Monday, November 29, 2010


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Hi Everyone
Report Back
Whereas, in last week's report back I had verbal diarrhoea, this week I have writer's block.  So instead of grinding out a contrived report, here is the gist of it.  The Norwegians proved spot-on with the weather report.  We got a little damp on the mountain but nothing serious and it wasn't cold at all.  Just enough moisture around to create perfect running temperatures and to induce sufficient chafing to remind you for the rest of the weekend that you had been for a run.  Despite the slippery conditions there were no reports of award-winning falls at all.  That shameful little "sit-down" that Karen did will not be dignified with a Sailing Sandra.  No blood, therefore doesn't even get a nomination.  But it was very amusing for the rest of us who saw it.
So well done Everyone.  No falls in slippery conditions on steep, technical trail.........that deserves an award on its own.
This coming Saturday you are spoiled for choice.  My original intention was to get everyone to attend the Vital Run 1/2 Marathon / 10km race at the Lourensford Estate in Somerset West.  There is also a 10km Walk and a 4km Fun Run so there really is something for everyone.  For full details check out
But Jane has decided that there shall be no lame excuses for the "non-travellers" amongst us and she will be leading a run from Kloof Nek Car Park on Saturday morning as I will be heading out to the Vital Run.
Start Time and Place
Kloof Nek Car Park in time to start running at 06h30 SHARP.
The Route
Car park up to the contour path.  Contour path through Platteklip and then up on the Saddle.  From the Saddle you will head up to the summit of Devils Peak.  Good practice for those doing The Bat Run.  Back down to the Saddle and then down Newlands Ravine.  Left onto the contour path and then around to Kings Blockhouse.  Proceed to Oppelskop Ridge and then contour path back through Platteklip and back to the cars.
For those wanting to enquire about a short route option, I could suggest that instead of going up to the Saddle on the way out you just keep going on to Oppelskop Ridge and then drop down onto Tafelberg Road thereafter.  DO NOT CONTINUE on to the Blockhouse on your own or in a small group.  Just too many shady characters in that part of the world.  If you want clarity on a short route then drop me an email or contact Jane on or 0790852582.
I have never run this full route before but if it is being done from the Car Park at Kloof Nek then the long route is going to be just shy of 20km.
Short Route will be between 10 - 12km but shorter variations are available.
Walk / Run Group - you are all heading out to the Vital Run so no offering from Kloof Nek.
Brisk Walk Group.  I will confirm later in the week if Fay is going to walk from Kloof Nek.
Running Time
Long Route:    2.5 to 3 hours
Short Route:   1.5 to 2 hours
Long Route:    Moderate.  Lots of runnable stuff with two big climbs (from Start to Contour Path and then Contour Path to Devils Peak summit) and one smaller one before Oppelskop Ridge.
Short Route:    After the initial ugly climb to the contour path its easy running all the way.
Important Notes
  1. Please dress appropriately to the weather conditions; especially the long route.  Jane is far more ruthless than I am about telling people off for not being properly equipped or dressed.
  2. Carry your own water.  Personally, I don't drink any of the water off the north face of Table Mountain.
  3. This run goes into Mugger territory, particularly around the Blockhouse area.  Please stay in decent sized groups.  You have been warned.
  4. Beware of snakes.  Standing on snakes is unpleasant for everyone, including the snake.
  5. Try and run with an old cell phone with Jane's cell phone number stored on it.
  6. Have Fun !  We insist.
4 December:        See above
11 December:      Jane's Tokai Mystery Tour with Tim doing a short route version of it (maybe).
12 December:      Surfers Challenge (Kommetjie)
18 December:      Jane once again will lead a run.  This time from Constantia up to the Dams and back.
26 December:      Tokai Manor House 16km.  A "must-do" run on the Day of Goodwill to burn off all that Festive Season over-indulgence and help you feel good about
                          yourself again.
2 January 2011:    acsis VOB Chairman's Run: we will be introducing a trail option for the very first time.  From the clubhouse in Constantia to Signal Hill almost entirely
                           on trail.  Picnic on Signal Hill afterwards.  ALL WELCOME !  Not just for registered acsis VOB Members.
1.    Some wise words on motor vehicle security from Tim Haig-Smith following a recent incident.  Thieves are stealing car ID's now!

