Monday, October 29, 2012

Buffet Olives 25km Trail Run–27 Oct 2012

I’ve been looking forward to this year’s Buffet Olives Trail Run for a while now for 2 reasons:
1) So far it’s the longest distance this year I’ve tackled – road or trail
2) I finally get to run in my new pair of Salomon Speedcross 3’s!
Before I get into the run, I’d just like to add that the Salomons are awesome trail shoes. I bought them specifically for 2+ hour runs, and they fit the bill perfectly – the first few km’s I couldn’t stop thinking: “damn these shoes are comfy – it’s like running on plush carpet!”
Onto the run: While the distance of the run is quite daunting, it’s definitely not as severe as some of my previous trails this year (looking at you Botmaskop Traverse!)
The organisation was excellent, as was the route markers – esp considering there were 3 trail routes and 2 MTB routes being run over 2 days. I just wish they would put marshals at the locations where the route split. Even though it’s clearly marked, you always get some poor sod who misses the turn. Shame – I could see the guy running the 14km’s heart drop into his socks when I told him he’d missed the turn about 2km’s back.
The route initially loops around the olive farm, and then follows a steady climb of jeep tracks deep into the forest. I initially thought the trail was quite boring (despite the awesome views), but was pleasantly surprised to meet quite a bit of single track on the way down. As far as technical difficulty goes – this run was quite easy – nothing like the Bastille Day run for example.
On to the good stuff:
… also one of the best goodie bags of the year + a medal at the finish!
Buffet Olives Trail Run 25km
Happy (Trail) Running!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tsiba Education New Balance Trail Run Series–Merendal Wine Estate 20 Oct 2012

This past Saturday, the monthly Tsiba Eden Trail event was held at the Merendal Wine Estate.
As usual, the Tsiba events were very enjoyable – ideal for anyone wishing to see what trail running is all about – offering gentle 6 & 12km route options running amongst the vineyards.
I needed to put in some extra mileage before this Saturday’s Buffet Olives trail run, so I had a warm-up jog over the nearby Vissershok hill:
After some very stormy weather the night before, more than a few runners were glad to see the sun and blue skies:
.. some pics from the run:
Thinking of taking up trail running? The Tsiba events are an excellent place to start. Walkers are welcome too!
Events are usually posted here.

Gun Run 14 Oct 2012

The Gun Run has become one of those iconic races in the Western Cape – often the event most people will choose as their first dip into road racing events.
Way back in 1998 I took part in the relay event (which has been discontinued) at the request of some friends. I ran the last leg, allowing me to experience the finish atmosphere, and back then, the very cool medal collection. The running bug bit, and the following year’s Gun Run was my first half marathon, and personal best time – which still stands.
This year I entered the Gun Run for the 6th time, after a 6 year hiatus. Many things had changed, but what remained is the awesome atmosphere and sense of expectance on the start-line.
I don’t make a trip into town very often – and the subtle changes to Cape Town and it’s surrounds was very pleasing to see – nice new stadium surrounded by a serene golf course ; upgraded promenade utilities etc.
I knew there were going to be a lot of people, so I arrived about an hour before the start – which is essential if you plan to get any decent parking. I opted to park on beach road about half way between the start at the stadium, and the finish about 4km up the road from the stadium on beach road. I think a lot of people who parked at the V&A weren’t expecting to walk so far from the finish to their car.
For those who are not familiar with the history of the Gun Run, in the “old days” the start time was 9am, and the cut-off was noon – and Cape Town this is when the noon gun fires from the top of signal hill.
These days the start is much earlier – most likely to avoid the heat for the thousands of participants, but the Gun Run wouldn’t be Gun Run without some sort of Gun, would it? Enter the start gun:

Trust me when I say that you don’t want to be within 10 meters of this thing when it goes off. It’s the kind of bang that makes your kidneys rattle.
The start get quite busy from early on: forward to the start line:

….behind – lots more runners.


The start of the route follows a nice and flat route around the promenade on beach road

.. before turning back past the stadium:

at about the 12km mark there’s a rather nasty hill that continues for a few km’s.

.. from there it’s quite a nice scenic downhill, and flat to the finish – one of the best final few km’s of any half marathons around


.. for those interested in the route profile:

See you in 2013 - Happy Running Smile

Monday, October 1, 2012

2012 New Balance Tsiba Eden Trail Series: Thelema Wine Farm 12km 29 Sep

The Tsiba Eden trail runs have become somewhat of a regular item on the Western Cape Trail Running Calendar. My first Tsiba event served as a very pleasant introduction to trail running. The atmosphere on these runs is extremely informal, with everyone from the elite runner looking for some speed training to the novice walker looking for some time in nature taking part.
If you’re thinking of taking up trail running – these are definitely the events you want to be targeting.
The wife and I were lucky enough to get a baby sitter for 3 runners-in-training, so this event served as her first taste of what it’s like on the trail. Needless to say I think she’ll be back for more.
Finally she got to see what all the fuss is about Smile
The route split also turned out to be perfect for us (choose from 6 or 12 km route). I finished the 12 just as the mrs and mom-in-law were finishing the 6.
Before I move on to the good stuff – a word of warning: You’re probably going to want to invest in some decent trail shoes for these runs. Wine farms + rain = slippery clay roads.