Monday, March 29, 2010

EASTER BREAK

EASTER BREAK


We will be taking a break this coming weekend to allow people to enjoy Two Oceans (Trail, 1/2 Marathon and Ultra) and spend a little more time sleeping in and spending time with family. So there will be no formal acsis VOB Trail Run or Walk this coming long weekend. On Tuesday 6 April I will email out the details of the run on Saturday 10 April 2010.


HOWEVER

Jane Holdcroft is looking for people to run with on some long slow trail runs over the Easter weekend. If you are keen to join her for any of these then please drop her and email on janeholdcroft@hotmail.co.uk or give her a shout on 0790852582.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

SATURDAY 27 MARCH 2010 - CONSTANTIA NEK TO DE VILLIERS DAM VIA BRIDLE PATH - SINGLE TRACK LOOP AROUND DAMS VIA NURSERY RAVINE - SKELETON GORGE - WINDO

SATURDAY 27 MARCH 2010 - CONSTANTIA NEK TO DE VILLIERS DAM VIA BRIDLE PATH - SINGLE TRACK LOOP AROUND DAMS VIA NURSERY RAVINE - SKELETON GORGE - WINDOW RAVINE AND ECHO VALLEY RETURN VIA BRIDLE PATH

START PLACE AND TIME

06h30 at the car park at Constantia Nek


ROUTE

Long Route

We will follow the Bridle Path (jeep track) and wind our way up to the top of the Back Table to the De Villiers Dam and the Hoerikwaggo Overnight Cottage. Just after the cottage we will take the single track off to the right and follow that path along the top of the mountain past the tops of Nursery Ravine and Skeleton Gorge. At the top of Skellie there is an opportunity to do a slightly shorter, easier long route by turning left and heading back past the Hely-Hutchinson and Woodhead Dams to rejoin the Bridle Path. But the main long route will continue straight and start climbing up past the top of Window Ravine and head up a steeper section towards Maclears Beacon. Before getting to the beacon though, we will turn left down Echo Valley and make our way back to the aforementioned dams where we will cross over the wall to the Bridle Path and follow this for a nice swift downhill gallop back to Constantia Nek.


Short Route and Walkers

Will follow the Bridle path all the way to the Woodhead Dam wall and back along the same route. Whilst this is jeep track all the way (and thus a bit boring to the more hard-core trail runner) at least it allows you to enjoy the spectacular views with a much smaller risk of converting forward motion into downward motion, terminating in a thudding, painful stop.


DISTANCES

Short Route Run and Walk: About 13km (but you can make it shorter if you want. It's out and back).

Long Route Option 1: About 15 -16km.

Long Route Option 2: About 20km.


DIFFICULTY

Short Route Run and Walk

Jeep track all the way so easy underfoot. Big climb to the top of the back Table but after that its Knees-Up-Mother-Brown easy.

Long Route Option 1

Same as above but with a few kms of relatively easy single track thrown in.

Long Route Option 2

Includes a reasonably tough climb from Skeleton Gorge to the Echo Valley turn. Thereafter some nice bouncy boardwalk and interesting, slightly more technical single track back over to the dams, followed by easy jeep track finish.


RUNNING TIME

Walkers: Allow yourselves at least 3 hours to do the whole thing.

Short Route: At least 2 hours.

Long Route 1: 2 1/2 hours.

Long Route 2: 3 hours.

Caution: the above times are, as I am constantly reminded, just a guess and in all likelihood, a little unreliable.


NOTES

Yes, I am banging on the old WATER drum again. I am not too stressed about the Short Route and the Walkers because there is a tap at the Hoerikwaggo Cottage where you can glug down your fill on the way out and the way back. But you may as well get used to carrying water. Longer Route runners must please carry water. If you are unsure of how much, then 2 litters is always a good number, depending on how hot it is.

Dress according to weather conditions. This week I will try and remember to send out the weather forecast on Friday.

Regardless of weather conditions, always bring a windproof / waterproof jacket.

Watch out for snakes, particularly on the single track. Whilst I always have a medical kit on me, I know very little about snakebite treatment. So, in case of snakebite, perhaps you should carry a religious text of choice and/or a cell phone. Please put my number into your cell phone.

Please sign the register before setting out on the run.

Bring a tip (as in money, not advice) for the car guard.

