Monday, February 28, 2011

acsis VOB TRAIL RUNNING AND WALKING: SATURDAY 5 MARCH 2011 - SILVERMINE WEST

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Hi All
 
For anyone new to this email list, you only really need to read the smallish bit about the Saturday Run details below.  The rest is just random "stuff".
 
Report Back
 
Saturday morning saw a reasonably large group of runners standing in the Constantia Nek car park eyeing the clouds on the mountain with growing suspicion.  Yes, it was windy, but it was also quite warm and those clouds had no business being there.  It was the humidity that was causing them.  75% according to Rudi from iKapa Honorary Rangers / VWS.  We were expecting the worst as we headed up the single track towards the Hoerikwaggo Cottage.  But once we got up there it was B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L !  We improvised a little bit so that the long and short route groups could run together for longer than anticipated.  Thanks to Bronwyn Pithey who suggested the change and introduced us to "the other arboretum" above Nursery Ravine.  After semi-circumnavigating the Dams, Bronwyn took the short routers back across the Woodhead wall and then down the concrete road.  The long routers (whittled down to 9 of us) started the short sharp climb over to Echo Valley where we were amply rewarded for the effort by stumbling across a dell-full of Red Gods (red disas) and even a few rare blue disas.  This gave us the necessary psychological push us up the valley to Maclears Beacon.  At this point we were in the clouds which is always "mystical" as well as a little creepy.  Unfortunately it robbed our UK visitor, (Ian) Beckingham from Nottingham of any views over CT but at least he had Kathleen Shuttleworth to keep him company at the head of the field.
 
Speaking of Kathleen: things got interesting on the return trip.  With Kathleen leading the field down the steeper section towards Window Gorge, there is a point where the path takes a sharp left..........but Kathleen didn't see the need (at first).  With all her many lemmings in tow, she soon found herself on all fours, edging slowly towards a cliff edge.  At this point the thought occurred that this was probably not really the right way.  She must get full credit for her swift recovery and getting back onto the right path by the time I got close enough to chirp.  Things would have been left alone at that point if it was not for the fact that there was more to come.  The faster runners went bolting off again and by the time the sweep group got to the Hoerikwaggo Cottage we thought they would be back at the cars already but..............nope...............out of the clouds behind us came Kathleen, Chris and Ian.  It appears that somewhere on Nursery Buttress they found themselves at the edge of yet another.................cliff.  That's a solid Missing Margaret Award for Kathleen right there for a double foot-fault.  Well done Kathleen, but more particularly, well done for finding your way again from that confusing maze of paths.
 
I also wondered where our friends from MATES were this weekend and it was only after I received a phone call from Oudtshoorn on Saturday afternoon that I remembered that loads of them had gone east for the Cango Marathon.  More about this and "What Douglas Did !!!!" below .
 
 
WEDNESDAY INFORMAL TRAIL RUN: 2 MARCH 2011
 
Informal, medium paced (sometimes a little slower than medium, but not much) from Kloof Nek car park.  Ready to run at 17h20.  8 - 10km.
 
Please r.s.v.p. if you intend running, just to make sure that we are running.  Heat / Laziness sometimes prevents this run from happening.
 
 
 
SATURDAY 5 MARCH 2011: SILVERMINE WEST - MTB CAR PARK / NOORDHOEK PEAK / PANORAMA TRAIL / MAST / STEENBERG RIDGE
 
 
Start Place and Time
 
The mountain bike car park in Silvermine West (Gate 1).  This is about 3/4 of the way up the road to the Dam, on the right of the road.  You really shouldn't miss it.  But if you are in any doubt, drop me an email or call me.  But don't try and call on the morning because there is no cell phone reception at the start.
 
We will start at 07h15 because the Silvermine Gates only open at 07h00.
 
 
Route
 
We will drop in the the River Walk and then make our way up to the Dam, onto the Crassula Ridge / Hillcrest Path and then on up to Noordhoek Peak.  From Noordhoek Peak we will take the Panorama Trail Path to the top of Blackburn Ravine.  Here the short routers will turn right along the stone highway, left onto the circular jeep track, left onto the Elephants Eye path and then almost immediately right again onto the Steenberg Ridge path.  From there, back to the car park.
 
From the top of Blackburn, the long routers will head up the steep single track to the Mast on the top of Constantiaberg. We take the tar road down for a couple o' hundred metres and then turn right onto the single track down past Elephants Eye and then onto Steenberg Ridge and back to the car park.
 
Extended option for those wanting to get some extra distance on the legs and who don't like downhill steps (Thomas).  Take the tar road all the way down to Level 5 and go back through the top of Tokai Forest / or down to the Puffer Path and back along the Tokai side of the mountain.  We can discuss it on the morning.
 
Walk / Run Route: probably the same as the short routers but we will confirm on Friday and you can also get the details on http://vobtrailwrg.blogspot.com/ .
 
THERE WILL BE NO BRISK TRAIL WALK this coming Saturday.  Sorry about that.  Fay will be at a conference.
 
 
Distance
 
Short Route:    About 9 or 10km
 
Long Route:    Probably not more than 14 - 15km but much tougher than the short route.  The views make it worthwhile.
 
