Do you ever have visions of sitting on a big chopper cruisin through the country? Hair flapping in the wind…. sorry here my dream bubble bursts (I don’t have any hair).
The plan was simple: Run from Kloof Nek to Constantia Nek via the VWS route and lower jeep tracks. Once we arrive at the lovely coffee shop/ water tap (scones optional) we return via higher trails trying to clock 2000m of uncontrived ascent. This includes ascents of the Cons Nek ascent via the metal bridge, descent of Cecilia Ridge, Aloes on the Contour Path, Newlands Ravine, Oppelskop Ridge, down past the cannons and through Deer Park back to the start. Simple actually! 41+ km of premium trail right in the heart of the city and 2000m ascent exactly. Just the training I need.
I tried it once with Roger until I blew horribly on Newlands Ravine. My HR stopped at 124 and every single step turned into one of Hillary’s on the Big E! Then Roger flew to the US and I was quick to recruit Adrian. He agreed without too much hesitation. So off we went and our legs blew on the ascent of Newlands once again. We limped back to our cars. Two days later I mailed Adrian and he signed up for another round with this beaut. Saturday 7th we saddled up and headed out under cloudy skies. I was carrying more supplies than before and even snuck in a caffeine gel- just in case! I knew this would be a 6h outing.
We ran strong and arrived at Constantia Nek in 2h17 then the big stroll up to the back table passing Linda and partner, the scramble down Cecilia Ridge went quicker than expected. Then cruising past The Aloes and a steady pace up Newlands. At the top of this we met a lone traveller in the mist. He hitched a ride with us for a little while before we turned towards Oppleskop, sending him into “bat country”.
We knew that we had done it. Easy Rider was born. We had fed the rat and it was satisfied. This is trail running at its best in the heart of our city. Less than 2km is on tar and we double back on our path for about 5 km. We completed this great run in just over 6h total time. We walked most of the uphills and ran everything else. It includes jeep track, single track, steep ascents and descents. One of the best trail routes I have ever done!