Monday 12 December 2011

Feedback Saturday 10th December: Silvermine NW 3 Lookouts run

Perhaps it was the later start-time but we had 39 who pitched up-a record turn-out for our group. After the usual preliminaries Neil led us out for the run up to the plateau behind the dam and across to the Tokai lookout.   From her we followed the dirt track over to the lookout platform overlooking Hout Bay.
Then it was a long uphill slog but relieved by some good views of False Bay although by now the cloud was forming and the wind rising.
Then a case of encouraging tired legs to up and over for the long gliding run down to the Noordhoek Peak lookout but strangely no-one was particularily interested to climb to the top.
We returned to the dam via the trail sliding down the flank of the Silvermine Dam amphitheatre  taking time out to admire some flowers 

Starting out

Group photo  at lookout platform at the top of Blackburn Ravine

And then the wind and clouds came!


Time to admire the spring flowers

Picnic Breakfast 

Route profile

Sunday 4 December 2011

FEEDBACK: Cape Point Run 3 December 2011

Cape Point-Olifantsbos -Sirkelvlei route
14 of us made it to the RV having passed a small herd of Bontebok grazing at the roadside with two baby buck.  
We set out to follow the shipwreck trail which hugs the coastline to the remains of the Thomas Tucker a WW2 freighter which ran agound trying to evade a German U-boat.  Although the loose sand on the beach made for heavy going we were fortunate in that we only had to face a mild breeze.    On the way we passed a  baby seal sheltering on the rocks, then a lonely stick cross marking the grave  of some unfortunate fisherman.  Soon thereafter we came to the wreck where we regrouped and took photographs.

Group photo at the wreck site
We then turned inland and made our way up the coastal embankment to the plateau and through the fynbos towards Sirkelvlei.   The heavy overcast sky with ragged clouds driven by the rising sou-easterly wind with a spittering of rain, combined with running through the completely unspoilt terrain with absolutely no signs of human activity inculcated a deeply  primordial feeling.  
"Newbie" Lauren jogging along the beach
At the vlei we heard plenty of bird sounds but  the strong wind ruled out flying except for the most hardy or those we startled. After a quick regroup we set off along the side of the vlei fortunately with the wind now behind us.  Leaving the vlei us we ran through more bush with many interesting rocky outcrops and mimetes.  In places the trail was soft sand making for hard going yet in others it was strewn with jagged rocks neccesitating careful footwork.

By the time we reached the rocky ridge overlooking the parking site the wind had risen to gale force and we had a good view over the wild seascape before descending down the trail back to the parking area.

A really enjoyable run of 10kms taking us just over 2 hours. 

Overlooking the vlei

Gae getting a blow-dry

Liz and Sandy are in serious training  for a cross Andean marathon in January
The strong wind meant hold on to your cap

Run profile but we did not actually go beneath the sea!

Saturday 26 November 2011

Feedback 26 November: Glencairn Kleinplaas Dam

Our Glencain-Kleinplaas circuit junket had thirty runners, including four newcomers, for a moderately tough but scenically rewarding run around the hills behind Glencain.  As usual we split into two groups the faster Klipspringers and the slower Shongalolos. 

In the past the leaders/navigators were briefed on the route to be followed but in a country with 11 official languages and an ancient one used on heraldic devices spoken by only a tiny fraction of our population- margin of error with verbal briefings was too great.  Anyway who pays attention to instructions before an event?  So in the interests of clarity and brevity I carefully plotted out the route in Google Earth, added markers at every conceivable point of confusion and then painstakingly crafted notes linked to each waypoint with simple instructions such as “Go left” .
 It shall remain a mystery as to why then when the printed route guide clearly says “Go right through gulley” the leaders of the Klipspringers decide to go left?  And then by some superhuman feat of reciprocalitus manage to pick up the planned route and then run in the reverse direction!    Not sure who was most  started when the two groups  met- the Shongalolos, who were peacefully trundling along enjoying a glorious spring morning’s outing, or the hot and flustered leaders of the Klipspringers pounding  up the trail?  Needless to say their navigation error was pointed out and they dutifully followed the Shongalos back to the regroup point at the Lewis Gay dam. 

