fastest 50m rope climb Guinness World Records

Red Bull athlete Thomas Van Tonder managed to climb a vertical rope 50 metres long in less than 4 minutes!

The fastest 50 m rope climb was achieved by Thomas Butler Van Tonder (South Africa) in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 17 November 2020

Hanging between the Soweto Towers in the decommissioned coal-fired power station in Soweto, South Africa, Thomas scaled the 50 metres in 3 min 19.68 seconds.


With lockdown restrictions keeping Thomas from being able to compete or train for any competitions, he wanted to set a new goal that would keep him motivated.

Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) requires a lot of training and it was important for him to find ways to keep mentally and physically fit.


Thomas was inspired by Ross Edgley, a British adventurer who was the first person to swim around Great Britain, along with fellow OCR athlete, Leon Kofoed, who climbed a 50m rope suspended underneath a hot air balloon.

He decided to try something that he had experience with indoors, but wanted to push it to the limits on a massive scale.

"I figured I could look at some disciplines inside of obstacle racing and try blow it up to a massive scale. Rope climb kept coming up, and as we started looking into venues, we came across the Orlando Towers, it ticked all the boxes" – Thomas van Tonder

Thomas has been racing since 2013, where he finished second in his first race.

He has won 17 Warrior Black Ops Elite races, two Series championships and the National Championship. And now, Thomas is officially a record holder!


Red Bull were kindly able to support Thomas to attempt this record title and make his record-breaking dream a reality.

How is your brand inspiring your audiences? Attempt to break a world record for brand awareness, a product launch, celebration, CSR, fundraising or employee engagement – Find out more here, or contact us for more information.