Saturday, 29 April 2017


Report by Tim Bellairs, who was nominated (with Tamsyn) to lead the group this week as a penalty for chit-chatting on the Whatsapp Group. ;)

The morning started with a little squabble about who was going to lead the fast group in Tamsyn’s absence.  As Geoff was half asleep, he got nominated without his knowledge and the first he knew about it was when Peter announced it.  But Geoff is an old campaigner and handled the group with no problem at all. 

The Medium Group comprised of 17 runners.  By the time we reached the top of the valley it was clear that there was a bit of an unmanageable gap between the front and the back.  Theo was sweeping at that point so I suggested we split the group and asked him if he wanted to take a slower group.  He looked me in horror. 

So he took a faster group and I took the slower group.  It was fantastic.  Okay they did moan a bit on the way up Dead Man’s Valley and I was told I was the worst re-grouper in the world.  I took the hint and stopped for a regroup.  However, the group didn’t stop and raced on passed me.  In fact they were going so strongly that by the time we got to the Amphitheatre I suggest we add on another loop.  Clearly this was an unpopular idea.  The looks said it all.  But during the regroup I was asked by a new runner who that very strict man was who gave the briefing at the start.  She was very concerned that Peter was going to look in her pack and find that she didn’t have a whistle.  Peter and I had a good laugh about that afterwards. 

So we stuck to the plan and headed down the Crassula Path.  On the way down Crassula I was chatting to a very pleasant guy called Doug and was dispensing my usual “wise” trail running advice when he mentioned that he runs with Mark Preen and beats him in every race.  For those who don’t know, Mark is one of the best trail runners Cape Town has produced.  So embarrassing!  Needless to say my advice dried up quickly.  He was very kind about it. 

Once we got around to the top of the valley again the group had clearly sniffed the stable yard and were keen to gallop home.  So it was agreed that each would descend at their own pace and I would sweep to make sure no-one took wrong turns or got left behind.  Boom!  They were gone.  I couldn’t keep up with them.  They all skidded into the car park with me huffing and puffing behind.  We were followed, shortly thereafter by the fast group and then the faster medium group, both of whom had done an extra 2kms.  Only the fast group leader and one runner were absent. 

Our Norwegian runner had pulled a calf muscle and was sensibly walking down, escorted by Gentleman Geoff.  She’ll be okay.

Photos by Jo.



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