 
Running Time
 
 
Short Route:    1h45min to 2 hours
 
Long Route:    2h30min to 3 hours
 
 
Difficulty
 
Short Route:    Moderate / Tough
 
Long Route:    Quite Tough but not long.
 
 
Important Points
  1. There is very little shade or shelter from the wind on this run.  Also no watering points along the way.  So make sure you carry adequate water and energy snacks to see you through the whole run.
  2. Dress according to the weather forecast but ALWAYS have a warm, waterproof / windproof top with you.
  3. Protect yourself against the sun (cap / hat and sunblock).
  4. Remember there is very little cell phone reception on this run, especially when you are down in Silvermine near the start / finish.  So stay in groups.
  5. Watch out for snakes.  The debate continues as to who is more scared of the other.  I still think its the humans who are more scared of the snakes.
  6. Have fun and enjoy the surroundings; it's not a race.
  7. Please don't litter or damage the environment.  That includes trying not to pour unnecessary amounts of blood on the paths and freaking fellow runners out.
  8. Please fill in the register before starting out.
 
That's as far as you need to read unless you want to know "What Douglas Did !".  But if you elect to read further, you are not allowed to get your knickers in a knot about what is said.  I have been accused of being horrible to people.
 
 
What Douglas Did !
 
There is no doubt about it: Dougie Rossouw has been acting even more strangely than usual these days.  I haven't known him very long but even I am picking up on it.  And as a self-appointed trail gossip columnist I have been receiving some disturbing reports.  Is he going mad ?  Is this a degenerative condition ?  Is it accelerating ?  These are the questions being bandied about in serious trail running circles.  I have now taken the time to research this matter thoroughly and I think that, like Peter van Vliet's solving of the the 344 year old Fermat's Last Theorem, I have found the answer to this perplexing problem by "using simple logic".  The answer is BEER.  Or more correctly, the lack of it.
 
There is a puzzling ritual that certain sub-cultures practice on an annual basis when they embark on the spiritual voyage of No-Beer February.  Apparently this is a less extreme version of the strictly orthodox practice of No-Alcohol February which is practiced these days only by radical extremists (i.e. those with extreme liver damage).
 
But let us examine some of his behaviour:
 
1.    Bat Run - 19 February 2011 - near the top of Platteklip Gorge, Diving Dougie crash tackles Margaret Moller as she politely tries to let faster runners through.  We will ignore the fact that he did more damage to himself than anyone else.  Just what caused this red-cardable offence ?  Was it inter-club rivalry (MATES vs Celtics): Unlikely; as you no doubt saw on a Go Trail Facebook thread, trail runners don't care about clubs......or do they ?  Was it Dougie's ego that would not allow "a girl" to beat him ?  Nah, no matter how mad he goes, he not like that.  It appears it was simply lack of beer.  Some say he was heard chanting: "I'm Butch James, where is my beer ?"
 
2.    25 February 2011 - Mike O et al collect Douglas from home to head for Oudtshoorn for the Cango Marathon.  They are on their way.  STOP !  Turn around.  Dougie's forgotten his Garmin at home.  The offending article is retrieved and they start out again.  That night there is a party, Dougie is seen drinking gin in such quantities that it is clear that he thinks he is drinking beer................the night before a marathon........
 
3.    26 February 2011 - The morning of the race.  A difficult morning, to say the least.  They all pile into a car reeking of juniper berries.  24km outside of Outdshoorn en route to the start at the caves.  The question is asked: "So Dougie, nice sandals, where are your running shoes ?"  All is silent except for a car doing a u-turn and racing back to Oudtshoorn.  Oh, and the sound of crickets......
 
5.    Heading back out to the start again..........much faster this time............."someone" has forgotten his dark glasses back at the room.  They keep driving. 
 
4.    4km into the Cango Marathon, Dougie's Garmin batteries run out......................
 
Bad luck ?  Lack of planning ? I think not.  Lack of beer.
 
Dougie, a request from your mates and your MATES:  Please start drinking beer again !
 
Sorry Dougie, your friends all ratted you out.  I couldn't help it.
 
Have a great week Everyone.
 
Cheers
 
Tim
Tim Bellairs
Tel:     + 27 (0)21 416-6792
Fax:    + 27 (0)21 416-8792
Cell:     082 321-0299

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Monday, February 21, 2011

acsis VOB TRAIL RUNNING AND WALKING: SATURDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2011 - CONSTANTIA NEK TO MACLEARS BEACON

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Good morning All
 
 
Last Saturday provided perfect evidence that one can still have fun on a trail run even when no-one really knows where we are supposed to be going.  Despite having the maps and route description from the Two Oceans website we still got it a bit wrong but it was a superb effort nevertheless.  That really is a beautiful area; muggers aside.  All it needs is for people to stick to a few fundamental rules and everything is fine.  Ignore the rules and you inevitably find yourself in trouble as appears to be the case with a few German tourists on Table Mountain and a UCT student on Lion's Head on Saturday.
 
