Monday, August 31, 2009

SEPTEMBER 2009 SPRING MENU

Well TMC paranoia really seemed to take hold this last weekend and a group of about 70 of us took to the mountain to do Leg 3 of TMC. Well, strictly speaking, there were two groups; one of 49 runners and one of about 21. I think generally most runners felt relieved that Leg 3 wasn't nearly as bad as you thought. However, don't forget that you need to add in the section from Constantia Nek to Suikerbossie which, although largely runnable, has one nasty little hill in it that can sap some energy from the legs. So you start Hout Bay Corner / Llandudno Ravine with less energy and things tend to snowball a bit from there. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED !

My one observation from the run is that there appears to be significantly more erosion on the path on top of the mountain than I have seen in years gone by. Undoubtedly this is largely due to the heavy rains we have experienced this winter. But we can also not ignore the fact that the area has become increasingly more popular with trail runners and this is also contributing in a small way. So this is an appeal to all to be very conscious of what you do to the environment when you are out running in these ecologically sensitive areas. For example, please stick to the paths and don't take shortcuts. Where SANParks has closed particular paths for rehabilitation, please don't continue to use them. Use the alternative paths even if they are a little longer. Try not to dislodge stones and rocks, especially on steeper ascents and descents etc etc.

But all-in-all it was a great run in perfect conditions (a little warm towards the end). Thanks to everyone who turned out and made it such a great success.



Here is the program of acsis VOB weekend runs for September 2009:


WEEKEND OF 5 & 6 SEPTEMBER 2009

There is no formal acsis VOB Run this coming weekend. Generally, most people will be tapering for The Table Mountain Challenge. But for those still looking for a run, as well as well as a tick on the Attendance Register for the New Balance Trail Shoe Lucky Draw, then the Satori Camel Run in Noordhoek is the place to be on Sunday ( http://www.camelrun.co.za/ ). Just email me AFTER you have run it and I will tick your name off on the list. The "Honesty Principal" applies.

HOWEVER: If any of the group regulars decides to organise an informal run on Saturday, I will announce this in my Tuesday email which normally confirms the details of the non-acsis VOB weekly trail runs.

AND: There will be a Wednesday INFORMAL trail run (2 September 2009). Intermediate pace. As usual, meet at Kloof Nek Car Park BUT NEW STARTING TIME: 17h00. This week we will do the Lions Head / Signal Hill Loop including the section down to Springbok Rd and then cut back up just before the Noon Gun (Sea Point side of the Noon Gun fence) so as to miss the section through Bo Kaap.


WEEKEND OF 12 & 13 SEPTEMBER 2009

Well there is no doubt as to what is happening on this weekend. Its Table Mountain Challenge time and this will be the official run for the weekend; Saturday 12 September 2009. The same Honesty Principle applies for those wishing to have their names recorded for the New Balance Trail Shoe Lucky Draw.


WEEKEND OF 19 & 20 SEPTEMBER 2009

For this weekend we will be joining our roadie running friends for the Annual acsis VOB Whale Run. For those of you who have never done this before it is about a 50 / 50 onroad / off-road run, starting at Dixies Restaurant in Glencairn, up the Glencairn Expressway and then into the mountains to the south winding our way to the dams where we stop for a swim and then make our way back down Red Hill to Dixies where we chill out and have breakfast and watch the whales frolicking in the Bay. It is about 20km. We have yet to decide whether this will be a Saturday or a Sunday but we will announce this later in the month.


WEEKEND OF 26 & 27 SEPTEMBER

Saturday 26 September: Prepare yourself for another Gary Banfield Special. I speak subject to correction, but as far as I can remember from my chat to Gary, this is going to start at Constantia Nek and do contour path all the way to Kings Blockhouse and then contour path to Platteklip Gorge, up Platteklip and then decide on one of a variety of awesome routes back to Constantia Nek. Its a BIGGIE but all very runnable (except for the climb up Platteklip). But rest assured that there will also be an exciting short route option which I will dream up in consultation with Gary. This weekend really will be something to look forward to.

That's it for now.

Have a great week everyone.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

CRAG S / SW THURSDAY RUN DETAILS

Hi SSW CRAGgers . . .