Thieves are targeting running races, waiting for the runners to leave and then breaking in to the cars because no one is around.
They are know how to break into cars 
They take their time they removed my licence disk and checked every nook and cranny for where people hide stuff.
They are not going to stop until they are caught.
They drive a white Golf Chico or Citi, with a Garfield in the back window, the rear mud flaps have CITI printed on them and the car has 4 head lights.
Car licence CA 117 906.

If you see the car or know who these people are contact Constable C. Malan Cell: 082 566 2893 Office: 021 809 9140 has the video footage of the car driving with the same licence plates as my car CA 117 906.

(they stole my licence disk and printed new plates-only found out when the police pitched up to arrest the kingpin).

CASE# 5 Stellenbosch CASH 584/11/2010

ALWAYS report criminal incidents I was almost arrested and my car would have been impounded because I didn't.
2.    A reminder that Jen Rorrison will be giving an alignment workshop on Tuesday 30 November, 6-8pm, at New Balance House, Prime Park, Mocke Road, Diep River. The workshop will focus on end of year stress release and making your own wedge. Please see flyer below for further details, and map and directions to New Balance, beneath. RSVP if possible to give a sense of numbers, but all welcome on the day. Thank you.


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Have a great week Everyone.
Tel:     + 27 (0)21 416-6792
Fax:    + 27 (0)21 416-8792
Cell:     082 321-0299



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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Facebook Page

The number of people who ‘Like’ our Acsis VOB Trail Facebook page has passed some magic number, which means we can now get a more intuitive url/username – thanks for all your support!


If you haven’t already joined us on Facebook, pop across there to access and upload photo’s, chat with other group members and read some gems of advice from Tim, such as “don’t step on these … or you’ll die”. So, to find out what you mustn’t step on and much more click here:


See you on the trails.



Monday, November 22, 2010


Hi All


As expected, we had a small yet enthusiastic turnout for the Cape Point run. But this was actually nice as we were running in an area little know to most of us. So having a small group would naturally make it easier to keep tabs on all of the runners...............or so I thought. No-one is going to be "punished" with awards for the general comedy of errors we experienced on the morning, despite the small group.

The Walk / Run Group and Short Route reported an incident-free run and general consensus was that it is the nicest run they have done yet. But what they don't know is that they lost a Walk / Runner before they had even started. The long route runners encountered a bemused Pieter sitting at the Buffelsfontein Visitors Centre, having just been on a solo run, been stared down by a troop of baboons (after having thrown a twig at them to scare them off) and returned to the centre to have a nice cup of tea to settle his nerves. He misread Peter Rogers' email....... which said Buffels Bay, not Buffelsfontein........

Thanks to Gregg for taking the Short Route Run once again.

The long route runners accounted for the bulk of the confusion, and there were only 4 and then 3 and then 4 and then 5 of us. Larry, Jonathan, Giulia and myself set off at a lively trot. James arrived a few minutes late, saw our cars, parked and then set off in exactly the wrong direction. After a few kms, he realised his error and turned around to chase us down. Even though we had a very significant lead he still caught us with 1km to go. But before that, Larry decided that he would take a short cut (on purpose) back from Bordjiesdrif. So we agreed a route and that if his car was still in the car park when we finished, he was probably in trouble and I would drive the route looking for him.

Well we had a spectacular run down to Buffels Bay and then turned up towards the Visitors Centre, first encountering the Harfield Harriers prince of trail, Peter "Pistol" Kirk, on a bicycle (ptooey) and then the hapless Pieter Carst quietly chuckling about his morning's misfortunes. The Red Track (jeep track down to the Olifantsbos Road) was supposed to provide us with a nice gentle run back towards the cars but turned into a time-trial (admittedly, probably my fault) but when Giulia took a tumble I said we should slow it down. Giulia had other ideas, dropping the hammer and gunning it back to the cars so fast she barely noticed poor James joining us as she smoked it up the last big hill to the cars. Impressive stuff.