We had lots of new faces with us so I would like to say a big welcome to them.  One thing that definitely became evident was the lack of guidance for them as to which group to join.  So I would like to give the following guidelines:
 
The Trail Running Novice
 
Whilst we are a club that can cater for most speeds, a certain minimum level of speed and fitness is required in order to participate in the trail runs and walk/runs and still have fun.  As an estimate, we reckon that you need to be able to run 10 - 12kms on road at at least 6min 30 per km on road.
 
For anyone not yet quite at that level, I strongly recommend that you join our Brisk Trail Walk Group.  Particularly if you are a novice to trail running.  Fay Linder will ensure that you get to experience the terrain that we run on and she will put you through your paces.  The Brisk Walks will also strengthen the legs in preparation for the Walk/Run Groups.
 
The Trail Walk/Run Groups
 
Do not be too fooled by the name.  These groups are a solid workout.  All trail running is walk/running, after all.  Just as an estimate, if you train at between 6.30 and 5.45min/km on road then you will be comfortable in these groups led by Peter Rogers, Sandra Ackland and Gaeleen Tompkins.  Also, if you are a faster runner but inexperienced in trail running and / or not up to or don't feel like a long trail run then these are the correct groups.  Two groups have emerged in the walk/run field, being a faster and slower group who nevertheless regroup from time to time.  It is a good pack run experience.
 
The Trail "Run" Groups
 
Generally we have a short route and a long route.  What we have found in practice over the last 2 1/2 years is that the short route seems to mirror the faster Walk/Run Group and we find that these groups are starting to merge and in all likelihood the short route group will eventually become indistinguishable from the faster walk/run group.
 
The long route running group.  This is for the more experienced trail runners and also for the faster, fitter road runners who are including trail in their repertoire now.  We agree a route (i.e. Jane or I make up a route and tell you what it is) and it is pretty much a "run at your own pace" run (terms and conditions apply).  There are no real pace requirements here as there are many very experienced trail runners who are not quick but can run forever.  A bit of experience and a whole lot of fitness are the main requirements for this group.  Generally, there is a smallish fast group who are with us at the start and are not seen again until the start the following week.  The bulk of the run comprises a medium paced group of experienced runners.  Then there will normally be a smaller group of slower runners and there is always a sweep to make sure that everyone finishes safely.
 
 
AWARDS
 
No awards this week.  Booooooring, I know, but that also means we had good, safe running.  Well done everyone.
 
 
 
WEDNESDAY EVENING INFORMAL TRAIL RUN - 23 FEBRUARY 2011
 
17h20 from the car park at Kloof Nek (next to the SANParks / TMNP kiosk).
 
 
 
SATURDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2010 - CONSTANTIA NEK TO MACLEARS BEACON VIA ECHO VALLEY (OR VALLEY OF RED GODS / ISOLATION VALLEY)
 
 
Start Time and Place
 
All Groups start 06h30 sharp from Constantia Nek car park.
 
The Route and Difficulty Rating
 
Long Run Route- Toughish
 
We are going to remain flexible on this and will see what the appetite is for on the morning.  We will start at the Constantia Nek car park and cut straight up to Eagles Nest.  From there it will be road and / or single track up to the top and over to the Woodhead Dam.  From there we will select our route, as illustrated in the heading above, to Maclears Beacon.  From there we will take the direct route back to Constantia Nek via the top of Window Gorge, Skeleton Gorge and Nursery Ravine.
 
Short Route - Moderate
 
There is the option of running to Woodhead Dam (as above) and then returning via Hely-Hutchinson Dam - Skeleton Gorge - Nursery Ravine - Hoerikwaggo Hut and down the cement road if a group leader emerges.  Otherwise, they will join the Walk/Run Route (below).
 
Walk/Run and Brisk Walk Route - Moderate to Easy
 
We will take the lower route from Constantia Nek to the Kirstenbosch gate then across the gardens to the lower reaches of Nursery Ravine, climb  up to the contour path and then follow the upper trail (contour path) back to the cars.   
 
Distance
 
Long Run Route:    About 20km (maybe a bit less)
 
Short Run Route:   About 15km if you go up and around the dams or 10km if you do the Kirstenbosch Route.
 
Walk/Run Route:    About 10km
 
Brisk Walk Route:  About 8km
 
 
Running Time
 
Long Route Run:    At least 3 hours (add an hour for slower runners)
 
Short Route Run:    2.5 hours around the Dams and 1.5 - 2 hours through Kirstenbosch.
 
Walk/Run Route:    1.5 to 2 hours.
 
Brisk Walk Route:   2 - 2.5 hours
 
 
Important Notes
  1. Please carry your own water and energy snacks (especially for long route).  There are taps en route at the Hoerikwaggo Hut on top of the mountain and at least three in quick succession in Kirstenbosch.
  2. Please watch the weather forecast and dress appropriately.  If you need any guidance on this, drop me an email or give me a call.
  3. Sun block and a cap / hat are fantastic ideas.
  4. Watch the path in front of you for possible snake action.
  5. Sign the register before starting out.
  6. Please check the Friday Wrap-up email for any last minute changes (and for a weather forecast).
 
UPCOMING acsis VOB-ORGANISED TRAIL RUNS
 
The full calendar up until Easter will be out shortly.
 
