MONDAY HILL TRAINING
Today we will be doing Devil’s Peak. Start 17h15 at The Saddle car park on Tafelberg Road. It is about 2.5km past the Lower Cable Station, heading towards Devil’s Peak. Please RSVP to me if you intend running. Be warned that although I will be there giving it a go, it may be a short effort for me as I have a bit of a hamstring thing happening here.
SATURDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2011 – NEWLANDS FOREST / KING’S BLOCKHOUSE / CONSTANTIA NEK / KIRSTENBOSCH
Start Time and Place
06h30 at the Newlands Forest car park. Same place as the helipad and the VWS headquarters. More explicit directions on Friday because if I tell you today you will delete the email and have forgotten by Friday. To add to the complexity of the situation, the Friday email will be out on Wednesday as I will be away on courses on Thursday and Friday (Clovelly and Steenberg, naturally).
This is a less strenuous run with loads of shortcuts for those who still want to run Landmarks ½ Marathon the next day. There is something aesthetically pleasing about starting at this venue, under the trees etc etc . It just feels nice and we rise quickly above the initial eye-watering bouquet of dog-poop. In defence of dog owners I must say that this situation has improved remarkably over the last few years. Fantastic. There are only a few people now who don’t observe etiquette. We will follow the Celtics Plumpudding Hill route (clockwise version) but as we head up “the big hill” we take the single track to the left up to the turnstile below the Blockhouse. From there it is contour path (excluding Rooikat Ravine you will be pleased to note) to just before Constantia Nek. Then we will wind our way back to Newlands Forest via the lower paths.
Maximum of 20km but there are plenty of shortcuts for those who want to save energy.
3 – 3.5 hours
Moderate to easy-ish.
1. Whilst I am hoping to be in full running condition by Saturday, I am looking for a possible stand-in run leader just in case this hamstring niggle is still with me. Any volunteers?
2. Despite the recent rains it may still be wise to carry enough water with you for the run. There will be at least one tap in Kirstenbosch about 5km from the end on the return trip. Carry some snacks as well.
3. Although we are not running up high on Saturday, please dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Windproof / waterproof top is a must.
4. The area near the Blockhouse is known for its mugger activity so please stick in groups and be very aware of your surroundings.
5. Please carry a cell phone to call for help if necessary or to donate to an unworthy cause if you are confronted by a mugger. This is another good reason to carry a whistle as well. Excellent for calling for help and will probably give a mugger heart-failure. They’re not really out to steal whistles.
6. Please fill out the register before starting out.
7. Remember, if you want your Tokai Forest 15km run to count for the New Balance Trail Shoe Lucky Draw at the end of November then please email me your finishing time / position.
TABLE MOUNTAIN TRAILERS (aka acsis VOB SHORT ROUTE SLOW GROUP)
They will also be running from Newlands Forestry Station on Saturday. Peter is still putting their route together so details will be sent out later in the week.
REPORT BACK ON FIRST ASCENT TOKAI FOREST 15KM RACE
I can only really comment on the Tokai Forest 15km although I know there were a few other informal runs that took place over the weekend. The TF 15km is a very special event on the race calendar because not only is it a charity raising event for the Children’s Ward at Victoria Hospital, it is also a hybrid event at which roadies and trail runners come together to compete and hurl friendly, good-natured abuse at each. No-one seems to be able to identify the nature of the race. Technically it is a road race on the WPA calendar but there is only a couple of hundred metres of tar road. On the other hand there is no single track so it is difficult to classify it a trail race. Does it really matter? I rate it as a race with one of the best vibes I have experienced in an event. Very informal so that you feel nice and relaxed and yet extremely well organised. It was fantastic to see so many familiar faces out there from both genres of the sport. No wildlife on the course this time unless you count Douglas Rossouw. Poor Dougie had been abandoned to run to the start from Constantia Nek on his own. I will say no more about the guilty party / ies as he is sure to have a full go at her / him / them in his Journey Trails / MATES email. I look forward to it (a lot). Douglas seems to have adopted the Nicky Eckstein approach to trail running which consists of wearing the largest, heaviest backpack available on the morning. We know why Nicky does it but it is not clear what Douglas’s reason is. It seems that the objective is to induce motion-sickness in all competitors behind him as they get en-tranced by the rhythmic swaying of the backpack. In theory this prevents overtaking. Doesn’t work very well as we were overtaken by dozens of people on the climb up to the 9km mark. That hill certainly took its toll. I tried to get into a discussion with Chris Goldschmidt and Andrew Ingg about the cancelled trail meeting but this lasted for about 100m before we decided to rather shut up and focus on just breathing instead. A good choice, it turns out. Then, of course, the hamstring gave out near the top. The 5 / 6km of downhill then make the whole thing worthwhile and made me very glad I was wearing trail shoes on the morning.
Unfortunately, the dark side to Tokai Forest events returned again this year as several cars were broken into and relieved of valuables. The poor police at Tokai police station had their hands full taking down reports from distraught runners after the race. It really makes one sick, especially when you consider the charitable nature of the event. It seems that it is now going to have to become standard practice for event organisers to advise the police when they are holding an event in the forest so that they can commit additional resources to it. Really sorry to hear about the break-ins.
That’s it for now. Have a great week Everyone.
Tim Bellairs (Sir)
acsis VOB Trail Running
Cell: 082 321-0299
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