Here are the run details for this Thursday, 27 August 2009...

For those interested in what a typical SSW CRAG run is like: take a look at this link for last week's run. Click on satelite view:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=205902796353281456878.000471978234aad29d971

************************************************

LEADER: Pieter Holtzhausen

0849986386

DATE: Thursday 27 August 2009

TIME: in time to start running at 17h45 sharp

LOCATION: Jonkershoek (Entrance fee R25)

ROUTE DESCRIPTION:We follow the Yellowwood trail as high as it is rehabilitated and thentake the gravel contourdeeper into the valley in the direction of Langrivierkloof. Backtowards the gate with the aid of a few mountain bike paths.

DURATION AND DISTANCE: approx 90 mins, approx 10 km

GRADING:— 100 % runnable uphill— A1— pack run

STARTING POINT: Park at the gate

DIRECTIONS:Follow the R44 from Somerset West or from Stellenbosch. After the Vander Stel sportgrounds turn right into Merriman and continue onwardsover the traffic circle right into Jonkershoek.

EQUIPMENT:— torch/headlamp is essential— water/energy drink/munchies— foul weather gear (if required )— personal medication (if required)— something for rehydration after the run— warmer/dryer clothing for the rehydrate session

Monday, August 24, 2009

WED - MEANDER IN DEER PARK / SATURDAY - LEG 3 OF TABLE MOUNTAIN CHALLENGE

Well the acsis VOB Trail Running 1 Year Anniversary has come and gone. Thank you to everyone who attended. It was a lovely run. And a special thank to wonderful, gorgeous Brigette for the delicious muffins to help us celebrate.

On the topic of anniversaries, Jeff Shapiro, who has been instrumental in the operation of our fledgling trail running division over the last year, has a birthday today. Happy Birthday Jeff and thanks for all you've done for us over the last year. Anyone wishing to fill his inbox with good wishes and appreciation can do so on:
jeff@the-cia.co.za .

WEDNESDAY 26 AUGUST 2009

With Table Mountain Challenge fast approaching, I am feeling horribly undertrained and nervous. So there will be an informal run from Kloof Nek carpark, into Deer Park. Route to be determined on the day but you can be sure it will have some hills in it and will be run at intermediate pace. We will run for about 90 minutes.

Meet at 16h45 in the Kloof Nek carpark, ready to run.


SATURDAY 29 AUGUST 2009

The Route - Leg 3 of Table Mountain Challenge

This is a route that needs some car admin as we start at Suikerbossie Restaurant and run over the mountain to finish at Kloof Nek carpark. So check out the important car admin details below.

PLEASE NOTE: The first section of Leg 3, between Constantia Nek and the far fence of Orange Kloof, can only be run on race day. It is otherwise a strictly prohibited area. Terrible things will happen to you if you break the rules and go and practice in this area without permission from SANParks.

For the Route Description I am taking an extract from the Route Guide for Hout Bay Trail Challenge as their Leg 2 follows much of the same turf until just before the Kasteelspoort descent. So thank you Claire and Sports4U.

We will take "........... the “Public Footpath” just outside the Ruyterplaats gate. Follow the Suikerbossie Restaurant fence line upwards until we reach the contour path above the pine forest. There are a few paths in this area and it can get confusing but they all seem to lead in the same direction. You need to make sure that you pick one of the paths that proceeds in an easterly direction (towards Constantia Nek) above the pines until you reach and intersection where a clear path to your left leads directly up towards the mountain." At this point we will depart briefly from the official route and run along the contour path towards Constantia Nek until we reach the fence at Orange Kloof. This is to give you an idea of the extra bit you will be doing on race day. It will also help you NOT to go up Myburg's Waterfall Ravine in error on race day. Then we will turn around and jog back to the point where we left off. This gives us a nice warm-up before hitting Hout Bay Corner, gives us a little more distance and time-on-the-legs and shows us a bit the race day route that otherwise never gets run. Okay, so now we are back at that intersection: "Take this path which climbs quite quickly to the ridge above you (300m) - Hout Bay Corner.