 
UPCOMING EVENTS
 
1.    TSiBA Eden Campus - New Balance Trail Run Series
 

A reminder that the next in the series of TSiBA Eden – New Balance wine farm runs will be held on Saturday 26 February at Bloemendal Wine Estate, Durbanville, at 7h30am. Please see flyer below for further details, and map beneath. Thanks for your support.

Description: cid:image002.png@01CBC141.ADCED740

 
2.    HELDERBERG MOUNTAIN CHALLENGE
 
Helderberg Mountain Challenge - one not to miss!!

The Helderberg Mountain Challenge (HMC) is a mountain trail run of epic proportion, with over 875m of vertical height gain to the summit, over a distance of 8.75km!! The even better news is, there are two more distances to choose from, for those wanting a little less extreme, and a little more extreme ...


Choice of THREE different distances: 

24 km - for those looking for an EXTREME challenge

15.5 km - for those wanting to compete for the awesome prize money

10.75 km - for those looking for a simply awesome trail run


When & Where

22nd May 2011, at the Helderberg Nature Reserve (Somerset West)

3.    TARGET EVENTS CALENDAR
 
18 JUNE 2011
GREYTON MTB CLASSIC
MTB,  TRAIL RUN  &   new *  DUO CYCLE / RUN  *
 
Tough solid routes for hardcore riders to fun easier routes for both 2 wheelies and tekkie trappers.   New singletrack and improvements on routes
Action packed with tons of fun for the family  
 
Entries open in March.  A great prize up for grabs for pre-entries
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
23 & 24 JULY 2011
GROOTVADERSBOSCH 2 day  TRAIL RUN
 
A weekend getaway of magical 2 day trail running in the exquisite Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve & Boosmansbos Conservancy, 22km from Heidelberg in the Cape.

Mountain trails leading you through a fairyland of indigineous forests; giant Redwood tree forest; endemic fynbos and lush river valleys and streams.

SOLO or TEAMS
 
Entries are open  -  book now - secure your place and your accommodation 
 
  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
27 AUGUST 2011
ROOIKAT TRAIL RUN, McGregor
Funfilled weekend with great running in the mountains plus the McGregor Food & Wine Festival
 
 
15 OCTOBER 2011
BUSHMANS BLITZ, Greyton to McGregor
GREYTON MOUNTAIN RUN    
** limited entries  **
The most exquisite trails in the Overberg mountain
 
  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
For more route information, race info, entries and accommodation, log onto www.targetevents.co.za
 
 
 
 
That's it for now.
 
Have a great week Everyone.
 
Cheers
 
Tim
Tim Bellairs
Tel:     + 27 (0)21 416-6792
Fax:    + 27 (0)21 416-8792
Cell:     082 321-0299
 
 

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Monday, February 14, 2011

acsis VOB TRAIL RUNNING & WALKING: SATURDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2011: TWO OCEANS TRAIL RACE ROUTE

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Hi Everyone
 
 
Report Back and Awards
 
 
Silvermine East continually surprises me (in a good way).  Every time we run it we seem to catch some whole new spectacular aspect of that part of the world that we have never quite seen before.  Usually it is because of the lighting or clouds on the day and Saturday was no exception.  I find it almost a waste of time taking photos as it is almost always something that needs to be experienced, rather than viewed on a pc screen.  If you want to know what I'm babbling on about, come and join us on a run there sometime.
 
The start was its usual chaotic self as the gateman was late and we had cars stacking up suicidally along the narrow verge of Ou Kaapseweg......one more point to raise with SANParks if I ever get my meeting with "the authorities".  Eventually we were helped out by some "passing hikers" who lifted the boom off its hinges.  Then they quietly disappeared.  Don't know who they were.  Fantastic turnout on the day.  If you didn't pitch, you really missed out.  Perfect conditions once again.
 
I have been racking my brains for comic action from the morning but the group provided me with absolutely nothing.  No falls (that were seen or reported) so I am not going to make up anything (as I have been known to do), no Missing Margarets and no juicy gossip.  Bronwyn didn't mention hospital bed-pans even once.  So let's not force the humour.  Instead I would like to say a sincere thank you to some of the members of MATES (Mountain and Trail Enthusiasts) Running Club, Jane Holdcroft (who really has been leading a lot of runs recently), Mike Ohlsson and Douglas Rossouw in particular.  Having their input in these runs just goes a long way to showing what good Run Management can do..........no falls and no-one getting lost.  Thanks MATES.
 
Whilst we can't award a Missing Margaret, we CAN award a Sailing Sandra.  Even though it was not on our run, it was during a trail race.  Apparently not everything between spouses is confidential as Tim Haig-Smith demonstrates when he and his wife Colleen were participating in the original Surfers Challenge in EL last weekend:
 
"Colleen did a good job trying to qualify (for a Sailing Sandra), we ran the Surfers Challenge in East London last weekend.

About a kilometre before the end on another rocky section she tripped fell and broke her fall on her face and did a little collateral damage to her knees.
The face plant resulted in a front tooth being knocked back and a trip to the hospital dentist on Saturday night. She is fine now."
That is a very special betrayal of confidence and definitely worthy of recognition.  Well done Colleen and we're very glad to hear that you're okay.
 
