Wednesday, July 28, 2010



Whilst the Puffer Training continues relentlessly, we now turn our attention to next of the major local events, The Table Mountain Challenge. We might as well jump straight into it otherwise before you know it the race will be upon us and we won't have had time to "trip" all the legs sufficiently. We have 7 Saturdays of training before the race.

Walking Dilemma

The wonderful Fay is heading off to the UK for a month so we are without our Walk Leader. If anyone is keen on leading a walk then please let me know and I will make a final announcement on Friday. But unless we have someone coming forward, we face the prospect of a few weeks break for the walking group.

Start Time and Place

07h30 from the car park at Kloof Nek i.e. from the City, drive up Buitengracht Street which becomes Kloof Nek Road. At the top of the road, BEFORE you start the descent into Camps Bay, take Table Mountain Road / Tafelbergweg which is the road up to the Lower Cable station. Immediately on your left as you turn into the road you will find a large parking area. We will start from the upper level of this parking area (about 200m up the road on the left) outside the SANParks / TMNP kiosk.

The Route

I am not going to go into too much detail here but this Leg 1 is almost entirely 8.6km of good, solid jeep track wandering through the fynbos reserve below Tafelberg Road down to the parking area at Deer Park and then we start the climb up towards the Kings Blockhouse. We will turn at the stile just below the Blockhouse and face the choice of a return trip along the road (largely tar) or along the contour path (single track and quite a bit tougher).

The short Route Runners will turn just after the Deer Park car park and head up to the tar road and run back 3.5km to the cars on Tafelberg Road.


Main (Long) Route : About 14 / 15km depending on which option you take back.

Short Route: : About 8 / 9km.

Running Time

Long Route : About 2 1/2 hours max.

Short Route : About 75 - 90 minutes.


Non-technical run out to the Blockhouse but with some very tough little hills for both routes. Don't be fooled by the shorter than usual distances. Long route, if you elect the contour path on the way back, you still have the climb up around Oppelskop Ridge to do. So there is some technical single track but it is a really fun path to run. If you elect the tar road return then it is easy running with one small hill.

Important Points

I would not drink from the streams on this part of the mountain. Rather carry water. Road runners, don't think that the distance doesn't warrant carrying water. After a couple of these hills you will be gasping for a drink.

Please watch the weather and dress appropriately. This is a less wild part of the mountain in terms of not going up too high but it can still get miserably cold and wet.

SECURITY: We will be entering the dreaded mugging zone around Kings Blockhouse. Let's stay in groups please. And please remain aware of your surroundings and look out for you fellow-runners.

We are not racing; just getting an idea or a reminder of the route in preparation for the race.

The Log Book is making its return this week so please check your name in before starting.

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.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010



We have taken several things into consideration for this coming weekend's run:

1. It is the last weekend before the Hout Bay Trail Challenge so best not to do anything too hectic.
2. But it would still be nice to check out a section of the route without doing the hectic climb up Hout Bay Corner and Llandudno which can get bitterly cold.
3. There is some talk of this weekend being a wet weekend again.
4. Lots of colds and 'flu around so some people won't want to be out in extreme weather for too long.

This run will give you a final opportunity to check out this part of the route, especially important if there is low cloud and rain, prior to race day. When there is low cloud, it is very easy to get disorientated on this section.

Start Place and Time

Constantia Nek car park in the area on the Table Mountain side of the traffic circle. 07h30 Start (sharp).

The Route


This is an out-and-back run so you can turn whenever you like if necessary but we must try and do this in groups, for safety sake. We will start at Constantia Nek and do Leg 2 of HBTC in reverse. We will head up along the gravel road (Bridle Path) to the dams on the top. We won't do the short cut on the way up. We will cross the Woodhead Dam wall and then turn left along the old "railway track" to the next t-junction. At the cairn at the t-junction we will turn left and follow the path through the tops of Woody Ravine, Slangolie Ravine, Corridor Ravine and Oudekraal Ravine. We then climb the east shoulder of Grootkop and descend onto the flattish stretch that leads over towards Judas Peak and then drops down to the top of Llandudno Ravine. At that point (at the very furthest) we will turn around and run back the same way. If the weather is good we can also pop up to the top of Judas Peak to check out the view (for the Triple Trouble runners, or has that already happened ?). On the way back we can look at the permissible "short cuts" (established TMNP paths only) for the race.