Follow this path along the ridge to your right, scramble up a few ledges until you are under the cliff face. The scrambles are far less of a challenge these days as they now have steel staples secured to the rocks to help you climb. After the second scramble, you are up on a ledge. Head towards the sea and follow the path round to the left (towards Camps Bay) and towards the bottom of Llandudno Ravine. The path runs below the cliff face and is narrow and sometimes fairly exposed – please take care, especially if visibility is poor. After traversing for a short while the path climbs steeply again and begins a second traverse in the same direction. At times the path appears to climb but suddenly comes to a dead end. If this happens, don’t panic. Just retrace your steps a little and you will find that you missed a turn where the path suddenly dropped down to your left and you didn’t see it. At one point on the second traverse here is an unclear path to the right (marked by a small cairn) which leads to a serious scramble and you don’t want to be going that way. Keep going until you get to the entrance to Llandudno Ravine.

The correct path up the ravine starts at the second stream, which you need to cross carefully. There are hand holds (trusty steel staples again) to assist you. The surface may be slippery and there are patches of loose gravel/stone. It is recommended that you walk up this section in groups, to avoid rocks falling on runners below. The path up Llandudno Ravine has been rehabilitated and is far more secure than in previous years – thanks to previous years’ donations which helped repair this path. Nevertheless it is quite merciless as you still tend to slide back one step for every two that you take.

But suddenly you pop out almost unexpectedly at the top of the ravine. The climbing isn’t over but the worst is behind you.

Follow the clear path which keeps climbing gently eastwards until you reach some green anti-erosion fencing. At that point the path you want to be on swings off to the left and upwards. It levels off quite quickly though and heads northwards over solid rock so watch the path carefully. If the visibility is poor please be careful. The path is initially feint, however it has been well marked with cairns. The path swings east- north-east (to your right….for those who were never boy scouts / girl guides / Voortrekkers) again and climbs a wide shallow valley which is soggy under foot and there are numerous paths which become streams in winter. But all of the paths come out more or less in the same place so just try and keep slightly to the left of centre in the valley. At the top of the valley one proceeds in the same direction along a lovely flattish and very runnable section and onto the southerly slope of a small hill. As the path opens up it starts swinging north again. There are a few paths in this area but when in doubt, look for and aim at a medium sized boulder, standing alone, which has been described as looking like a large baboon dropping. When you reach that, the path is clear and you head north-east and swiftly downhill into another broad valley which leads across to Grootkop. Grootkop should be clearly visible unless there is low cloud. But you will know you are on the right track if you are bounding along some easily runnable single track which will remind you just why you do trail running.

You then start the climb up the right (eastern) shoulder of Grootkop. It is a steep narrow path which can sap your strength quickly so treat it with respect. You will pass Grootkop and find yourself going down through a tunnel / window formed between two large overhanging boulders as you descend along a rocky path which then undulates fairly gently towards the Front Table of Table Mountain. You will pass through the tops of numerous unmarked ravines which descend to the Camps Bay side of the mountain. First is Oudekraal Ravine, then Corridor Ravine and then a fairly steep descent into Slangolie Ravine. Along the main path you are following you will notice other paths leading down into these ravines and their associated buttresses but your path is clear and unmistakeable. As you approach the last little bit of the drop into Slangolie Ravine you are confronted with the choice of scrambling down a simple rock band or taking the path to the right which traverses around the rock band but soon returns to the foot of the scramble. The scramble is not difficult at all. It looks quite hairy from above but once you start climbing down it becomes obvious how easy it is, particularly if you start a little off to the left hand side of it. At the bottom of the drop you will find a sign saying “Dangerous Decent” which refers to the path down Slangolie to the Pipe Track. But you are not going that way.

Proceed in the same direction you were before up the slope on the other side of the ravine. Next you drop into Woody Ravine which is marked as such and then up a little more on the other side. The path levels out and after a short while you will encounter a large cylindrical SANParks “cairn” right in the middle of the path with direction markers on it." Keep running past this cairn and very soon you come to the intersection at the top of Kasteelspoort. Turn left and descend Kateelspoort until you come to the Pipe Track (contour path) above Camps Bay. At the Pipe Track, turn right and follow the undulating path until you reach Kloof Nek Carpark.