 
WEDNESDAY INFORMAL TRAIL RUN - KLOOF NEK CAR PARK: 16 FEBRUARY 2011
 
This run is on BUT can I ask that you liaise with me (RSVP) if you plan on attending.  The reason is that this run is early (17h20 start) and of late it has been very hot at the start.  We would like the flexibility of calling the run off if it is extremely hot.  Last week it was 39 degrees at Kloof Nek.  If we don't know who is attending then we can't tell you if it has been cancelled due to heat (or otherwise).
 
But at the moment it is ON so aim for a 17h20 start in the Kloof Nek car park next to the SANParks / TMNP kiosk.
 
 
SATURDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2011 - REHEARSING THE TWO OCEANS TRAIL RACE ROUTE (THE SHORT ROUTE)
 
We are going to take it easy this weekend. 
 
Bearing in mind that this coming weekend hosts:
 
1.    The U2 concert is on Friday night,
 
2.    The Bat Run is on Saturday night and
 
3.    The Peninsula Marathon / Half-marathon is on Sunday,
 
I am expecting 1 (ONE) person to arrive for the trail run on Saturday morning and that is me.  So I am going to hook up with the Walk / Run Group of Peter Rogers and we are going to have a bit of fun and take a run around the Devils Peak area and see if we can work out what the 10km Two Oceans Trail Run route is.
 
We will be doing this at a gentler pace than the one the Long Route Group normally operates at.  So a requirement of this run will be that we do not push the pace of the Walk / Run Group.  If we have enough people we can go off on our own.  Otherwise, arrive with the idea that you relax and enjoy the run.
 
There will be a Brisk Walk Option with Fay Linder too.
 
But don't panic, we will cover both the Long Route and the Short Route (again) of the Two Oceans Trail Run in March.
 
 
Details of the Run
 
I don't think I can do better than Peter Rogers' description:
 

"RV & Start Time

Boom Gate at the Southern exit from UCT upper campus ready to start at 0630

Route

From the boom we follow the route to the old zoo area and then uphill towards Rhodes Memorial drive then we will follow the route as published on the Two Oceans website.

Distance

Its a 10k route with lots of hills and we have to navigate along an unfamiliar route so I estimate it will take us in the region of two hours

Parking

If you approach UCT along the M3 from the Wynberg side take the UCT turn off on your left just after you pass the turn off for Rhodes Memorial and follow the hairpin bend around and either park in the parking area enclosed by the hairpin or proceed up the hill through the boom and park in the parking area on the other side of the road.

If you are really confused then take the turn off for Rhodes Memorial and just before the wooden gates and cattle-grid turn right into the Old Zoo Parking area. Then walk about 400m up the hill in the general direction of Cape Town and UCT and you will come to the Boom gate where we will RV.

Note

For those wanting something a little less vigorous Fay has agreed to lead a brisk walk group for a tour of the area starting from the same place and time."

 
OTHER TRAIL RUNNING MATTERS
 
 
DIRT RUNNER
 
For those of you who haven't seen it yet, check out Tony Lourens' new trail e-magazine.
 
 
AUSSENKEHR DESERT EXTREME
 
Sonja Beard has given me a heads up, advising that this will be taking place on 30 June, 1 July & 2 July 2011.  Many of us followed Jonathan Beattie's exploits last year on Facebook and read his article last year.  Sounds like a must-do challenge for those of the Extreme Multi-Day Event persuasion.
 
Watch this space for more details.
 
 
AFRICAN X
 
The last time I spoke to Jane Holdcroft, she still had her team's spot on African X up for grabs.  If anyone is keen to take it over, please drop me an email and I will put you in touch with Jane.
 
 
That's all for now. 
 
Have a great week Everyone.
 
Cheers
 
Tim
Tim Bellairs
Tel:     + 27 (0)21 416-6792
Fax:    + 27 (0)21 416-8792
Cell:     082 321-0299
 
 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

acsis VOB TRAIL RUNNING AND WALKING :" FRIDAY" WRAP UP ON A WEDNESDAY

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Hi All
 
It suddenly struck me that I am on leave on Thursday and Friday (like I really forgot) so I will not be around to amuse myself with the Friday Wrap Up email.  So this is it, and if you intend running with us this weekend then please read this as there is one important change.
 
The Saturday 12 February 2011 acsis VOB Trail Runs, Walk/Runs and Walk are all happening.  They will all be starting in the car park inside Gate 2 of Silvermine East, apparently also known as "the R5 gate" (being the cost of entry).  So don't forget to bring your R5.  Theoretically your Wild Card should get you in free but it has become a custom to pay the guy R5 (minimum) anyway.  It is a very small price to pay for the privilege of running in this stunning area and also have your car looked after.
 
If you have any doubt as to where this gate is then please contact me (cell phone or email).  You might get my Out of Office Message but Blackberry is my constant companion.  So I will respond.
 
Here is the important change:
 
ALL GROUPS WILL BE STARTING AT 07h00 (or as soon as possible after the gate opens at 07h00).  Regrettably, The planned 06h30 start for runners had to be abandoned after we were advised that parking outside the gates and / or on Ou Kaapseweg attracts a R500 traffic fine. 
 
