Thursday, February 26, 2009


If anyone needs to get hold of Liz Robertson re the Trail Run on Saturday morning, she will be out of office from lunchtime today (Thursday 26 February). So she will not get emails after that. Please rather contact her on her cell phone: 072 955 6797.

Enjoy the run.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


The alternative to the Koeberg 15km Race on Saturday shall be the following:

The Route

Constantia Nek to Kirstenbosch Top Tap (just inside the Klaasens Road Gate) via the bottom forestry road through Cecilia Forest. There will be no detour onto the single track adjacent to Rhodes Drive. From top tap take the top brick brick road straight towards the mountain and then bear right along the gravel road along the foot of the mountain to the stairs at Window Ravine. Up the steps to the contour path and then contour path back to Cecilia Forest. From Cecilia Forest it will be the upper forestry road back to Constantia Nek.

Suggested add-on: for those who know the way from having run Race 5 of the recent Summer Trail Series, perhaps you would like to throw in some of the single track between the two forestry roads in Cecilia Forest just to give yourself the extra workout. Maybe the faster runners can do it on the way back to let the slower runners catch up. (Sorry Liz, this wasn't part of our discussion).


Constantia Nek Car Park




About 11km (12km if you do the single track add-on)

Running Time

1h30min for a comfortable intermediate pace - 2h00 for the slower runners.


This is pretty easy stuff. 98% runnable. The only walking is the stairs up Window Ravine.

Its really dry out there so take some water along.
Pasop vir slange.
Please keep in groups from a safety perspective, particularly in Kirstenbosch.
Liz Robertson will have the list so please remember to tick off your name (New Balance trail shoe lucky draw record).
Co-ordinator is the abovementioned Liz Robertson: Thank you so much Liz. Much appreciated.
Enjoy it everyone.

And good luck to all of those who are going up to the Cango Marathon to get a final Two oceans qualifier. See you there.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Well done to all those who ran the new Peninsula route yesterday. I really enjoyed watching the marathon from the comfort of my car.

Whilst the Koeberg 15km is still a very viable option for this coming Saturday, Liz Robertson and a few others will be doing an informal, more "local" trail run this coming Saturday morning. I will publish the details as soon as they are available.

In the meantime, please would you let me know if you are interested in such a run. I would just like to be able to let Liz know how many people she might be expecting.

Have a great week everyone.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Here is the latest news:

Tomorrow morning's run is still on. Check out the blog (details below) if you have lost the info. So I hope to see a small group there, despite the fact that it is the Peninsula Marathon / 1/2 Marathon on Sunday. Its a nice easy trail run tomorrow. Please make sure you tick your name off on the spreadsheet to ensure participation in the NEW BALANCE Lucky Draw for a pair of trail running shoes at the end of March. Remember: 5 runs with our group are required in the period starting 14 February and ending 29 March 2009.

Next weekend (28 FEBRUARY 2009), I am not available to take a run as I am away in Oudtshoorn. So next weekend's run will be The Koeberg 15km race. This is a WPA race and so club colours must be worn / or a temp licence bought at the race if you are running in ordinary trail kit. I attach the race flyer. Thanks to Jeff Shapiro for the info. About 70% of this race is on gravel jeep track so it qualifies for acsis VOB trail status. As far as a trail run goes it is very, very easy. Even as a road run this is almost PB territory. As far as recording attendance for the register in respect of the lucky draw, the HONOUR PRINCIPLE will apply. Please email me in the week following the race to let me know if you ran it. And be warned, the race results are published.

Training companions sought: I have been approached by a member of our group who is on the comeback trail and starting to get fit again. The member is looking for other trail runners to train with regularly on the mountain (as running there on your own is just too risky), mainly from the the city bowl area. Please drop me an email if you are interested in forming a group and I will put you in touch with the other member/s.

For all of the acsis VOB members, potential members and anyone who isn't a member of a club: The acsis VOB Trail Running tee shirts are going to be available in the near future. It is a very high quality New Balance running shirt with the acsis VOB logo and the VOB Runner logo below it (front and back). The classic VOB royal blue stripe will be down each arm. A very limited quantity of short sleeve shirts has been ordered until we can establish the demand for the shirts. The term Trail Running has been left off for now but hopefully once we can establish the shirt as the official acsis VOB Trail Kit when we do trail races then we can get the committee to agree to add it. I really encourage members to acquire a shirt and wear it for non-WPA trail races as I have had the shirt developed particularly with the Trail Runners in mind. Its not an official requirement but it can really get some spirit going for club members during races. Already the Harfield Harriers runners are highly visible at races. I will soon have samples at the club for people to view. If the shirt proves successful then a long sleeve version will be ordered too. Unfortunately they will not be freebies but will be sold at cost (about R135 for the short sleeve version. It normally retails at over R200).