Please be aware that trail running is inherently riskier and more dangerous than road running. You are participating in these runs voluntarily and whilst acsis VOB and the organisers of the runs take all reasonable precautions to ensure runner safety, it can never be fully guaranteed. To this end, acsis VOB and the organisers personally cannot be held liable for claims relating to injuries, disabilities and deaths, inter alia, that may occur during these events. You are participating entirely at your own risk. Please ensure that you are medically fit to be participating and make sure that you are properly kitted out for each particular run so as not to place yourself at undue risk.



SUNDAY 28 MARCH 2010 - BENCH2BENCH IN MEMORY OF DENIS NIXON - GREAT FRIEND acsis VOB

This is a wonderful annual event in our calendar. Mainly on Constantia Green Belts.

See full details on www.bench2bench.co.za

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

SATURDAY 20 MARCH 2010: HOUT BAY BEACH - BLACKBURN RAVINE - CONTOUR PATH TO CHAPMANS PEAK - NOORDHOEK PEAK - CRASSULA RIDGE - MANGANESE MINES

SATURDAY 20 MARCH 2010 - HOUT BAY BEACH - BLACKBURN RAVINE - CONTOUR PATH TO CHAPMANS PEAK - NOORDHOEK PEAK - CRASSULA RIDGE - MANGANESE MINES

Start

Hout Bay Beach in the car park just opposite the Chapmans Peak Hotel.


The Route

Long Route

We will head up Chapmans Peak Drive for 1km and then duck up into Blackburn Ravine. Just after the first wooden steps we will cross the stream and head out along the inappropriately named "contour path" to the base of Chapmans Peak. From there we turn left and head up the monstrous climb to the Silvermine ring road just south of Noordhoek Peak. Once on the road we turn right and then left after about 500m onto the Crassula Ridge path where we head northwards until we intersect with the ring road again. From there we can (or not) add in a little 2km loop down to the Firewatchers Hut near Elephants Eye and return to the same spot. Then from there we head up the road again to the stone highway to Blackburn Ravine. We start the descent of Blackburn but after about 1/3 of the way down we will take the path off in the direction of the Manganese Mines. When we reach the path that heads over to the mines we will turn down towards East Fort and run down the last km of Chapmans Peak Drive.


Short Route and Trail Walkers

Will follow the same route as the long route up to the base of Chapmans Peak. But there you will either turn down onto Chapmans Peak Drive and follow the tar back to the beach, or you can turn around and return the way you came.


Start Time

06h30


Distances

As my laptop has been snaffled and all my historical data with it so I am guessing:

Long Route - 15 - 17km

Short Route and Walk - 10km


Running Time

Long Route - allow 3 hours as the going is pretty slow at times.

Short Route - if you come back along the road then 1 1/2 hours.

Walkers - 2 1/2 - 3 hours.


Difficulty

Long Route - this is quite strenuous. We start on a tiring climb to the contour path. The contour path undulates wildly and only vaguely follows a contour. Then there is a BIG climb up to Silvermine. The rest is easy. 60% runnable in total.

Short Route and Walk - the first half is moderately tough but quite do-able. The second half is easy stuff.


Notes

Once again I must emphasize the importance of carrying water. I will nag less in the winter months (about water, anyway). But until we have sufficient water in the mountain streams, for the long runs you can count on needing 2 litres of water, so a hydration pack is necessary. You can get away with significantly less on the short routes. Even the biggest know-alls can mess up. I took myself on a 30km trot on Friday last week and, despite having my 2 litres, I ran out with about 8kms to go. Not the end of the world because it was downhill all the way home. But I still drank the Tokai Spar dry after I finished. Hello kidney stones !

I will send a weather report out on Friday but even so, always carry a windproof (preferably waterproof jacket with you). Dress according to the forecast weather conditions.

Sunblock and a cap are still great ideas.

Still can an eye out for grumpy snakes.

Sign the register before starting.

Monday, March 8, 2010

acsis VOB TRAIL RUNNING & WALKING: 8 - 14 MARCH 2010

Another blink and another week and weekend has gone by.

Thanks must go out to Jane Holdcroft for leading a spectacular run in Tokai Forest and then hosting the first of our post-run-breakfasts. Despite the very short notice we had a good attendance at both and I can see these breakfasts becoming an even bigger hit in the future. Next time I vow to do a greasy fry-up. There was far too much fruit and yoghurt in evidence this time around. Undoubtedly the star of the show was the batch Brigette's muffins. Next time maybe we can get her to come to the breakfast so that she can get full credit for them. We have also decided to club together to buy Fay a book of clean jokes to tell on trail runs / breakfasts. Fortunately I knew the punch line to this week's joke and before it was delivered I managed to scamper to safety and enjoyed the horrified faces from the safety of the garden.