Muggers, however, currently seem to attract few sanctions.  But we know that the authorities are now doing their best with the resources available.  For those of you who haven't seen the newspapers this morning, a tourist was stabbed and robbed on Lions Head on Saturday.  He was rescued by some AAC runners, at least one of whom is on this email list but prefers to remain anonymous.  Very well done to you though.  So let's do our bit by being extremely careful out there and staying in large groups.
 
Don't forget to check out the weather forecast on Friday so that you arrive adequately dressed and kitted out.
 
 
 
And also don't forget the MATES Runs this weekend too:
 
MATES Bat Run Training Runs
 
Friday night 7.00 PM 11 th  Kloof nek car park going up Devils Peak and back +-2 Hrs.
Bring headlamp, get used to running in the daaaarrrk.
 
Sunday 07.30 am 13 th Kloofnek car park hiking up lions head champagne, beer breakfast at the top.
A nice easy one before the big week end.
Everyone welcome bring spouses, friends lovers, come and enjoy.
I would like to say thanks to all the people that joined in on these bat run sessions i really enjoyed your company.
Cheers
CEO Mike
 

 
Hope to see you on Saturday then.
 
Cheers
 
Tim
Tim Bellairs
Tel:     + 27 (0)21 416-6792
Fax:    + 27 (0)21 416-8792
Cell:     082 321-0299
 
 

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

acsis VOB TRAIL RUNNING AND WALK RUNNING: WED 9 FEB / SAT 12 FEB / MATES TRAINING / AWARDS

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Hi Everyone
 
We had a lucky run last Saturday: lucky that the weather remained cool until after we had finished, lucky we didn't actually lose anyone in the clouds on the Saddle (although "some people" did their best to get lost - see below) and lucky that the Bad Guys in Woodstock Cave didn't get us (just too early in the morning to go a-mugging).
 
I am going to leave the Awards Ceremony till last so that those who are easily annoyed, bored or distracted don't have to wade through that to find out what we are doing this week:
 
 
WEDNESDAY 9 FEBRUARY 2011 - INFORMAL TRAIL RUN FROM KLOOF NEK
 
This run is ON and will be starting at 17h20 sharp at the parking area at Kloof Nek.  If you don't know where that is then drop me an email or phone call.
 
8 - 10km: Route to be decided on the day.
 
I will be at the start but not running as this is my evening to stand Car Guard Duty for CRAG who will also be running from the same car park, but just a bit later at 17h45.
 
 
SATURDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2011 - SILVERMINE EAST (GATE 2) - AMPHITHEATRE AND MULTI-PEAK RUN IN ANTI-CLOCKWISE DIRECTION
 
Jane Holdcroft (0790852582 or Jane.Holdcroft@santam.co.za) will be leading the run this week and I will either sweep or lead a short route run, depending on attendance and requirements on the morning.
 
 
Start Time and Place
 
Although the gates only open at 07h00, the Running Groups are starting 06h30
 
The Brisk Walk and Walk / Run Group will start as close to 07h00 as possible so that they can wait for the gates to open.
 
The 06h30 Run start will require some imagination when it comes to finding a place to park.  The first couple of cars can probably park at the gate but please don't block the entrance.  All others must please try and park up at Gate 1 (the entrance that goes up to the Dam) because Gate 2 is on a bit of a blind curve.  This will require a few extra minutes so that you can jog to the start a few hundred metres away at Gate 2.  If any doubt about the arrangements, please give me a call or drop me an email.
 
 
The Route
 
From the gate we head across to the Amphitheatre and then up onto the ridge to the east of it which we follow down to the gravel road near Nellie's Pool.  From there we follow the various peaks in an anti-clockwise direction (St James, Muizenberg, Lower Steenberg and Higher Steenberg Peaks...more or less).
 
An improvised short route can be created on the morning if there is an appetite for one.
 
Walkers and Run / Walkers, check out http://vobtrailwrg.blogspot.com/.
 
 
Distance
 
The Long Run Group is probably not more than about 15km.
 
We can improvise a 10km route if one is required.
 
 
Running Time
 
Around 2.5 hours.  Allow 3 for the slower runners.
 
 
Difficulty
 
Moderate.  Undulating with some short, sharp climbs and drops.
 
 
Important Points 
  1. There is not much shade and probably no water available on this route so bring lots of water, a cap/hat and sunblock.
  2. Be properly attired for the weather conditions.  Even when sunny, if the south-easter comes up one can get quite cold, quite quickly.
  3. Be alert to the possibility of snakes on the paths (front-runners particularly).
  4. Take note of the "parking issues" mentioned above.  Try and get there as early as possible in case you have to park at Gate 1 and run to the start.
  5. There is no cell phone reception at the start, so if you are late, you are on your own.
  6. Fill in the register before starting.
  7. Have fun.  It's not a race.
 
 
UPCOMING MATES BAT RUN TRAINING RUNS (FRIDAY 11 FEBRUARY AND SUNDAY 13 FEBRUARY)
 

Friday night 7.00 PM 11 th  Kloof nek car park going up Devils Peak and back +-2 Hrs.
Bring headlamp, get used to running in the daaaarrrk.
 