Needless to say, Larry's car was still there so I tried calling was off / no reception. I nervously drove the agreed escape route.....expecting the Larry. Started composing what I would say to his next of kin..........but as I arrived back at the car park......there was Larry.......he had taken a different route ! Phew ! Huge relief.

It seems that the only people who didn't have a mishap were the Brisk Walkers. Fay and Sandy educated each other in the field of indigenous flora. These walks are a not to be missed experience when Fay shares her knowledge of fynbos. A real fons et origo of information. I have been waiting to use that since doing Latin I in 1987 (thank you Mrs Hewitt).

But all jokes aside, thanks to everyone who joined us. Fantastic company and run and so I am already working on some other routes in the area which we will do over the course of the summer.

INTERESTING LINK - LINDA DOKE: If you want to hear Trail News that isn't reams of nonsense like above ?

Seriously, if you want to know what is REALLY happening in the trail world from someone who knows loads about trail AND who actually runs like a champion too, then check out Linda Doke's blog: .


Start Time and Place

Hout Bay Beach Car Park - just across the road from the Chapmans Peak Hotel. Start at 06h30 sharp ! Please try and get there by about 06h15 so that we can sign the register.


Brisk Walk and Short Running Route: Tar Road to East Fort and then Blackburn Ravine as far as the contour path. Contour Path to intersection at the foot of Chapmans Peak (optional excursion to the summit of Chappies which adds 45mins - 1 hour). Then your choice of returning the way you came or dropping back down to Chapmans Peak Drive for a nice easy tar road run back to the cars.

Long Route: Will be the same as above as far as Chappies intersection. But at that point we turn left and head up monster climb to Noordhoek Peak-ish. Cross the jeep track onto the Hillcrest Path which we follow back to the jeep track near the stone highway to Blackburn Ravine. Down Blackburn to the contour path to the Manganese Mines and then back into Blackburn to East Fort and back to the beach.

Walk Run Group: Will definitely happen but route to be confirmed by Friday. Watch the blog:

Distance and Running Time

Brisk Walk (3 hours) and Short Run (2 hours): About 9-10km

Long Route: Probably only about 15km at most but allow 3 hours.


Brisk Walk and Short Route: Moderate. Mixture of tar and technical single track with a few nice little climbs to get the Peter Stuyvesant out of the lungs.

Long Route: Tough, bring tissues.

Important Notes

Re-read the details above.............(esp Michelle R, Pieter C and James).

Please come dressed in trail running gear which is appropriate to the weather conditions on the morning. I will circulate a weather forecast on Friday.

Please carry water and snacks (esp on the long run).

This is snake country (esp puffadders) so please watch where you put your feet and should be doing this anyway; especially if you are up front.

Please store my cell phone number (0823210299) on your phone and carry it when you run. Call me if you get lost of hurt.

Apply sunblock liberally and wear a hat / peak.

Sign the register before starting.

Have fun; its not a race.

That's it till Friday.


Tim Bellairs
Tel: + 27 (0)21 416-6792
Fax: + 27 (0)21 416-8792
Cell: 082 321-0299

Monday, November 15, 2010


Hi All


Well, we had another relatively incident-free run last weekend. It was also pretty much view-free too as for most of the time we were running in cloud and rain. I have run out of people to blame for all this rainy weather each Saturday other than myself or global global warming it is, of course.

No Sailing Sandras this week, despite the very wet, slippery conditions. Good running Everyone. If only it was always like this......... Of course that doesn't mean that there aren't any "special mentions: for the day.