Distance

About 15 - 16km


Start Time

06h30 we will drop cars at Kloof Nek.

07h00 we start running from Suikerbossie.


Start Place

The little carpark outside the gates of Ruyterplaats Residential Estate), just before the Suikerbossie Restaurant.


ESTIMATED Time on the Mountain

You are really going to have to work this one out for yourselves. The range can be huge. Anywhere between 3 and 6 hours. So if you are a slower runner, this could be a long one for you.

Exertion Factors

I am going to split this up:

From the start to the first contour path over to Orange Kloof is a bit of a jog / walk. (50% runnable)

The Contour path to Orange Kloof and back is easy (100% runnable).

Hout Bay Corner to the top of Llandudno Ravine is TOUGH (5% runnable).

Top of Llandudno Ravine to Grootkop is easy (90% runnable).

Tough little walk up Grootkop.

Top of Grootkop to the finish is moderate (70% runnable).


CAR ADMIN

Could I request that as many people as possible take their cars to Kloof Nek Car Park by 06h30 at the latest. Especially people coming from the Atlantic Seaboard / City Bowl area. Then we will pile into as few cars as possible and drive the fairly short distance to Suikerbossie in time for a 07h00 start. Please would you email me and let me know if you can assist by bring a car to Kloof Nek.

So this is an RSVP RUN.


Notes
  1. Please watch the weather reports carefully and dress appropriately according to the forecast weather. You might as well try and carry the waterproof top, food and water you will be required to carry on race day. Treat this as a dress rehearsal.
  2. Although there should be plenty of water on the mountain, I always recommend taking some of your own.
  3. We might get quite spread out of this run so when in doubt, don't be a hero / heroine. Stop and wait for someone who does know the way.
  4. Carry a whistle. If you get lost, blow it like crazy. We will find you.
  5. Carry a cell phone (fully charged), put my number in it (0823210299) and call me if you're in trouble.
  6. Please go to the Trail Page on the acsis VOB website ( www.vob.co.za ) and read the two Word documents there on the Rules and Guidelines of these acsis VOB runs and Trail Running Tips.
  7. I am looking for a few volunteers of varying pace to act as route guides for this run only. I think there will be a number of people who haven't done the route before and there will be a need for several experienced trail runners along the length of the run that people can look to and stick close to. Please email me if you can help.


Otherwise, have a great week everyone.


Monday, August 17, 2009

BIRTHDAY RUN

I am afraid I am, once again, not available to take a Wednesday evening informal run. Nope, not swine flu; I am running in the Cape Winter Trail Series night race on Wednesday evening.

Another change for this week is that the weekend run will be on Sunday instead of Saturday as I will be assisting at a water station for The Puffer on Saturday morning. It is also an important milestone as it will be 1 year since the acsis VOB Trail Running offering began. So we will be running the same route that we did 1 year ago and hopefully we will do it each year from now on. This, of course, means that it would be wonderful to have as many committee members along as possible.

THE BIRTHDAY ROUTE

Constantia Nek - Cecilia Forest - Kirstenbosch - return along Contour Path from Window Ravine.

This is a shorter than usual route with several short-cut options.


The Route:

We will start at the car park at Constantia Nek and follow the forestry road towards Cecilia Forest. At the first split in the road we will go right and follow the lower road which descends towards Rhodes Drive at Southern Cross Drive. At the next split we follow the right hand road to just before the gate at Rhodes Drive. Just before the gate we turn left onto a lovely undulating piece of single track along the fence which we follow to the Cecilia Forest Car Park. From this car park we head straight up through the trees to re-join the road that goes over into Kirstenbosch. We follow this road to the intersection at the Top Gate (near Klaasens Road). I know this gate has an official name but I can never remember it. On the normal acsis VOB road training runs it is just known fondly as "Top Tap" - usually followed closely by a groan of despair.