Remember to check out the acsis VOB Trail Running Blog at: Lets have your comments and suggestions.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I have been threatening a more difficult run than in recent weeks but I guess that will have to wait a little. Given the fact that the Peninsula Marathon and Half Marathon are being run on Sunday, I have opted for a run that has a nice easy component and then a more difficult add-on at the end for those who feel like pushing it a bit.

The Route

Its the return to the Table Mountain Contour Path (north face - above city bowl).

We will start at the Lower Cable Station on Tafelberg Road. From the cable station we head back along the tar road for a few hundred metres until we get to the path that leads up the start of Kloof Corner Ridge. We will follow this up to the contour path. I haven't walked this path before but I am hoping that it will avoid that soul-destroying 10 minute climb directly under the cableway lines. Once we hit the contour path (slightly closer to Camps Bay than last time) we proceed as before past the beginning of the India-Venster Ascent, and we will enjoy kilometres of easy single track running across the north face of Table Mountain. The first section is quite stony underfoot so trail shoes are a distinct advantage (although not strictly necessary). We cut across the base of India Ravine, Africa Ravine, Platteklip Gorge and The Saddle between TM and Devils Peak. From this point we start climbing gently around Devils Peak and over Oppelskop Ridge. Once over this Ridge we descent quickly towards Tafelberg Road but before getting to it we will resume running along the contour path (which branches off to the right) and have some more easy, comfortable path which comes out at The Kings Blockhouse, which will be a familiar to anyone who has run (Table Mountain Challenge) or mountain biked in this area.

This is where long route runners need to select and option:
Option 1: Turn at Kings Blockhouse, run about 1km back along the contour path and then descend onto Tafelberg Road for a nice easy 5km tar run back to the start; or
Option 2: Follow me down the gravel road which we follow down and back towards town, and descend that terrible hill that you have to run up on Leg 1 of Table Mountain Challenge. What a pleasure ! I have only ever run UP this hill and relish the thought of bliksem'ing down it for a change. That having been done, we now face the daunting task of getting back up to Tafelberg Road. We will follow the Leg 1 route (in reverse) until the big intersection just before the river crossing. Here we will cut up left and follow the route which is taken by the VWS Trail Challenge (short route) and we will pop out on Tafelberg Road at the big pine tree on the road at Platteklip Gorge. I can assure you that I will be walking that last little hill just before the road). From here it is a 2km tar run back to the cars.

If you do the full run:

Option 1: About 15km in total (including the tar).

Option 2: About 18km in total.

However, there are a number of escape routes along the way for those who would like a shorter run or for the slower runners who want to finish at the same time as the others:
At Platteklip Gorge on the way out (this gives you about a 5km run);
At The Saddle (this gives you about a 6 / 7km run); or
After the descent on the far side of Oppelskop Ridge near the end of Tafelberg Road (this will give you about a 10km run).
All escapes give you a short descent onto Tafelberg Road and an easy run back to the start.

Running Time:

For the full route,

Option 1: allow for a comfortable 1h 45 - 2 hour run.

Option 2: allow for 2h15 - 2h30

Start Time:

06h30 ready to run.

Exertion Index:

Option 1: Easy - 98% Runnable

Option 2: Moderate to tough. Although it is mostly runnable there are some tough hills down in Deer Park that will surely make your legs burn.

Getting to the Start:

Once you drive to the top of Kloof Nek, take the road that leads up to the Lower Cable Station which is about 1,5km up this road. I would recommend pulling over on the left just before you get to the cable station and parking there. But be aware of the taxi rank. Do not park in taxi bays as even these taxi drivers are quite excitable and you could well find your car further down the slope in Deer Park than you would like on your return. But otherwise there are normally car guards all over the place so please remember to bring a tip for the guards. We will gather outside the cableway ticket sales office.

