are becoming more conscious of our conservation efforts around endangered species such as the Bearded Vulture,” says Wildlands CEO Dr Andrew Venter.

These contributions are significant and the vultures of these magnificent mountains, who are experiencing massive amounts of pressure as a species, will benefit as a result of every person taking part in this event.”

The funds raised by the Mont Aux Sources Challenge, which is supported by Old Mutual and Sunday Tribune, are used to monitor and safeguard the Bearded Vultures found in the region. Participants will run through rugged and beautiful scenery, with magnificent views of Bearded Vultures flying overhead along the route and landing at Witsieshoek.

The race is tough and not for the faint of heart – on a section where chain ladders will be climbed runners are required to wear a safety belt and sliding device attached to fixed ropes alongside the ladders.

 

Tiaan Conradie looks very comfortable as he takes on the 20th Mont Aux Sources trail run.

Tiaan Conradie looks very comfortable as he takes on the 20th Mont Aux Sources trail run.