As we get to that intersection, the gate is on the right but we turn left and head straight up the brick road towards the mountain. Look out for a drinking fountain on the right for those who are thirsty. Shortly thereafter there is a drinking fountain on the left at a split in the road. At this split, remember the CRAG mantra "when in doubt, up; when in doubt, up; when in doubt up", and keep left and climb a short sharp hill. At the top of the hill there is another split in the road. At this point, keep right. Follow this gravel road and soon thereafter you will see a road going off to the left. Short Route* turn left (and we will come back to this route), Long Route go right. Long Route runners continue through a couple of undulations to a further fork in the road........keep left (up) and you will soon see the path up Skeleton Gorge to your left (this is another short route option). But we stay on the road and cross the stream, up a tiny hill and then down. At the bottom of this little hill the road forks again.....keep left (up) and cross another stream. Straight after the stream, the path then swings right, climbs a bit and then swings down to the left.

At the bottom of this drop, there is a small intersection where we need to turn left and start climbing some steps. Pay attention at this point because sometimes the turn to the left is less clear than at other times. Keep climbing the steps and eventually the path levels out and swings left (back towards Cecilia). Keep following this path back towards your car. Ignore a path that comes in from the right which climbs and heads towards Rhodes Memorial. You will now cross the Window Ravine (drinkable water) stream, then the Skeleton Gorge Stream (give this water a miss) and then Nursery Ravine stream (don't drink it). Just after Nursery Raving you will cross another smaller stream and then find there is a split in the path. Keep right here (there may be some short route runners coming up from the left) and follow the contour path to the gum trees at the border of Cecilia Forest. There is an intersection of paths here. The Short Route Runners will come up the path on the left. The path to the right goes up to the Waterfall. But we just keep going straight here. Keep heading slightly downwards and towards Cecilia Forest. The path becomes forestry road. At the next fork in the road, keep right and this road immediately swings left again but upwards and you start the climb of the last hill of the run. Once you have got to the top of this hill the road takes a 90 degree turn right and follows a swift descent to the Constantia Nek car park (but make sure you ignore a road that goes off to the right (and upwards) on your way down. That road goes up to the dams on top of the mountain.

For the more adventurous, read back to the 90 degree turn at the top of the last hill. Instead of following the road down to the right, look over the lip of the road right in front of you. There is a steep bit of single track which you can go thundering down (great fun) and follow to the lower forestry road. At the road turn right and run towards the finish but keep looking for a single track path off to the right before you get to the stream (known as "the Waterfall" by the acsis VOB road runners). This path takes you up through a very pretty little wooded ravine and you come out on the upper road again which you follow down to the car park at the Nek.

Short Route runners, read back to the asterisk in Para 2 of the route description. Take that road to the left and keep following it slightly upwards and back towards Cecilia Forest. The first path off to the right goes up to the contour path on the Constantia Nek side of Nursery Ravine (you could take this path) where you would then turn left and rejoin the Long Route and the second path to the right takes you up to the intersection at the gum trees on the Cecilia Forest border where you would also turn left and rejoin the Long Route.


Start Point:

Constantia Nek Car Park


Start Time:

07h30 sharp. So please get there a little earlier to sign the register.


Distance:

Long Route: About 12km

Short Route: Between 7 and 9km depending on the option you select.


ESTIMATED Time out There:

Intermediate runners: 75 - 90 minutes

Slower runners: 2 hours


Exertion:

Reasonably easy stuff. 90% runnable.


Notes:
  1. There should be plenty of water to drink on the mountain and there are a few drinking fountains. So unless you need a lot of water all the time, this is one run that you can do free of the water bottle / hydration pack fetters.
  2. Although there haven't been dramatic "incidents" in Kirstenbosch recently, please still be wary and try and stay in groups through this area.
  3. Please sign the register before the start.
  4. Have fun and enjoy the easy, low admin route because on Saturday 29 August we will be running Leg 3 of Table Mountain Challenge.

    UPCOMING RUN: SATURDAY 29 AUGUST 2009 - LEG 3 OF TABLE MOUNTAIN CHALLENGE


    Have a great week Everyone and Happy Birthday to Us.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

SATURDAY 15 AUGUST 2009: LEGS 1 & 2 OF TMC

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that anyone who was disturbed by my facetious hissy-fit on Friday has recovered well. I was back to full humour shortly thereafter and I hope you were too.