General Advice:
Bring water with you as there is very little chance of any of the streams running at this time of year and anyway, drinking from the streams in this area is not recommended.
Be aware of snakes in this lovely warm weather, particularly the front runners.
A reminder to the faster runners: on the way out along the contour path, after you have passed through Platteklip gorge, you will run under a bit of a rock overhang and then the path splits. You will need to take the left path. You will be so glad you did. It appears to go down but this is not for long. The right hand path seems like the obvious choice but it soon climbs sharply, doubles back and then starts heading up the Saddle.

THESE DETAILS WILL ALSO BE POSTED ON THE acsis VOB BLOG. PLEASE CHECK IT OUT AND YOU WILL ALSO SEE THE LINK TO THE BAT RUN RACE REPORT. Please feel free to let me have your comments and suggestions re the site and / or for improving the runs going forward.

Finally, is there anyone who is willing and able to take the trail run on the weekend of 28 February / 1 March 2009 ? I am going up to Oudtshoorn that weekend so won't be available to take a run.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Most of you will be aware that the extremely challenging, yet stunning, Bat Run took place on the evening / night of Saturday 7 February 2009. Leo Rust has sent me the link to his race report. Please take time to check it out:

Friday, February 13, 2009

14th February, 2009 - Tokai Forest

Update - See the great news at the bottom of this posting

What I thought may be a fairly mundane run along Noordhoek Beach last Sunday turned out to be one of the best runs of all. Conditions were perfect. Stunning weather, firm sand and very "fresh" seawater for a dip afterwards. Awesome ! Thanks to everyone who arrived to find me fast asleep in my car (and didn't wake me until it was time to run). This run will have to be repeated once or twice before the summer is out.
My apologies to Dain for abandoning you at Food Barn to do a solo breakfast. None of us realised that their breakfast area had moved. We thought it was closed. It won't happen again and we are now all duly educated.
Well this week is the last week in which I'll be attempting to find a "soft" weekend trail run. After next week, the Wednesday Trail Series will be over and so I won't feel guilty about fitting in one or two hills on the weekend runs.
The Route
I'll keep this simple because no-one reads seems to read my lengthy route descriptions anyway (......mumble... grumble...). We will do a Tokai Forest ramble along forestry roads and single track keeping largely to the shade. It will all be in the forest between the Arboretum and the Level 5 Road.
Distance and Duration
Long route: About 15km - About 1 hour 45 minutes
Short Route: About 10km - About 1 hour 30 minutes
Start Place
The Arboretum parking area in Tokai Forest (drop me a mail if you don't know where this is).
Start Time
06h30 - all warmed up and ready to run.
Exertion Index
Easy to moderate. Whilst this area is 100% runnable, it is certainly a little more strenous than a run along the beach on hard sand. But that's not a problem........just slow down a bit. And walk if you need to. No-one is judging you. Benchmark it off races such as the Manor House 16km etc.
Special Points
  • Please carry your own water.
  • Watch where you put your feet (note to self) as there is always a possibility of taking a tumble even on the forestry roads. Also, last time we were running in Tokai, "Alice" was terrifying us with stories of a grumpy puffadder (we'll give that path a miss).
  • Don't "soek" with the medical aid kit doesn't cover deep lacerations and bite wounds.
  • At certain times we will be crossing over into mountain biking territory. Please be watchful and wary. They move at high speed and can't avoid collisions as easily as we can. Please be courteous towards them. As I have said before, their riding areas are far more restricted than our running areas.
Hope to see you there.

New Balance have very kindly offered a voucher for a pair of awesome New Balance trail running shoes as a lucky draw prize at our weekend trail runs every second month. So, at the end of March 2009, the first voucher becomes available and we will have the lucky draw at the first run in April.

In order to qualify to be in the draw you need to have attended 5 of the acsis VOB trail runs between now and the end of March. This means that the onus will be on you to ensure that your name is recorded with me at the run each weekend.

I will be trying to ease the name recording rush by having a spreadsheet of all people on my database at each run so that you just need to sign next to your name. While the list is being developed, I won't have everybody's details so when you are signing your name, please check to see that we have a cell phone / contact number for you AND an emergency contact number as well just in case something happens on a run and we need to get hold of a friend or family member. None of this is compulsory so if you don't want to supply details then you don't have to. Its just a safety precaution.