Thursday, December 4, 2014

2014 Muizenberg Mountain Run - 14km

If you’re feeling a little masochistic, and want to walk like an 80 year old drunk man on ice for week, then this is the run for you. No seriously – this run will break your legs – and I don’t mean the “good luck” idiom.
Well okay – if you do lots (and lots and lots) of steep mountain training, then maybe it won’t – but heck this run is a toughy. There are, however, some things you can do to minimize the torture. After running this event in 2012, this year I was armed with some experience and wisdom:
  • Wear comfortable shoes. The first time I run, I chose to run in my “minimalist” inov8s, which I naively wore because I thought I was going to finish in under 2 hours. This year I donned some Salomon Speedcross 3’s – a much more comfy ride on the calves.
  • Don’t wear new socks – you’re likely blister. The gradients are very steep – which means your feet are going to be doing a lot of shifting around in your shoes. The older, more experienced socks, the better.
  • Take it slow on the down hills. No, slower than that. If you haven’t done much mountain running (wine farm vineyards don’t count), then walk all the downs. This is especially true for the first big descent about 2kms into the race (you’ll have already ascended more than 400m by this point). If you blow your quads here, you’re reeeeaallly going to be sorry at km 10.5 when you have to descend those 400m again.
Warnings aside, the run is really worth the scenery.
From the parking lot – the ominous mountain looms
You walk about 1.5km to the start at the base of the trail on Boyes Drive
… and then it’s about 450m of climbing within about 1km

Once at the top, there is a brief respite of about 800m, before the first brutal descent
After the steep descent, the next climb starts immediately from about the 4km mark till about 10.5km.
… and the final leg breaker, before running the last 1.5km on the tarmac to the Toad in the Road
That’s 2 clockwise turkeys down – hopefully I can make it back next year to tackle the anti-clockwise route.