Despite all the confusion, we still managed to get about forty runners in attendance and a great time was had by all (even if they didn't realise it at the time). I was highly impressed with the majority of short route runners who decided to do the long route at the last minute and coped extremely well, without exception. It just goes to show what can be achieved if you push the boundaries a little. Well done Everyone !

I am afraid that I am unable to offer a Wednesday run this week as I will be attending a meeting of the new Trail Running Association of South Africa. The association is still being set up and I will report back briefly to you all with any salient points. Then if anyone has any feedback or suggestions I would be happy to act as a conduit for such information.

I know a lot of people will be heading up to Kleinmond this weekend for the Cape Winter Trail Series races on Saturday. Nevertheless, I would still like to do a run in Cape Town this weekend. So for those remaining in town, I think maybe we can do a little rehearsal for the upcoming Table Mountain Challenge. I will run Legs 1 and 2 of TMC, starting at Kloof Nek and ending at Constantia Nek. There will be two shorter routes available. BUT PLEASE RSVP IF YOU INTEND DOING THE LONG RUN AT SOME CAR ADMIN IS NECESSARY.

WEDNESDAY 12 AUGUST 2009

No run.

SATURDAY 15 AUGUST 2009

The Route

Start at Kloof Nek and run the gravel jeep track through Deer Park / Van Riebeek Park or whatever that area is called these days i.e. between Tafelberg Road and the houses below in the Higgovale / Devils Peak area. After about 6 km of gentle undulations (more honestly described as: "short, sharp, exhausting ups and downs") we start the long, slow, relentless climb to the end of Leg 1 just below the Kings Blockhouse at about 8,6km.

At this point, those wanting a shorter route have two options which will be discussed below.

Long route runners will continue along the contour path on the Newlands side of the mountain. This is largerly single track and varies between boardwalk, rocky sections and easy running, smooth sections. There is a bit of forestry jeep track near the end. There are only two climbs on this section (like anyone believes me anymore); one at about the halfway mark, just before Window Gorge and then one near the end once you get onto the jeep track again in Cecilia Forest. This leg is about 10km long.

Short Route 1: At the gate just below the Blockhouse, just walk up to the Blockhouse itself. Behind it you will find the start of a countour path slightly on the Cape Town side of the mountain. Follow it for about 1,5km and then drop down onto Tafelberg Road for a 5,5km tar road run back to Kloof Nek. One hill on it as you are approach the Saddle.

Short Route 2: At the gate just below the Blockhouse you will see that the path splits just after you go through the gate. The right hand path is the contour path which the Long Route runners will take. The left hand path takes you straught down to Rhodes Memorial. You will need to organise, for yourself, to leave a car there beforehand or get someone to pick you up at Rhodes memorial.


Distances

Long Route: 18,6km (car admin required - finish at Constantia Nek))

Short Route
Option 1
: +-15km but last 6km is easy tar road running (no car admin required - finish back at Kloof nek)

Short Route
Option 2
: +- 9km (car admin required - finish at Rhodes Memorial)



Meeting & Start Times:

Long Route: Meet at Constantia Nek at 07h00 to drop cars. 07h30 start at Kloof Nek.

Both Short Route Options: 07h30 start at Kloof Nek car park.


Start Place:

Kloof Nek car park. As you get to the top of the nek between Cape Town and Camps Bay, turn up as if you were driving to the Lower Cable Station (Tafelberg Road) But immediately on your left as you turn in to Tafelberg Road you will see a parking area with two tiers. Meet on the upper tier right next to the SANParks kiosk.


ESTIMATED Time on the Moutain:

Long Route: Faster Runners - around 2h00 - 2h15 . Intermediate Runners 2h30 - 2h45. Slower Runners - at least 3 hours.

SR Option 1: Assuming less fit runners - 1h45 - 2h15.

SR Option 2: Assuming REALLY unfit / lazy runners - allow at least 2 hours.


Exertion Factor:

All routes about 90% runnable gradient but some may prefer to walk some of the hills.


