Monday, 27 January 2014

Lion of Africa 21.1

Less than a week after the serious climbs of the Kloof Nek Classic sees the Lion of Africa Half Marathon. 

The route is hilly and covers similar areas to the Hohenort 15km. The organisers have made several improvements over the years to prevent congestion at the finish between the various races happening at the same time. The 10km is not a flat race but the hills are not too bad and first half is quite flat

The Lion of Africa event comprises a Half Marathon, 10km road race and the Philip Rabinowitz 10 km Walk, as well as a 5km fun run. The race walk is named in memorial of Philip Rabinowitz (1904-2008) the fastest 100 year old to sprint 100m [Wiki]

Lion Of Africa 21 Elevation Profile

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Kloof Nek Classic Half Marathon

Cape Town road races in January are not short of hills Bay to Bay, Hohenort, Lion of Africa 21. Included in the list most definitely is the Kloof Nek Classic which is defined by the steep climbs and steep downhill finish. The views are not too bad either. There are some tough climbs but you also get some long downhill stretches.  

The difference in elevation between the lowest and highest point is over 350 m (according to my watch). With a constant climb over 6 km from the first 500 m.

Kloof Nek Classic 21km Elevation Profile
Kloof Nek Classic 21km Elevation Profile
If you have managed to conserve some energy the steep descent, starting at the base of the Lions head circular path, is a great place to make up some time. There is a final sting at the end when you have to climb up onto the sport field again. 

One of the annoyance factors is that people litter unnecessarily on the race. Runners deliberately throw water sachets in the bush in places that make clean up difficult or impossible. Road traffic has been quite well managed in the past. There are parts where the sound of runner’s feet is the only thing you will hear due to absence of cars and effort required to talk.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Hohenort 15km Road Race

Less than a week after Bay to Bay 30km is the Hohenort 15km, hosted by Pinelands Athletic Club. Pinelands is not known for its hills, in fact it as flat as you can get; so it is understandable that they host a race in the Constantia Valley.

The race covers most of the hill climbs in the area; some more than once! The route is quite up and down in the first half. Those who have participated in the Two Oceans Half Marathon would be familiar with Southern Cross Drive which is about 3km of the longest stretch of up will in the race. After 11km if you still have a bit of energy left you can really push it on the steep downhill towards the finish to make up some time. I enjoy courses that have a loop back, I find it helps speed me up seeing other people I know both ahead and behind also stops me from walking. For me this race is great as helps with my hill climbing fitness mixed with a fast course.

Hohenort Route Profile (click to enlarge)
This is a popular race so get there early and help by driving there in a full car to help with parking. The start can be bit messy with all the people but it opens up quite quickly, well in time for the first hill. Last year was a bit of a shocker for the organisers when way more people rocked up than the previous year, it all worked out in the end. For the last few years finishers have recieved a pair of socks. Click here for the race flyer.

View Hohenhort 15km Race in a larger map

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Vital Lourensford Half Marathon

UPDATE: The traffic congestion was a bit of nightmare, people who left Cape Town by 5AM could not get to the start on time, some even an hour after the race had started. I feel sorry for the club and organisers no one goes out to cause problems like this, but expecting people to leave their house at 4AM or earlier for a 6:30 race is a bit of an ask just because of traffic and not distance.

The route elevation this year will be different as the entire half marathon route happens on the Lourensford Wine Estate (not on the sports field as in previous years). The flyer description says the first 3km are tough and the route is all off road/jeep track I assume. 

I am happy see the dam still features as well as Champagne Corner. I am bit concerned about the hill climb between the 8-9km mark, but I am still thinking of the old route. 245 meters was the highest we climbed last year. 

Lourensford Half Marathon Route Elevation.jpg
2009 Elevation Profile
I think it is great that the organisers are trying a new route and hope the parking situation is not a nightmare. Quite a heavily advertised race and entry on the day, so I bet there will be lots of people.

Flyer Route Description:
The 21km and 10km are off-road all on Lourensford Wine Estate. The two routes follows the same initial course with the first 3km challenging followed by most scenic views. The 10km meanders back mainly downhill and level running to the finish while the 21km continues contouring along jeep track and farm road along the foot of the Helderberg, passing Brinksburg dam including Champagne Corner. Another hill climb between 8 – 9km marks – the second half mainly downhill on easy forest and farm road. Please note that the surface of this route is not safe for wheelchairs and strollers. The 10km Walk follows a different course, relatively flat and easy, through the beautiful Wine Estate with an initial 2km tar section, the balance on good farm road.

Crazy Slow Motion Running

Ever think that your running style was a bit odd or unique? Here is a video of people running in slow motion. They seem to be enjoying themselves, which is what exercise should be all about.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Niel Joubert Plaaswedloop

November in the Western Cape has some fantastic runs one of my favourite races of the year is the Niel Joubert Plaaswedloop a 13km race.

A person can approach this a race in several ways. Too seriously and as a jol. Having just completed the Winelands Marathon a few days before I am leaning towards the later. What this race has going for it is that is at that time of year when summer has set in properly, a unique route, the wine tasting during the race and the party afterwards.


For the last few years the finish medals were glued to a full bottle of wine, looking at the race flyer this still is the case. The first year I ran the race never got a medal because they were limited to the first 1000. I guess that is what you get when you run injured against medical advise.

There are two hills that you really need to experience for yourself.  In previous years they had signs on the route, I missed them last year.The first is a Bultjie and the second is a Moerse Bult, with signs posted saying "Real runners walk here".

Get there early as arriving late means you will not be able to park until everyone has run past after the race has started.
Last 3km - high Tripping Potential
Bring picnic or buy food there but staying afterwards is what is is all about.

Route:Distance: +-13.0km
Grade: Extremely steep
Climb: +437.5 / -454.9
Surface: Jeep Track: 100%
Technical: 2/5
Organized by: Sanlam Running Club
Flyer: Neil Joubert flyer - PDF
Route Elevation Profile

KML: Google Map of the Route.

View Neil Joubert Plaaswedloop in a larger map

To find out more about Neil Joubert wines go to Neil Joubert Wines

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Winelands Marathon

So once again it is time for the Winelands Marathon. Year seems to have gone so fast. Some people have asked about the route profile so I thought I should post it.

Quite a few people will complain about how tough it is. I think it has something to do with hill that starts at about 21km and does not go down much until round 30km - just in time for you to hit the wall. The downhill is a great but it ends to quickly. When you see the strawberry farm you have to start working hard again. The race start is crazy early 5:30 but that is because it can get really hot, it is supposed to be summer after all.

The Winelands Marathon is a well organised and popular race. I prefer undulating and hilly routes like this one; the Cape Town marathon was hard work for me and I was really sore afterwards. Here's to hoping for a better Two Oceans qualifying time.

Winelands Marathon Route Elevation
Winelands Marathon Route Elevation