1. First of all, Michelle Rutherford gets a special "Illiteracy Award" for not reading last week's email properly. Before you moan at me for being too harsh, consider the
following: Michelle got up very early on Saturday morning, in the pouring rain, drove in all the way from Blaauberg to come and run with us.................parked in the
LOWER car park at Kloof Nek and so failed to see the rest of us in the UPPER car park less than 100m away.........waited until 06h30, assumed the run was off
and so went all the way home again. In fact, I got a very calm sms from her saying that she assumed that the run was cancelled due to the bad weather because
no-one was there in the car park. Personally, I would have sent a very rude sms if a run was cancelled and the organiser failed to tell me. Congratulations on your
restraint, Michelle, and of course, for scooping this sought after award.

2. Then of course there was a very close Sandra call for Rushdi on the long route between Kings Blockhouse and Newlands Ravine when he underlined our no dogs
policy by tripping over a well-camouflaged little "worshondjie" while keeping his eyes on the rather larger, less-friendly looking dog running next to it in the opposite
direction to ourselves. To his credit, he fell very professionally and bounced straight back up with a loud laugh and ne'er a drop of blood, bravely ignoring the
yapped threats of the dachshund. The two lady owners were duly apologetic and no harm was done.

But on a more serious note, I am extremely concerned at the number of people out walking on their own (or even two ladies on their own with very placid looking dogs) in the Kings Blockhouse area. It just isn't a good idea at all. Even being in the fairly large group we were in, we felt quite unsettled as we ran below Woodstock Cave on the same morning. There were loud sounds of drunken festivity coming down from the cloudy heights above us. We couldn't see who it was but it was more than a little scary. I have been given some very interesting crime stats for the area which I will circulate with the email on Friday (or sooner on individual request).

Bearing in mind that this is a BIG weekend on the general WP / Boland running calendar, where even the most devout trail runners have been seen running madly around the Boland trying to squeeze in a Two Oceans qualifier at the Winelands Marathon, we are not anticipating a large turnout for the trail run this weekend. So for those special few who are prepared to make the effort, we are going to go in search of some rarely run paths in the Cape Point Reserve. But please note that this is not an exclusive run; anyone is welcome to join us. Come and have some trail fun in a totally new area.

I am not going to send a planned route out as we will decide on the route on the morning (I have a good map), depending on turnout and appetite. But what I will guarantee is that there will be provision for a short route of 10 - 12km and a longer route of between 15 and 20km. No short change like last time.

At longest, the long route should be about 3 hours and the short route about 2 hours.

There will also be Walk / Run Group Option which will do more or less the same as the short route.

We will pronounce on a Brisk Walking Group later in the week.

The Difficulty rating will be Moderate to Easy.

The Plan: The plan will be to meet in the parking area a FEW HUNDRED METERS INSIDE the gates of the reserve (after you have paid) on the LEFT. We will aim for a 07h15 start (or as soon as possible thereafter).


Please RSVP ( if you will be attending so that we know to wait for you if you are running a little late etc. (preferably don't run late though). Sue, Larry, Jon and still keen ?

Its quite expensive to get into the Reserve (R70, I think) so if you have a Wildcard bring it along. If you were thinking of investing in one, NOW is the time to do it. I received an email saying that there has been an upgrade to the cards and that the old cards won't work anymore. You need to collect a new one. I will investigate the truth surrounding this during the week. Otherwise, bring a pile of cash.

You will need to be completely self-sufficient in water, food, proper clothing, cell phone. I will carry the usual, basic first aid kit.

Bring a towel and clothes to change into afterwards.


Apologies for not wishing Jane Holdcroft and Joe Newbert, our acsis VOB Representatives on the Sky Run, well for their race which began over the weekend. I haven't heard from either of them yet but we really hope that things went well. Perhaps one of them would like to do a race report for the Imbaleki (club magazine) ?

Till Friday then, have a great week Everyone.



