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

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Top of Price Drive

I have decided to have a stab at learning to draw after following Jill's Today I Saw blog I really have been inspired. I doubt I will be as frequent (everyday) but I will see how it goes.

What I am going to draw is what I saw on my runs. Cape Town is an amazing place to run and the Constantia Valley has lots of variety and there should be plenty of things to draw.

Last Tuesday we ran to the Top of Price Drive (Extension) in High Constantia. While catching my breath at the top I tried to take in as much as I could and this is how I remember it.

Sketch #1Top of Price Drive

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Route:Distance: 9.0km
Grade: Extremely steep hill
Climb: +239.2 / -246.4
Surface: Tar 50%, Jeep Track: 25%, Single Track 25%
Technical: 2/5
Dogs: Groot Constantia farm workers houses, mostly locked away.
KML: Google Map of the Route.

The view at the top is great for a view of the most the the Southern Peninsula but the long single track trail section makes the climb up price drive worth it. The single track is unspoilt Yellow Wood forest. The path is well maintained with erosion prevention implemented.