Apart from the standard route to the dams and back, I would like to discuss with Fay (if she hasn't left for the UK yet) the possibility of doing the Eagles Nest / Bel Ombre / De Villiers Dam Route as an alternative if the weather is good enough. Final details on Friday.


Long Route: About 20km of the easier portions of HBTC Leg 2

Short Route: About 10km

Walk: Up to 10km

Running Time

Long Route: 3 - 3.5 hours taking it reasonably easy

Short Route: 2 hours

Walk: 3 - 3.5 hours


All routes have the big climb on wide gravel road to the top of the mountain (this may differ for the Walkers). The short route turns in the vicinity of the dams but the long route has some tough-ish undulations along the top. But once you get back to about Woody Ravine on the way back, it is all easy running to get back to the cars.

Important Notes

Please dress in appropriate trail running gear and watch the weather report carefully. Thermal base layers (moisture management clothes) - long and short sleeve tops, waterproof jacket, space blanket, cell phone and a loud whistle in order to summon assistance.

Energy drinks / snacks for the long route.

Please keep together in groups. If you get dropped off a group, either stop and wait for the next one / sweeper or run back and fetch them.

Tell someone else, preferably me, if you are turning back.

If you are between groups and you don't know the route, please stop and wait for others to catch up. Don't guess.

Sign the register before starting out.

For those doing the actual race, don't forget to take careful note of the route on the way back.

Enjoy the run. Its not a race this week. Save the racing for next week.

Monday, July 5, 2010


SATURDAY 10 JULY 2010: BACK TO THE FOREST - TOKAI (RUNNERS ONLY) - see further on for details of Walk

Many runners will be heading up to Knysna this coming weekend, myself included. So I will not be around as customary sweep for the Saturday run. But Jane Holdcroft has kindly offered to lead a run for those who are around in Cape Town this weekend. I am fairly sure that Margaret and Karen said they would be there too. So you will be in the hands of some experienced and highly competent trail runners.

Here are the details as received from Jane:

Start Time and Place

Meet at the mountain bike car park in Tokai Arboretum at 7:30am (bring head torches).

The Route

Up the main jeep track from the car park, take the first major jeep track turning on the right at the top of the long hill.

Follow contour path along until a single track turning on the left, up through the forest turn left back on to the jeep track.

Follow jeep track along until it meets the main track (which is where you would have ended up if we hadn't taken the first right at the top of the long hill). Turn right onto the main track and approx 8 meters later turn left on to a single track that winds through the trees up to level 4 Once on level 4 turn left and follow the jeep track along to a big hill,up it on to level 5 Turn right once on level 5 follow it down to level 4 Turn right onto level 4 then turn left down the single track that we came up From there follow the same route home


Approx 16-18km depending on who's GPS/foot pod you believe.


2 hours for middle pack, probably 1:45 ish for the racing snakes,there are short cut options which miss out the hill to level 5

Points to Note

No water in that area other than at the car park. Bring your own, please.

Baboon warning - they are active at the moment .

Wild Card required or R20 please pay at the little kiosk at the picnic area on the way up to the car park. (Tim's note: I think runners enter free. MTB's pay R20 but its always good to have your Wild Card on you).

NO DOGS ALLOWED: As far as I am aware this is a dog free area (e.g. no dogs) .

There is the Porters Market at the Chrysalis Academy about 2 mins away (driving) that serves breakfast, tea,coffee and has a great selection of food products. Worth a wander round and dogs are allowed!

You can just rock up and run, or, if you have any questions, you can contact Jane on 0790852582 or .


Because Tokai Forest is a NO DOG area and we like the Walkers to be able to take dogs, Fay has offered to lead a walk from Constantia Nek again. This will also start at 07h30. Because this is a smaller group, can I ask anyone who intends walking to RSVP to me or to Fay so that we know if there are any takers. You have my details and Fay can be contacted on or 0832614272 .