Sunday, August 5, 2012


Saturday saw me on the start line of one of Cape Town's toughest trail run: The Hout Bay Trail Challenge It's not the first time I've run this race, but back in 2009 I was coming of an injury and had run a 52km race the weekend before, so I didn't have a great time on the mountain back then.

Bring on 2012 I had put in a couple of km of training and if last weeks half was anything to go by I was in good shape. (Although I have heard that round is also a good shape!!!) In the dark at 07h00 Claire set us off...

The race is brutal and after less than 500m on leg one you start to climb, From the harbour (sea level or should I say 1m above) we climb to about 600m in 5km!!!

Profile from Mr. Garmin
Not really knowing the the first leg I followed Will and AJ up the road and then up KARBONKELBERG, it's not a well worn path and the going is not easy, but I was having fun thinking about leg 2, we made good time up and had a bit of a lead on the next guys as we headed down...

Pic from Facebook at the top of the first climb

On a few of the cliffs I lost a few seconds, but always closed and it wasn't till we jumped onto the road and headed for the checkpoint at the end of leg 1 that the boys got 5sec ahead... It didn't bother me as I headed out we were 5min under record pace and I was sure I would close the gap on the climb... That didn't happen, why was I losing time to them!!! I took a time split at the top of the 1st climb it was about 2min, I pushed on letting them go, I was still planning on catching them later... Another split and I was still in the picture, but after the climb I looked at the clock, I was 1min slower than planned for that bit of the race and I was feeling flat, not a good sign!!! Pushing on I still felt OK but slow, why why why... It's a long stretch on the top of the mountain and with the wind blowing a gale, I could feel I was losing time. On a couple of occasions I felt the wind push me off the path into the bush, but I ran on 47min later I turned, another 5min lost, and I was toast... Worn out, I had no energy left and I now know why... The last 5 weeks of looking after Dawn had taken it's toll and had sapped me... Now as I headed for Nursery, and the single track across I new the other would start to catch me. Indeed on the way down 3 people past me and just left me for dead... Dead indeed, I looked like death warmed up as I came into the end of leg 2. Eddie was there to take a Video of me coming down the mountain for the sponsors... He later deleted it as I looked so bad!!! 1 leg to go , and Will who would win the race in record would cover this leg in 1hour 10 was already 10 + min ahead... On any normal day I'm a climber of note, but not today, the tank was empty!!! Not even the sight of a beautiful young lady could get the legs going... I was climbing like an old man... (wait I am an old man!)  But after what felt like forever I was at the top. I had lost count of the number of people who had past me, I was only in survival mode... After eating a chocolate I headed off the mountain letting another person pass me... When a 50 year old lady caught me I decided that since I was on the road I could run again, and run I did... Oh the lady was in a team!!! But the guy who had just past me was 40+ and had just taken the lead for me... I wasn't going to have any of this... The race was on and yes my legs responded... I caught and passed them on the beach and ran on to the finish... 4h46 8th and 1st 40+ ok I guess, but still 20 - 30 minutes of why I think I should have run... That would have sneaked a 2nd with Will well under the record.

A picture Steve took


  1. That's a torturous looking profile graph. Not many flat bits on it. You have some pretty gnarly runs over in SA.