Well Well Well Well Well !!!!!!!!!!! Saturday saw us do a very interesting run indeed. Geoff Perrott described it very accurately as "wandering through unchartered territory". Any resemblance between it and the route I described in last week's email or indeed the map I handed out at the start was purely coincidental. There shall be minimal naming of names or pointing of fingers save to say that Greg Sneddon's Navigator Licence has been revoked and he will have to re-sit the test. And Sandra receives a red card for foul language as well as a special new trophy for the most spectacular fall..........while she was WALKING. Tammy gets the Grumpy Award, although it was partially justified by the fact that she had an important engagement later in the day which would have gone much better if she wasn't late and bleeding profusely from lacerations on her legs. And I think I am also not out of place awarding myself the Hypochondriac Cup. I would like to blame, 100%, a sore Achilles for my extremely lame walk up the valley from the Homestead but the truth is that I was very hot and tired and was seriously considering a future leading the Brisk Walking Group.
But I have the deepest empathy for Greg as I have been there many times before and actually, some / most of us loved the fresh new experience; although I promise not to repeat it too often. It is a run leader's nightmare when the path that you thought you knew so well..........suddenly...........disappears...........completely. The lesson learned on this run is:
How to tell when the Route Leader is Lost.
First of all he / she grinds slowly to a halt. They stare accusingly at the ground ahead of them and look increasingly confused. Then comes the true tell-tale sign........the glance back over each shoulder with a blank look on the face...........Then you know its over. What you need to do at this point and which we failed to do on Saturday, is TURN AROUND AND GO BACK TO WHERE YOU KNOW WHERE THE H*LL YOU ARE. No matter how much abuse you take for it, it is the wise thing to do.
Never mind Greg it was still a superb run and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I, for one, really appreciated the effort of you stepping up to the plate and showing us something different. Good work.
WEDNESDAY INFORMAL RUN - 27 JANUARY 2010
Despite last Wednesday's injury affected effort, there will definitely be a Wednesday run this week. Be ready to run at 17h30 at the TMNP kiosk / information centre in the Carpark at Kloof Nek. 10 - 12km. 2 hours max.
SATURDAY 30 JANUARY 2010 - CONSTANTIA NEK TO KING'S BLOCKHOUSE AND BACK
As I have done too much waffling above, the route description will be an Executive Summary:
Constantia Nek Car Park.
We will follow the LOWER jeep track as we usually do, through Cecilia Forest and over into Kirstenbosch as far as the turn at the steps up Window Ravine. Instead of climbing the steps we will drop down the Silvertree Trail Route (Celtics Group Route) through to Newlands Forest and then follow the Plumpudding Hill UPPER Route. Just before Plumpudding Hill we will take the path up to the gate just below the King's Blockhouse and then follow the contour path and upper jeep track all the way back to Constantia Nek.
06h15 ready to run.
Just over 20km but one can take a wide variety of short-cuts and make some very decent shorter runs. I would be very happy to advise on the day.
Allow at least 3 hours for the whole route although the racing snakes will do it much faster than that.
The route OUT is more difficult than the route back. On the way out you will have undulating jeep track most of the way. Some of the hills are quite tough but I would say 90% runnable. The route back is mostly beautiful, easy single track and a bit of jeep track towards the end. 100% runnable.
- Please carry your own water. You can get water from three different taps in Kirstenbosch but otherwise there is not likely to be drinkable water on the mountain at this time of year.
- Dress according to weather conditions - watch the weather report.
- Sunblock is a good idea, as is a cap.
- The normal snake alert applies. Just keep your eyes on the ground ahead of you when you're running.
- Security: Please stay in groups. This is a run through an area where there have been muggings (and worse) in the past. Its a question of being aware and taking responsibility of your own safety as well as those around you. If you encounter someone who is struggling to keep up, please stay with them until others arrive and a group forms again.
- Try and carry a cell phone, preferably an old one and put my cell phone number into it. You can then call for help if necessary. And if in the unlikely event of you running into troublesome characters who wish to relieve you of your valuables, it is actually not a bad idea to have a cell phone to give them so that they don't get even uglier with you.
- Carry a loud whistle. One with a pea in it like sports referees have. When in doubt, blow it like hell. Not only does it make trouble-makers flee but it alerts us to the fact that you are in trouble and we can find you easily. Keep blowing till help arrives.
- Please sign the register before the run.