Tuesday, May 8, 2012


3 Days, 3 Trails, 3 Terrains, 1 Partner... Eddie and I signed up as " Team Contego" to take on the 'Berg', 'Bush' and 'Beach' of Sedgefield in the inaugural SOUTHERN CROSS TRAIL RACE.


The 'Berg' leg saw us driving out to the Nursery in Karatara just outside Sedgefield. The race started slow and 3 teams moved to the front; Gauteng trail Speed Stars, Batman & Robin'son and us.

Taken on the run, 1 guy from each team.
Taken over my head...
This was early in the race as we climbed the 5km of gravel road from the start. The boys from 'Gauteng trail Speed Stars' took the lead, while we changed places with 'Batman &; Robin'son', till with a right turn we were on the Mountain climbing up an old jeep track.The 'Gauteng trail Speed Stars' had opened a gap and Team Contego (that's us) had about 20m on the next team. I let Eddie set the pace as we climbed for a km (180m!!!). By this time the jeep track was a single track...

Eddie setting the pace.
I took over the lead as the trail flattened:

The top
and set the pace till we reached the 'hut'. OK I stopped to take this picture leaving Eddie to set the pace for the next stretch.

Hiking trail hut.
The trail was still single track and started on a contour around the mountain... That didn't last long because the contour path was closed, so with a right hand turn we headed down the mountain. Eddie was taking no prisoners, it was now me who was hanging on. I did look at Mr. Garmin who told me 3:25/km but really we weren't going that fast as our km splits for those km were 3:58 and 4:00. That 2km of down hill hammered my quads and the race was far from over...

At the bottom we crossed a river and yes you guest it up the other side... again I took out my phone/camera and grabbed a short:

The view from were we had come.
That is sort of the route we had run, and that circle is the hut we ran past... Now I was able to take a split of the guys chasing us (2 teams) and it was a little over 2 minutes, so on we pushed climbing for 2km (270m!!!). From the top we followed one of those famous contours... around the mountain, in and out of the gorges. Contour!!!! no way, we climb and dropped like a yo-yo, and the single track was amazing... no not great for running fast on, but amazing! Moss, mud and rocks, all covered in ferns!!! (and half the path is washed away!)

This was some of the best trails I ever run on, but Eddie was not enjoying the climbs and the last one seemed to go on forever. The front team was long gone, and our 2minute lead was down to 35sec...

The climbing stopped and we turned down what I can only describe as a fire break!!! We dropped 158m in that km and hit the gravel road to the days finish. 4km to go we were still in 2nd place with 35sec in the bag. It was going to be a big ask to hold them off, but we weren't going down without a fight...
Down hill 3:50, the hill got steeper 3:34, then half way through the next km the road flattened an Eddie didn't have gravity helping, we lost momentum... (and the gap closed) but we turn a corner and down again km split 3:56! 1.5km to go and no more down hill, I still had legs, but Eddie was running on the spot!!!! Batman &; Robin'son' caught us and the next team wasn't far behind... I tried pushing Eddie and that got him moving forward and we (all 3 teams) were running in slow motion up the last hill to the finish the gaps stayed we had lost our 2nd with 500m to go, and didn't want to fall off the podium.

After 25.6km 1350m climb and over 2h30 of running only 14 sec separated teams 2, 3 and 4, while 1st was 10min ahead.

Let's post this and start on Saturday's run, day 2...

1 comment:

  1. amazing! I love that you guys wear compression over there! Have fun and kick ass!