And just when we thought Liz Brash had sneaked in and stolen the Fumble-Foot Award, which would have left Sandra without silverware in the cabinet for the second straight week, Sandra made a late comeback with a blood-curdling shriek and dive on a surprise encounter with a troop of baboons. The lacerations on her arm scoop her the award. Sorry Liz. The baboons were last spotted hitch-hiking their way to the Boland out along the N2.


THE COMING WEEK

I really am starting to master the art of delegation:

WEDNESDAY INFORMAL RUN- 10 MARCH 2010

I noticed with some glee that CRAG are doing a run from our normal starting point so I am going to suggest that the Wednesday runners hook up with them. Rod and Guy, I see that you appear to be short of Car Guards this week. In return for dumping our runners on Gavin, I would be happy to perform car guarding duties this Wednesday. Its a little later than we usually start but bearing in mind the current heat-wave, perhaps this is not a bad idea. For the Walkers, although we don't usually offer a Wednesday Walk, CRAG does, in the form of CWAG. I see it is being led by Sonia Beard and you will struggle to find someone more knowledgeable on the mountain than Sonia (yes, I'm still sucking up after bailing out of my marshalling duties for Bat Run). Here are the details:



Hi there CRAGgers . . . here are the run details for this coming Wednesday:

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

Leader: Gavin Goldsmith 083 777 8058 gavgold@gmail.com

Date: Wednesday 10 March 2010

Time: in time to start running at 17h45 sharp

Location: The Glen, Lion's Head & Signal Hill

Route description: This is an old favourite with a slight twist. We start by CAREFULLY crossing Kloof Nek Road, and immediately break with tradition by heading DOWN The Glen towards the Round House. A little way down we head off to the right and carefully up the road to the steps which take us onto Lion's Head. Now that we're on the mountain we run along the contour path towards Signal Hill. Somewhere above Sea Point the path comes to a T-junction and we keep right, which takes us to the Kramat, where we have a regroup and breather before we begin the climb to the main Lion's Head path. When we reach this, we head down it until just before the road and take a sharp right along the footpath back to the cars. Sunset is at 19h11.

Duration and distance: approx 60 mins, approx 6 km

Walkers: Sonia Beard will lead walkers on a BRISK walk, leaving from the same place at the same time, for the same approximate duration. Please note that the normal CWAG pace is quite fast — the walk is not intended to be a gentle stroll in the park; it will get the heart rate up and the lungs pumping, and provide a good work-out for those who, for whatever reason, don’t run. Walkers are advised to bring the appropriate equipment (see below).

Grading

— 90 % runnable

— A1

— pack run

Starting point: Kloof Nek parking area

Directions: Get to Kloof Nek via Buitengracht and Kloof Nek Road (from the city) or Camps Bay Drive or Kloof Street (from Camps Bay). Turn into Tafelberg Road, skip the first entrance to the parking area, and use the second one to park at the higher level (at the SANParks info kiosk, which is staffed 24/7).

Equipment

— valid Wildcard (YES, you do need one)

— water/energy drink/munchies

— foul weather gear, if required (long-range forecast is cloud on the mountain, no rain, 20–27 °C, wind moderate SW)

— personal medication (if required)

— something for rehydration after the run

— warmer/dryer clothing for the rehydrate session

Car guards: 10 Mar: TBA



SATURDAY 13 / SUNDAY 14 MARCH 2010: acsis VOB Constantia Village 15km Road Race

This coming weekend is a bit of an anomaly in our trail running calendar.

On Saturday there is our acsis VOB Constantia Village 15km Road Race so there will be no official Trail Run this Saturday as I do not want to clash with one of our own races. Besides, I will be marshalling in the race and will be seen helping runners dodge traffic on the Ladies Mile Bridge - a truly horrible place to marshal but someone has to do it. So please come and run the race and say hi as you come over the bridge. Remember that it is a WPA race so club colours must be worn OR a temporary licence purchased before the race. The start is at Constantia Village Shopping Centre.

Then Sunday is the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour and many people will be involved in this. HOWEVER, Jane Holdcroft will be doing a 30km Trail Run from the Arboretum in Tokai Forest on Sunday morning, starting at 06h30 SHARP. There are many points at which you can bail out and do a shorter run too.

SORRY, WALKERS, I'M AFRAID WE ARE WITHOUT A WALK THIS WEEKEND.

Here are Jane's route descriptions:

"The route has lots of options for short cuts so available to most.

Main route is up through the forest as we did today but instead of turning off the jeep track on that long long single track you carry on up the jeep track to Vlakkenberg saddle. For those that want a short out and back it's approx 6km so 12km in total.