Notes:

1. Please carry some water with you even though there is lots of water on the mountain. My personal advice would be only to drink from streams between the Kings
Blockhouse and Skeleton Gorge (excluding the latter) for the obvious reason that there are lost of hikers whose calls of nature may have "bacterialised" (my word)
the other streams.
2. Please would all runners coming from the southern suburbs meet at Constantia Nek to drop cars at 07h00. Others should go straight to Kloof Nek to be there by
07h20 to sign the register and get last minute briefing.
3. Dress appropiately for the weather conditions on the day. I will update on Friday and hopefully not confuse the h*ll out of everyone this time. As there seem to be
a lot of people who are new to trail running, please take this seriously and check out the tips and guidelines on the Trail Running page of the acsis VOB website:
www.vob.co.za .

Have a great (short) week Everyone.

Monday, August 3, 2009

WED: LIONS HEAD / SAT: CONTOUR - SADDLE - NEWLANDS RAVINE

Well Saturday's run was an ............interesting.........experiment. Whilst the section between Corridor Ravine and Oudekraal Ravine was beautiful, it is not really a run and in all likelihood will not form part of one our runs again in the near future. It is highly recommended as an easy hike though.

Also on Saturday's run, a new world record was set for talking by 4 of the 5 tail-enders, who shall remain nameless for reporting purposes but they know who they are. What was even more inpressive than the sheer volume of words was the fact that they still kept up a pretty reasonable pace. It appears that a little known secret of good trail running is to be able to talk on the in-breath and the the out-breath. Nevertheless it was lots of fun.

NEW BALANCE TRAIL SHOE LUCKY DRAW VOUCHER

The latest voucher was drawn on Saturday and this time it goes to ..........................................Charmaine Meyer. Congratulations Charmaine ! I will keep it with me and give it to you when next I see you.


INFORMAL MIDWEEK RUN - WED 5 AUGUST


This Wednesday we will run the loop around Lions Head from the Kloof Nek Car Park. However we will avoid the section through the Bo Kaap. Once we have done the loop around Lions Head we will run along the spine to Signal Hill and then back to Kloof Nek either on the path or the road depending on the light conditions.

This run will be weather-dependent so please confirm with me by email, phone or sms on Wed at lunchtime.

Meet at Kloof Nek Car Park (at the SANParks Kiosk) at 16h45.


SATURDAY 8 AUGUST - CONTOUR PATH / SADDLE / NEWLANDS RAVINE / KINGS BLOCKHOUSE

Yes, I know its a long-weekend. We are still running. We will leave the Table Mountain Challenge Rehearsals for the following weeks as many people will be away for the long-weekend. So this coming Saturday we are going to run the Gary Banfield Special. Thanks for the input Gary.

The Route

We will start right outside the Lower Cable Station on Tafelberg Road and climb to the contour at Kloof Corner Ridge. We will follow the contour path across the front face of Table Mountain towards Devils Peak (as we usually do). But after Platteklip Gorge we will take the right hand split in the path and climb up to The Saddle (between TM and DP). From the top we will run across to the top of Newlands Ravine and then descend it to the contour path on the Newlands side of the mountain and then run along it to the gate below the Kings Blockhouse (above Rhodes Mem). We will do the short climb to the Blockhouse and then run the contour path back to the Lower Cable Station via Oppelskop Ridge.

Anyone wanting to do a short route can just do the contour path to the Kings Blockhouse and back.

Start Place

Lower Cable Station on Tafelberg Road.

Start Time

07h30

Distance

Long Route - about 20km

Short Route - about 12km

Time Out on the Mountain

I don't know why I put this in because I'm always wrong.

Long Route - allow 3 hours (probably less though)

Short Route - 90 minutes

Sweat Index

Long Route - 85% runnable. One short climb to the contour path in the beginning. And then a climb to the top of The Saddle which will necessitate some walking. A third very short climb to Kings Blockhouse and a then final climb up Oppelskop Ridge. LOADS of flat in between the climbs though.

Short Route - 90% runnable. One short climb to the contour path in the beginning. Then on the way back there is the hill back over Oppelskop Ridge. This hill can be avoided though by running back along Tafelberg Road instead (5km of tar road).