Tim Bellairs
Tel: + 27 (0)21 416-6792
Fax: + 27 (0)21 416-8792
Cell: 082 321-0299

Monday, November 1, 2010


Good afternoon all,

First of all, apologies from the acsis VOB Trail Running team for the spam that sneaked through last week. Whilst I don't think any of us professes to be an angel, we endeavor to keep the world of trail running as one of those relatively wholesome (apart from a bit of muttered swearing from time to time) escapes, offering a brief weekly return to a peaceful world that eludes us most of the time. This makes the invasion all the more grubby and intrusive and one hopes that the perpetrator gets this message. Perhaps they would like to join us for a run and see what they are missing out on ? Fortunately for us, the ever vigilant Joe (perhaps also prompted by the lightning fast Jonathan) reacted swiftly to shut down the gap utilised by the pervert and the rules of the mailing group have now been tightened up.

But it seems that this was not to be the last unwelcome intrusion for the weekend as it seems that several of our regulars had their cars broken into while they were running the Isostar Tokai Forest 15km race on Saturday morning. One would hope that local criminals would give a break to those supporting such a worthy charitable event but sadly it appears that nothing is sacred. Let us be more vigilant ever!


Start Time and Place: 06h30 sharp from the Sunbird Environmental Centre near the bottom of the Silvermine Valley.

Assuming one is approaching from Tokai, take the Ou Kaapseweg right up to the top and then, ignoring both Gates 1 and 2 at the top, begin your descent towards Sun Valley and Noordhoek. After a couple of kms of descent you will come to an intersection sign posted to Noordhoek on your right. The various Silvermine Retirement Villages will also be just off to your right at this point. At that intersection, turn LEFT onto a rough little tar road and proceed downwards towards the Environmental Centre. Ignore the first turning on the left which takes you to SANParks offices and keep going to the next left turn, just before a gate in the road. Look out for a bit of parking just inside that turn. This is where we start from.

The Route: Naturally, we start the run on a climb. We climb up the Silvermine valley to the intersection just to the right of the waterfall. At the intersection in paths, we turn right and follow a welcome contour which slowly starts climbing again to a point just above Echo Valley. At this point, a short route group can split off to the left to the Amphitheatre. The long route group will descend Echo Valley to Weary Willy's Wait and then take the path left up to the start of the Spes Bona Valley. We ascend the Spes Bona Valley and turn right at the top. We then do the scenic drop back down to the gravel road near Nellies Pool. From there we can decide where to go; either do a multi-peak circuit the opposite way to the direction we normally take or we can head over to the Gate 2, cross over to Silvermine West and follow the Old Wagon Trail back down towards the cars.

The main thing to understand is that, especially for the long route, we will take a flexible approach on the morning depending on the mood, weather and energy levels. But you will get a decent run run in, no matter which option you select. The only real condition is that we stay in reasonably sized groups for safety sake.

Distance and Times
  • Brisk Walk: 8 - 10km over 2 - 2.5 hours
  • Walk / Run: 8 - 10km over about 1.5 - 2 hours
  • Short Route: 10km-ish over about 1.5 hours
  • Long Route: 15 - 20km (min - max) allowing about 3 hours
Difficulty: This is a moderate run for all route options. Reasonably tough first half as we are gradually climbing, with at least one flat section to recover on during the climb. Long route will get an extra climb or two for good measure. But from the half way mark its pretty much easy flat and downhill to the end.

Important Notes
1. As always, watch the weather report and make sure that you are dressed appropriately for the conditions. Regardless how warm it may seem, that south-easter can get pretty chilly on the ridge overlooking False Bay. A good wind-proof / water-proof is important.
2. Carrying your own water is now becoming essential. Don't try doing a summer run without water; even the short routes.
3. If you have a Wild Card, please carry it. Otherwise, keep at least R5 in a pocket. Although there is no gate where we start, we could be stopped at any point and asked to pay our dues.
4. Remember that it is now getting into prime snake and tick season. So watch the path in front of you and check yourself thoroughly for ticks afterwards.
5. Remember the sunblock and a hat / peak.
6. Sign the register before starting.
7. Don't leave valuables in your car when we head out. Leave them at home or carry them on you.
8. Have fun.

Have a great week.