Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Without a race planned for the weekend I started thinking of where to run, and the mountain was calling, I ran enough road last weekend...

It's been hot this week and my thoughts turned to the dam for a swim. Silvermine or Table Mountain... With so many paths open to me I kept an eye on the mountain as I rode to work and while I sat in the office (yes I can see the Front Table out my window).

I started to think, start at UCT and head up Newlands Ravine, pop over the saddle and follow the contour path across the face of the mountain before dropping down to the Pipe Track which would take me to Kasteels, the Dams for a swim and down Skeleton into Kirstenbosch before heading back to UCT.

On paper it sounded amazing so I mailed a friend to join me, but while writing the mail I thought it might be a little long (4hours + of running) so I mentioned in the mail that maybe a trip up India Venster and then through The Valley of the Red Gods to the Dams... I was getting excited.

I was going to be alone... My friend was running a race: Run The Roodeberg  so I looked it up and thought maybe I should run on a new mountain (To Boldly Go Where I Haven't Run Before...) After an e-mail or two to the organizes I found out I wasn't the only person thinking it would be a nice mountain to run on, in fact the race was full, so I wasn't getting in!

Never might I still had my mountain and I didn't have to race, so I could enjoy the route.

Starting at UCT I looked up:

Early morning sun
That's where I was heading, up through UCT to Rhodes Mem and then up to the contour path...

A bit of flat on the Contour path
15min later it was time to head up Newland Ravine... 1.2km and 380m climb later I was in the saddle!

The saddle is a little over grown in places and as I made my way across to the otherside I decided that my shortened route was still going to require just too many hours away from my lovely wife, so...

I did the next best thing, headed up the Devil! (leaving the other route for another day!)

It only 1km to the beacon at the top, so I hit the split button and started to climb... I wasn't moving like a champ, but more like a three-toed-sloth and it took me all of 16:53 to reach the top (another 314m climb) some 80min since I had left UCT. I wasn't the only person up there and I had to move away from the beacon to get some alone space:

Should have been up an hour earlier to watch the sunrise!
A group of school kids (about 30 boys) had been eating breakfast as I got there and then left before I could, so I sat for a bit to give them a head start before I took off...

Not wanting to have to overtake them on the downhill I stopped at the lower beacon:

Cape Town...
Table Mountain
Cape Town

Then it was time to head down...

Head to turn back for my phone!!!
The down hill took another 16min I wasn't taking any chance as I was alone and safty come first! I wasn't going to drop straight down Newlands, the way I had climbed up, but I turned right and headed round the Devil on a couple of the path I will be racing on come Oceans Trail.

Last picture
From there it was on to the King's Block House and down to my car at UCT...

OK so lets see what Garmin said about this run:

Distance:           15.14km (not long for a long run!)
Time:                 2h20:57 (that's not very fast!) I also spent another 65min taking pictures and sitting around!
Elevation Gain:  1540m

P.S. I ran a flat 15.5km on Sunday that only took an hour!


  1. Great report Coach and a cracking set of pictures that make me green with envy. God, if only I could get out and run in just a pair of shorts again, but it's down to freezing here with gale force wind that drops the temperature to nearer 20ºF in the wind chill. Brrrrr.
    PS. You never did tell me where you got those fancy shorts....

    1. Ha Ha Ha

      You ask about my shorts, well Now that I'm old and slow some people out there think I'm still good enough to be sponsored... So they throw stuff at me!
      New Balance shoes (and stuff)
      Adidas eyewear
      Turbovite energy stuff
      And then Contego pays for my races... So I have a pair of tights which are branded, nothing exciting!

      I am very lucky, and also lucky that the sun is out again today for another 30*C day, wish I didn't have to sit in the office, it's hard for me looking at the mountain out my window I can hear it calling...

    2. Love those Contego shorts, pity I'm a bit long in the tooth for anyone to throw such things at me....

  2. Great photos. Looks like an amazing run - or it would be if you liked running hills. How do you get those action shots - assuming that you're alone?