From the the saddle we will carry on up the tarmac road to the mast but turn off to the right and drop down to the miners track which will take us around Constantiaberg to Blackburn Ravine where we will ascend to the Hout Bay look out for a rest and a nice view. Google earth tells me that to this point we will have run another 6.8km so 12.8km in total.

After our rest there are 3 options:
1: run back to the jeep track turn right and complete the Noordhoek peak loop, down to the dam, to Elephants Eye, taking you to the drinks stop on Seamus's Xmas run (total of 22.8km) and basically straight back down through the forest to the carpark (you'll need to add this mileage to the total)

2: run back to the main jeep track stay on it and turn left to Elephants Eye, taking you to the drinks stop on Seamus's Xmas run (total of 14.6km) and basically straight back down through the forest to the carpark (you'll need to add this mileage to the total)

3: turn up the single track up and over Constantiaberg to the mast and down the other side to Elephants eye (total of 15.5km) to measured to the Look Out point (and then you'll have to measure the trip home from there) and basically straight back down through the forest to the carpark OR
once we have reached Elephants Eye take the track back to main jeep track and complete the Noordhoek Peak loop, down to the dam, from there down the river walk to the mountain bikers carpark turn right on to the jeep track until we reach the gate which is the where level 5 of the forest jeep track meeting Silvermine.

From there we take level 5 back towards the forest, at the first fork turn right (down that horrible exposed hill) to level 4, down Boulders (the long long single track we did today) and back home the way we came up (total 31km).

All these measurements are approximates and if anyone is on doubt I suggest they measure them as I have just gone cross eyed doing it!! Anyway I will be playing it by ear - the plan is 30km but at any time there are bail points and I will ask Adam to pop up to the Dam carpark with water for refills."

If you want to chat to Jane about it, her email is janeholdcroft@hotmail.co.uk and her cell phone number is 0790852582.


But I promise that we will be back to our usual program again on 20 March 2010. FOR BOTH RUNS AND WALKS.


That's it till Friday.

Have a great week Everyone.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

FIRMING UP ON DETAILS FOR SATURDAY 6 MARCH

acsis VOB SATURDAY RUN - TOKAI FOREST MYSTERY RUN & BREAKFAST


The run and optional breakfast are definitely on ! The route remains a mystery until Saturday morning.

Extra Long Route: 26km starts at Jane's house at 06h00 (directions to Jane's house: 6 Mulder Close, Tokai - from the traffic circle at the top of Tokai Rd i.e where Tokai Rd meets Steenberg Golf Course and Forest Glade Res Est, proceed down Tokai Rd towards the Main Road. The last road on your left before you go under the M3 is Brocker Way. Turn left into it. Turn into the 3rd road on your left which is Resthaven Rd and then 2nd right into Mulder Close).

Ordinary Long Route: 18km starts at about 06h30 from the Arboretum Car Park in Tokai Forest. I say "about" 06h30 because we will wait for the Extra Long Route runners to arrive before starting out. No pressure, ELR runners..............you have 30mins to run 4- 5km........piece o' cake.......its tar road.

Short Route and Brisk Walkers: 10km starts at about 06h30 from the Arboretum Car Park in Tokai Forest.


The Post-Run Breakfast: Please let me know if you are planning on attending the breakfast at Jane's house after the run. We will distribute the list of goodies to bring tomorrow morning by email.

For more details..............see below...........

SATURDAY 6 MARCH 2010 - TOKAI MYSTERY RUN FOLLOWED BY BREAKFAST

SATURDAY 6 MARCH 2010 - TOKAI MYSTERY RUN FOLLOWED BY BREAKFAST

This coming weekend we are going to be doing things with a slight difference. We are going to be doing a run in Tokai Forest followed by a breakfast at the House of Holdcroft i.e. Jane Holdcroft and Family. This will be something along the lines of Seamus Daly's legendary breakfast after the annual Noordhoek Peak Run. We have all enjoyed that breakfast so much over the years that Jane decided that it would be a shame to have to wait a whole year for another one. So while we still have good weather we are going to repeat it. Thanks for this great idea Jane.


The Run

Jane has devised a Long Route Run in the forest which is about 18km and takes between 2 - 2 1/2 hours to run. There will be a Short Route of about 10km too. The Brisk Walking Group will also go out and do their thing for 2 - 2 1/2 hours. In addition, there is the option of adding another 8 kms to the run by running the road section from the Holdcroft House (2 x 4km) for those wanting extra distance.