Sunday 07.30 am 13 th Kloofnek car park hiking up lions head champagne, beer breakfast at the top.
A nice easy one before the big week end.
Everyone welcome bring spouses, friends lovers, come and enjoy.
I would like to say thanks to all the people that joined in on these bat run sessions i really enjoyed your company.
Cheers
CEO Mike
 
 
Now onto the matter of The Awards Ceremony.  Busy people can stop reading here:
 
 
The Sailing Sandra:
 
I feel a bit bad about awarding this as the person concerned was one of those who was patiently waiting for me at the Kings Blockhouse.  But quite honestly, it is such a deserving case: the Recipient looked like the debt collectors had paid her a visit and given her a whack on the shin that made my eyes water just looking at it.  For her large, swollen, pulsating, purple bruise, the award this week goes to none other than its namesake, Sandra Filby.  Round of applause please.
 
 
The New Award - The Missing Margaret (a long time coming)
 
There are two things that really stress out a trail run leader:
 
1. that someone will fall and really hurt themselves; and
 
2. that someone will get hopelessly lost and said leader will spend the rest of the weekend searching for them. 
 
The Sailing Sandra was put in place to actively discourage people from falling.  But for a long time we have had nothing to discourage runners from getting lost.  After further episodes in the clouds on Saturday and on personal recommendation from a specialist in the fields of trail running as well as getting lost (Dougie Rossouw) we have decided to institute a second "weekly" award, very appropriately named, The Missing Margaret Award.  This award will be made to the runner who gets themselves most seriously lost or takes the most ridiculous wrong turn and shall be made as often as is necessary (hopefully not weekly).
 
This award honours long-time offender Margaret Moller who, whilst a superb trail runner in her own right, fairly regularly loses sight of "the big picture".  By this it is meant that not only should one know well where each footstep is being placed (she never falls) but one should also ultimately be aware of where the sum of each of those careful footsteps is leading.  In fact, Margaret was the very first person to get lost on the acsis VOB organised trail runs when she missed a turning at a cairn on Table Mountain which is so large that the casual observer in Camps Bay often mistakes it for one of the Twelve Apostles.
 
The award for this week:
 
Several candidates emerged this last Saturday; Dougie and Margaret being two of them.  Dougie entered into a plea-bargain regarding his disgraceful wrong turn and instead piemped out Margaret.  But details are scant on Margaret's misdemeanour so she is off the hook on a technicality.  Then there is the group that I caught running in exactly the wrong direction in the clouds on the Saddle.  I am talking 180 degrees in the wrong direction.  Fortunately for them I didn't get all of the names........
 
So in the absence of more details and the presence of alibis for some, the award is going to Kevin de Klerk for the most serious case of "missing in action" on the day when his courage was found utterly missing as the ladies he was running with threatened to abandon him alone at the Kings Blockhouse to wait for me while I was sweeping.  Unfortunately he just happened expose his "concern" to the most merciless bunch of women (Bronwyn and Sandra et al) that trail running has ever produced.  They gleefully reproduced to me every panicked word as well as hand, arm, leg action and head wobble accompanied by hysterical laughter.  Sorry about that Kevin.  It was brutal but at least you have learnt now that it is easier to face the muggers than admit to that bunch that you are uneasy about being left alone at the Blockhouse.  The ironic thing is that you were absolutely right.  Nobody should ever leave anyone alone at the Blockhouse, especially after the dodgy characters we encountered up in Woodstock Cave (the matter has been reported to SANParks via the Ikapa Honorary Rangers).
 
Congratulations Sandra and Kevin.
 
That concludes the wards ceremony.
 
Have a great week Everyone.
 
Cheers
 
Tim
Tim Bellairs
Tel:     + 27 (0)21 416-6792
Fax:    + 27 (0)21 416-8792
Cell:     082 321-0299
 
 

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

acsis VOB TRAIL RUNNING & WALKING: SATURDAY 5 FEBRUARY 2011: KLOOF NEK TO KINGS BLOCKHOUSE / WEDNESDAY INFORMAL RUN

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Good morning All
 
 
I'm afraid I must be brief in my report back this week.  I know how you normally look forward to my long rambling emails.  I'll do better next week.
 
 
Summary Report Back
 
We had a SUPERB run last weekend over a tough course and in pretty warm conditions.  But it was a hardy bunch of runners who arrived to tackle this challenge.  Well, at least I thought they were hard core until I read in newspaper yesterday about the Scotsman who fell 300m down a cliff on Sgurr Choinnich Mor (I take it that it is a Scottish mountain).  When rescuers arrived at where they expected to find the body, they found him standing there reading a map and trying to work out how he was going to get out of there.  He suffered only superficial cuts and bruises.  Now THAT is tough.  And on that point, there are no Sailing Sandra Awards for last Saturday.  A number of parties came forward to confess to their mishaps but there was just nothing that really qualifies.  Let's not detract from the glory of this award by issuing it to "pretenders".  :-)
 
And NO I was not at The Met on Saturday afternoon.
 
