Namaqualand Trail Race:

I did not have high hopes when driving out to Garies (444 km north of Cape Town) to run a 20km trail event. How many trees would we have to plant to make up for our sins?
Mel and I managed to just sneak past another accident on the M5 interchange to hit the N1 and then N7 North. The weekend was underway and we were on an adventure! The road to the Cederberg was very familiar but after that the surroundings changed quite a bit. More rolling hills (ha that is what I thought anyway) and shrubbery. An amazing sunset and off into the darkness. Finally Garies arrived and we hit a dirt road out of town. No navigational issues at all saw us negotiating a farm road to the start. All good as we found the rest of the Cape Town clan smashing beers as part of the taper carbo load regime.
A leisurely wake up for a 8h30 start the next day. A few Spartan pre race instructions and we were off. The race order was established pretty early on while still on the 2 kay dirt road. The we hit the hiking trail proper. And the up. There was a lot of it. 1200m. So we finally hit the highest peak in the Northern Cape in 90min. Not exactly anybodies pb for 12k.
A very windy and quite technical downhill took us down a long ridge. Roger clipped his toe and slammed into the ground. We had been running in a group up until that point. He did a quick check and nothing seemed too serious so our group continued down the hill together. This being a B grade race for us after all. Navigation was pretty easy with a very well marked trail and we quickly found our way down to the valley floor. And along this to the festive finish at the campsite.
I rate this as one of the most technical events around. This is what trail running is all about. Technical single track in a pristine environment. The beer drinking went on till late. Mel had a great run, coming 4th in the women in the 10k course.
I did not have enough and wanted more so on Sunday morning Mel and I did the 10k course in reverse. We just enjoyed being out there by ourselves, lost in the middle of nowhere. A mega breakfast was to follow before the long drive home.
A truly fantastic weekend.

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