Adding Mount Denali ( 6194m ) in Alaska to the list of conquered 7 Summits
on Everest . I was also getting more dialled in with my climbing skills , as I didn ’ t want to go to Everest under-prepared . I was the only female in a group of 11 going up Denali , including guides , but I was just as strong as all the men . We all summitted together , and I felt good about not just my climbing strength , but also my improving rope work and rock-climbing skills , which can only come with practice and time on the mountains . And after that , I felt I was ready to tackle Everest .”
Time for Some Running
Before heading to Nepal , though , Remy needed to make sure she was as fit as possible , and thus she hit the trails more than ever to both hike and run . She had run her first 5km in Johannesburg while training for Kilimanjaro , but says she had always had a mental block with running . “ I hated it in primary school because I was bit chubby , but when I tried it in Jozi , I found that I enjoyed it . I even joined a club and began doing a time trial now and again ,” says Remy .
She ran her first half marathon while visiting her brother in Spain in 2018 , but says that didn ’ t hit the mark with her . “ Matt was training for the Ironman and while I was there , he suggested we go down to Malaga to run a road half marathon . I ’ ll be honest , I ’ m not dying to do another 21-kay on the road , because races stress me out . I don ’ t like crowds , and I don ’ t need to push myself that way . I would far rather hike or climb a mountain and then run back down , and I love to jog through green belts .”
As a Capetonian , Remy spends a lot of time on Table Mountain and the rest of the mountains on the Peninsula , so it should come as no surprise that the 13 Peaks Challenge caught her eye last year . Conceptualised by trail running superstar Ryan Sandes , this challenge starts on Signal Hill and runners have to ‘ tag ’ 13 peaks , in a specific order , to finish the circular route back at Signal Hill . It ’ s approximately 106km , with peaks ranging from 348m to 1082m and a total of more than 6500 vertical metres of climbing , so runners can choose to do it in one day , two days or across multiple days . Remy chose the two-day option .
“ During lockdown in 2020 , I needed a physical challenge to focus on , as travelling the world to climb mountains was not possible , so I turned to the 13 Peaks Challenge ,” says Remy . “ Long distance running is not my thing – in climbing , it ’ s about altitude in small chunks , so 30-kay runs are my sweet spot – but I knew that climbing is my strength , and I ’ m good with ‘ verts ’, so what better way to celebrate my birthday in September than with a crazy mountain challenge with one of my best friends , Wade Holland . Neither of us is really an ultra-runner , so we decided to do it over two days .”
Remy and Wade during their 13 Peaks Challenge run
Saluting the mountains during an evening run on Table Mountain
Images : Bryan Hill , Jay Caboz & courtesy Remy Kloos
40 ISSUE 143 JULY 2021 / www . modernathlete . co . za