Sunday 19 December 2010

Olifantsbos Cape Point

A few of us decided it might be nice to trot off to Cape Point for a run.  Those folks wanting to do some extra running outside of the normal organised runs should please let me know when next we meet then I can add you to the SMS list for future spontaneous outings.

We started our run from the car park and Olifantsbos.  We chose to run the shipwreck and Sirkelsvlei routes as one giving us about 10.5km.

The route was mostly runnable with the first few kms in soft sand. Tough but well worth it, the wrecks were a sight to see.  I left my camera behind but Gaeleen had her cell with her and she captured these stunning pics of the Thomas T Tucker.  THomas T Tucker was an American liberty ship who ran aground of Olifantsbos point in November 1942.  She was on her maiden voyage.  She was carrying war supplies at the time.

Sirkelsvlei is just stunning.  What a surprise to find ourselves in the company of ostriches, bontebok, terrapin's and tortoises. There seemed to be some sort of black lizard seminar on the go, every rock sporting one or two sitting in the sun.  

As the old saying goes "what goes around, comes around".  This weeks Jungle Joe award goes to yours truly for a spectacular swan dive into the brush.  Nothing too spectacular (or so I am told), I did find yet another use for a buff as Liz stretched and knotted mine into a very effective ankle support.  Luckily it was only a few km's from the finish.

Friday 17 December 2010

Last run of the year - Silvermine 11 December 2010

After a few weeks (more like five or six) I finally managed to make it to a Saturday run.  After a few minutes wait at the gate we all drove up to the boom, only to find our path to the dam blocked by a cycle race.  Not to be put off - a quick change of plans (and route) found us parking at the lower car park.
A different route was agreed and we set off.  A quick trot up the river walk,
along Steenburg ridge, right up to the look out and back down again.
A familiar but still fun route.  The planned breakfast at the dam ended up being breakfast in the car park - thanks to the cycle race.  Tim popped in to say high which was great, we don't often get to talk to the man behind the mails and VOB trail running.

This week’s Jungle Joe goes to Neil for his spectacular face plant on the decent.  I missed the action but did manage to capture some battle scars.

Fay's brisk walking group seems to be joining most days now, so those of you still having concerns about being too slow (or unfit) should take advantage of the opportunity and join the group.  You will find your pace somewhere between Greg in the front and Fay at the back.

Peter started this group with the hope of providing those starting out (or
ending off) in trail running a social group with no pressure (just support) and
the promise of a pace slower than Tim's VOB group.  The plan being that
once firmly in the clasps of the trail running bug, those getting fitter (and
faster) would move up to Tim's group.  Well, I think he has achieved just

On behalf of all those taking part in runs this year I would like to say a big thank you to Peter for all his efforts in getting (and keeping) the group going.

Until next year, happy holidays.

Sunday 28 November 2010

Sat 27 November: Hout Bay East Fort trail

Although it is now summer 17 of us set out in misty damp conditions on a gentle jog from the car park up to the ruins of the old East Fort. By this time three of our newcomers mistakenly decided to follow Gregg on the short distance run so as they high-tailed it off into the mist Galeen led the rest of us up the side of the mountain along the old manganese mine trail before we turned off onto the 400m contour path round to Blackburn ravine.
Top photo shows us re-grouping and taking a breather on the narrow path overlooking Hout Bay. By this point Pieter was so entralled by Fay's commentaries on the fynbos he decided to abandon us for the time being and join her walk group which were following on behind us.
We continued on the narrow path around the buttress deep into Blackburn gully out the otherside and then down the zig-zags, crossed over the river and on down to the main lower trail. From here it was an easy run back to East Fort down to the road and downhill all the way back to the cars. On the way we met up with our missing newbies who had been directed back to us.

Sunday 21 November 2010

Saturday 20 November at Cape Point

Despite the overcast and threatening weather our first run in the Cape Point Nature Reserve was most successful with our core walk run group being joined by Fay Linder and her walkers and
our front runner Gregg taking two of the runners from the short distance group with him.