The Breakfast


This is not a cliquey breakfast only for those who run every trail run. And its certainly not exclusive to acsis VOB members. Its for everyone who is or would like to be a trail runner or a Brisk Trail Walker. Bring your partners too. This is an opportunity, firstly, for those who have been running together to actually sit down and have a chat as sometimes it is difficult to run, breathe and talk at the same time; particularly for the non-multi-taskers. Secondly it is an opportunity for those who haven't done many runs and those who haven't done ANY runs because they don't know what its all about, to come along, meet the characters involved and chat about what happens in trail running etc. Of course you are perfectly entitled to chat about whatever the heck you like, but let's face it, trail running is what we all have in common so its a great starting point.

If you're smelly and sweaty after the run, don't worry, you can grab a quick shower at Jane's or simply bring your costume and towel and leap into the pool. However, if you are smelly and sweaty BEFORE the run you might want to consider showering more frequently.

The Format

We will all head to the Holdcroft's (see address and directions below) after the run and kick off the breakfast around 09h30. Please would as many people as possible RSVP to me so we have an idea of numbers. We will ask you to bring a small something with you to add to the breakfast. I will drag out my skottle because I like hot, greasy things for breakfast and have never really taken to the idea of fruit salad in the morning.


The Run Details

Start Time and Place

06h30 from The Arboretum in Tokai Forest, or

06h00 from Jane's house: 6 Mulder Close, Tokai (from the traffic circle at the top of Tokai Rd i.e where Tokai Rd meets Steenberg Golf Course and Forest Glade Res Est, proceed down Tokai Rd towards the Main Road. The last road on your left before you go under the M3 is Brocker Way. Turn left into it. Turn into the 3rd road on your left which is Resthaven Rd and then 2nd right into Mulder Close).


The Route

Follow Jane. Hopefully she won't go too fast as she has just run The Bat Run. I will always be there to sweep. But seriously, we will go over the route in Friday's email. But it is a glorious mixture of jeep track and single track in the forest and heading up towards Silvermine. After the run it will be straight off to Jane's place for a nice relaxed breakfast and swim.


Running Time

2 - 2 1/2 hours from the Arboretum.


Distance

Long Route: +- 18km

Short Route: +- 10km


Difficulty

Although there are some reasonably tough hills (two big ones), Jane assures me it is 100% runnable. But there is no shame in walking sections of the uphills.


Notes

I know I sound like a stuck record but PLEASE CARRY WATER ON YOU. For road runners trying out trail for the first time, 10 - 18km of trail does not equal the same on road. Its more like 15 - 25km. The average runner WILL need to drink quite a lot of water on these runs. Particularly if is hot and / or humid.

To continue on that point, it has been raised by the more experienced runners that people who are doing long runs in particular NEED to be kitted out properly. As a MINIMUM you are expected to wear trail shoes and thermal base layers, carry water, some food, a waterproof/windproof top and an emergency blanket, especially when you are ascending a mountain and also as we go into winter. You can get away with less on our short runs but you might as well oractice in the art of being prepared. I am going to send my trail running document around with Friday's email. Please read over it.

Please don't disturb the snakes and baboons. They don't like it, the TMNP rangers don't like it and you certainly won't like it either. Avoid both at all cost.

Watch your feet. We have had more tumbles in Tokai Forest than anywhere else. Runners get complacent, particularly on the seemingly flat jeep track. If anyone falls, remember that I have a medical kit. Get someone to call me / find me and I will come and patch you up.

Please be alert to the mountain bikes in the area, especially when we're on the single track. Runners can get out of the way much more easily than MTB's. And some of those people have got mean attitudes too. But seriously, be considerate towards the mountain bikers.

Sign the register before starting.

You don't HAVE to do the breakfast in order to do the run but it would be nice to have you there.

Please RSVP as soon as you can for the breakfast, not the run. Anyone can just rock up and run for the Trail Run.

BRING COSTUMES AND TOWELS FOR THE BREAKFAST. SHOWER AND POOL AVAILABLE.

Please be aware that trail running is inherently riskier and more dangerous than road running. You are participating in these runs voluntarily and whilst acsis VOB and the organisers / group leaders of the runs take all reasonable precautions to ensure runner safety, it can never be fully guaranteed. To this end, acsis VOB and the organisers personally cannot be held liable for claims relating to injuries, disabilities and deaths, inter alia, that may occur during these events. You are participating entirely at your own risk. Please ensure that you are medically fit to be participating and make sure that you are properly kitted out for each particular run so as not to place yourself at undue risk.