 
SATURDAY 5 FEBRUARY 2011 - KLOOF NEK TO KINGS BLOCKHOUSE AND BACK VIA NEWLANDS RAVINE
 
This is a slight change to the program we published early in January where we indicated we would start at Platteklip Gorge.  I am trying to build more of the flatter, more runnable stuff into the run this week.  The Walk / Run Group, however, will still start at Platteklip Gorge car park.
 
 
Start Time and Place
 
Kloof Nek Car Park in time to start running at 06h30 sharp.  Coming from the city, proceed to the very top of Kloof Nek Road (which starts life as Buitengracht Street) heading towards Camps Bay.  As you get to the crest of the nek, before you start heading down into Camps Bay, turn left into the road that heads up to the lower cableway station, being Table Mountain Road.  Ignore the first gate into the car park immediately on your left and turn into the second gate about 200m further on on the left.  That is where we will park and start from. 
 
 
Route
 
We jog up the tar road to the start of the path to Kloof Corner Ridge and then start the climb on single track to the level of the contour path.  We then follow the contour path all the way to the Kings Blockhouse on Devils Peak via Oppelskop Ridge.  Here the short route will turn and return either the way we came, or along the tar road or drop down into Deer Park / Van Riebeek Park and return by doing Leg 1 of Table Mountain Challenge in reverse (your choice on the day).
 
The long route will drop down to the gate / stile above Rhodes Memorial, carefully avoiding the muggers, and proceed on the contour path around to the Newlands side of Devils Peak as far as the start to Newlands Ravine.  Turn right up Newlands Ravine, across The Saddle and then back down to the contour path on the City side (where we had been running earlier, then down the lower part of Platteklip Gorge to the tar road, do about 500m of tar road in the direction of the cable station and then down into Deer Park and back to the cars.
 
The Walk / Run Group and Brisk Walkers will still be starting at the car park at Platteklip Gorge - see http://vobtrailwrg.blogspot.com/ .
 
 
Distances
 
Short Route
 
The short route can really adjust their distance to whatever they feel like doing as this is more or less an out and back.  It is probably about 7 kms to the Blockhouse making it a 14km round trip.  But apart from the first big climb to the contour path it is all pretty easy going and you always have the option of running back along the tar road which is mainly easy running.
 
Long Route
 
This isn't actually all that much longer than the short route and if memory serves me correctly it isn't more than about 18km.  However, it has the first big climb to the contour path as well as the climb up Newlands Ravine which is pretty tough.  So don't be fooled........it is quite a hard run but at least there is lots of runnable stuff in it.
 
 
Running Time
 
Short Route
 
2 hours at least
 
Long Route
 
Anywhere between 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours depending on your speed (of course).  But why rush the run ?  Enjoy the spectacular scenery, especially in Newlands Ravine.
 
 
Difficulty
 
Short Route: Apart from the first big climb to the contour path, this CAN be an easy run but this also depends on your choice of return route.  Return via tar road is very easy.  Return via contour path, fairly easy but includes a bit of a climb back up to Oppelskop Ridge.  Return via Deer Park turns it into a fairly tough run.
 
Long Route: A reasonably tough route.  Two big climbs with lots of easy, runnable single track in between.
 
 
 
Important Notes
  1. Please make sure you carry water.  Plenty of it if it's hot.
  2. Please wear appropriate gear.  Watch Friday's weather forecast.  At least carry a warm jacket / windbreaker in case you have to sit and rest or you get injured and have to wait for assistance.
  3. Please note that we are running in "mugger turf" especially around Kings Blockhouse and Rhodes Memorial so STAY IN GROUPS.  Be aware of your fellow runners and if necessary, slow down a bit to keep groups together.  Also be aware of what's happening around you.  If you see dodgy characters and have the opportunity to flee, this is the better option.
  4. I encourage everyone to carry a whistle.  A nice loud one like those used by sports referees.  And keep in in an easily accessible pocket, not in your pack.  If confronted by potential muggers, haul it out and blow it like hell.  Note only will it alert others nearby but it will probably send the would-be assailants scampering for cover.
  5. Watch out for snakes on the paths.
  6. Apply sunblock and run with a peak / hat.
  7. Sign the register before starting (it is in the boot of my car).
  8. Have fun; it's not a race.
 
 
INFORMAL TRAIL RUN: WEDNESDAY 2 FEBRUARY 2011
 
We will be doing a small, informal trail run from Kloof Nek, starting at 17h20 from the Kloof Nek car park (as described above).  It will be a gentle pace as we have a number of crocks recovering from injuries and will be between 8 and 10kms.  Route to be decided on the day.  Anyone welcome as long as you understand that it will be an easy-paced pack run.  No need to RSVP, just rock up and run.
 
 
That's it for now.  Have great week Everyone.
 
Cheers
 
Tim
 
Tim Bellairs
Tel:     + 27 (0)21 416-6792
Fax:    + 27 (0)21 416-8792
Cell:     082 321-0299
 
 

********************
Nedbank Limited Reg No 1951/000009/06. The following link displays
the names of the Nedbank Board of Directors and Company Secretary.
[ http://www.nedbank.co.za/terms/DirectorsNedbank.htm ]
This email is confidential and is intended for the addressee only.
The following link will take you to Nedbank's legal notice.
[ http://www.nedbank.co.za/terms/EmailDisclaimer.htm ]
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