We started out from the Buffels Bay picnic site in the rain but this
soon let up and we made our way up to the Visitor's Centre where
we saw 3 Eland in prime condition calmly grazing close to the footpath.

We then followed the footpath that climbs up the flank of Kanonkop and onto the site of the old signal cannon. The weather cleared somewhat and we had a hazy view South over Buffels Bay with Cape Point in the distance.

Group photo on right of the walk/run group as Gregg and his hares had run on ahead of us and Fay was following shortly behind.

From the cannon site we made our way down to Bordjiesdrif beach. Our final obstacle was a troop of baboons foraging at the highwater mark close to the tidal swimming pool. They seemed
unconcerned about our presence and continued their monkey
business along our intended path. However Neil Garbers was
resolute and kept going and the baboons reluctantly gave way.

Distance just over 9Km with a moving time of 1hr 50min. General consensus was that this was the best route yet.

Monday 15 November 2010

Table Mountain Misty Meander: Sat 13 November

Eight runners found their way to the start at the Kloof Nek parking area despite the wet weather.
The long haul uphill to the contour path just below the cableway was a little disconcerting for our newcomers but they persevered and thereafter we had a good and uneventful run in the rain and mist along the contour path. Unfortunately we saw nothing of the view over CapeTown and Table Bay which normally is magnificent.

Slight navigation error on the way back in that we took the wrong gateway leading off Tafelberg Rd and included an unplanned sightseeing tour of Higgovale before we found the correct path.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Saturday 23 October, Simon's Town Scramble

What a pleasant outing.  I can’t claim to have run much of the route, Peter had us running uphill right from the get go.  I was rather glad that no one turned up for Fay’s walking group and that she decided to join us.  It gave me the perfect excuse to keep her company on the stairway to hell (signal school actually – just felt like hell at the time).  Truth be told I could not have run up those stairs even if you paid me.  Some of the more enthusiastic even managed to count them! 

It was quite sad to see the state of the old signal school, it was very run down.  The surrounding fynbos was stunning though.  We took a slow run along the road to Red hill and the Scala Barracks and Battery.  We then carried on past the old WW2 coastal artillery guns and a host of other military buildings and things.  Peter Rodgers turned out to be a subject matter expert and was a very informative guide; I think the others will agree that he has the potential to be a SA Tour guide.

After the military tour we carried on down the hill, back to the main road and then along the drag to the beach and back to the car park.  A great run, thanks Peter for organizing this one for us.

Remember that you need to request permission to access to the military grounds before running through them!

To view all the photo's please go to the Picasaweb album.

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Greyton Mountain Trail Run - October 2010

Ok, so this is not officially part of the VOB Walk/Run group thingy but it is a great opportunity for bragging rights – I finished my first trail event.

This past weekend Joseph and I set off to Greyton to run our first official trail challenge, we chose the Greyton Mountain Trail run (12km).  I must admit that it was a totally fun experience, I did learn a few things and thought that I would share them with you:

  1. You don’t have to be a size 8 to run trail events.
  2. If your friend happens to be a local and suggests wearing a hat, wear a hat.
  3. If you lie down in the path to take photos, you scare the other runners.
  4. Smiling for no apparent reason is allowed.  So is crying and talking/swearing to yourself (although I expect that this is a back marker thing).
  5. Walking the tough bits is expected not frowned upon.
  6. Antihistamines are a good thing to add to your first aid kit.
  7. Drinking tequila the night before is not a good thing.
  8. You can’t carry too much water.
  9. You only tread carefully through the first river crossing, after that you simply run through the water being thank full for the opportunity to cool off your aching feet. The third crossing is used to wash out all the sand that stuck to your wet socks and gave you blisters after the second crossing.  By the end of the race you have learned to tread carefully through all river crossings.
  10. By the time you have finished you have sworn never to run a road race again.