But the tale ends not there because over the last 3 ks they managed to loose five of their group.  by taking a unscheduled detour so deceiving their unsuspecting sweep who kept dutifully to the route.  Fortunately 3 turned up after a short while and just as the Search & Rescue party was setting out the other two were found tripping happily along. 

Finally having all made it back to the cars we had a very brief Red Tee award to Veronica Barnes and Felicity Garbers who had just completed their 25th sortie.  Veronica is one of the founder members of our group while Felicity joins husband Neil who earned his red tee three weeks ago.

The proper route was only 14Kms but it would seem some of the Klipspringers added in an extra 2. 

And it must be the Christmas season as Bony M are to be heard again

All of the best --Peter

Shortly after setting out running through the nature reserve

Looking back with Table Mountain in the far background

Overlooking Noordhoek with Hout Bay in the distance

Klipspringers & Shongalolos

Veronica & Felicity proudly show their hard earned red tees

The wrong route

The right route

Sunday 20 November 2011

FEEDBACK Saturday 19 November: Woodhead Dam Circuit

We had 33 runners who gathered under the shady pines of the Constantia Nek parking area including 6 newcomers, one of which was Galina Pislegina who is from Perm in the Urals region of the Russian Federation.  She was visiting family in CapeTown and on hearing of our sortie from Elizabeth McGeaver decided to join in.

This is certainly one of our tougher runs but the detour along the Smuts Track extension with its stunning vistas of the Peninsula make it worth while.   Again we split into  faster and slower groups which seems to be working well in that the stronger runners are no longer having to make frequent stops and the slower runners are not feeling pressurised into keeping up.  After all our byline is Fast enough to get there, slow enough to enjoy.

Congratulations to Anellize Buys and Sue Tranter who have now completed ten sorties and join the Decurions.

Veronica Barnes and Felicity Garbers have now both done 24 sorties so after they completed their next run they will be eligible  to wear our special red tee-shirt.

take care in the week ahead


Getting ready to start from Constantia Nek
A long hard climb up the short-cut
klipspringers at the top

Shongalolos plodding uphill
Overlooking the Cape Flats
False Bay in the distance
Galina Pislegina:  a visitor from Russia
Nature's garden at the top of Nursary Ravine
At last we reach the Hely-Hutchinson dam
Boardwalk through Nature's garden

Elevation profile of the run
Route followed

Monday 14 November 2011

Neil Garbers joins club red

Well done to Neil Garbers who completed his 25th run on Saturday!
Please remember to place your red T order if you are nearing the magic number.  To order contact Peter directly.  Last orders for 2011 close this wednesday the 16th November.

Sunday 13 November 2011

FEEDBACK: Lion's Head Signal Hill Circuit

We had 28 runners for our new route around Lion’s Head and Signal Hill. As is our custom we divided into a faster and slower group with Veronica and Neil leading the “Klipspringers” While the “Shongalolos” had me as sweep and navigator.
Perhaps a little more technical than anticipated but generally a good but tough route. Both groups had minor navigational errors which entailed a little gully climbing but all par for trail running.
Joe powering up the gully
Shongalolos at ease
The dream stadium
Green Point
Early morning Atlantic seaboard

The pause that refreshes
The “Klipspringers” doing a bit of path finding.

Don't ask!

Routes taken: faster group in yellow and slower group in blue

 You will find some more photo's stored on picasaweb in the Lion's Loop album.

Monday 7 November 2011

FEEDBACK: Sat 5th November Newlands Forest

We had 27 runners for the triangular route up to King’s Blockhouse along the contour path down Fernwood Gully and back through the forest.  Thanks to Veronica and Neil for leading the faster or Klipspringer group.  We in the recuperation or Shongalolo group trailed along behind at a more leisurely pace.
Alan Hammond kindly supplied the photographs

Congratulations to Sandy Ackland who  clocked up her 20th sortie and to Liz Brash who by completing 10 runs now joins the Decurions.

Group photo 5 Nov