Wednesday, July 31, 2013

HBTC 2013

HOUT BAY TRAIL CHALLENGE is one of the big trail races here in Cape Town and like many of these races there is a mad rush to enter, with many people not making the cut and ending up on the waiting list...

I was in...

I was Packed
Yes for a little run on the mountains they make you carry a lot of stuff, but the weather had turned and rain was on the way, so I had rain gear and a warm top, drink and food and a bit of first aid stuff, I was ready...

On the Start line...
The race started at 07h15 and we set off out the harbour and up the first mountain, OK it's a small mountain and took me 35:26 to reach check point 1 at the top 600m climb. I was in the lead, as I had taken the right tracks up, while the others had tried short cuts than weren't! But no-body was far behind and Christian (in a team) was first passed and set off on a kamikaze flight down the hill. Then it was AJ who took off after him.

On the next little climb to check point 2 I closed a bit, but then the 2 of them went into free fall and vanished down the mountain. I was going caught by some kid who I don't know and the 2 of us danced down the rocky banks for a while, then:

See the blood on my hand?
My hand slide down a rock while my shoes NB 1010 (love that shoe) stood still! The kid passed me and danced down leaving me to bleed to death... No I didn't died (just yet) but pootled on down. By the bottom and the end of leg 1 Greg and Andrew had joined me.

Still relaxed
Had time to take a bow!!!
Leg 1 - 74:50 a little slower than last year, but I was feeling good and we running without a worry in the world.

Leg 2 starts at Suikerbossie restaurant and in the first 2.5km you climb 420m, so it's more of a scramble, I managed to get ahead of Greg and Andrew and could see the kid 10sec ahead and AJ 40sec ahead as we climb, Noel was now running for the team and must have just been ahead of AJ without me seeing him. I took my split to the top and good, so I didn't mind that the other were ahead, I was running to plan... Now the weather gods also had plans of their own and the clouds darkened!!!

The next 6km took us to the top of Kasteels and I didn't really see another sole, ok once I saw the lead pack about 2-3min ahead as they climbed Groot Kop. I was still moving so while I could seen the guys behind me I could hear them as I climb Groot Kop. The heavens opened and the paths turned to rivers and if it wasn't for my hat I would have felt the hail on my face. I was loving it, but it wasn't wild enough to slow things down and as I turned onto the old railway path to the dam my time was on target... I now had Greg just behind, but dropped him as we ran round the dam on the road.

The next section was tricky as the paths were still under water and not knowing were you are putting your feet can lead to problems... I didn't fall and turned to the Neck on the path from the top of Nursery. I could feel I was being chased down, but turning to see if there was any-one behind you would only spell trouble. I could see the Overseer's hut and the road down. It was Greg chasing... Andrew also joined us as we took the road down. I look back and didn't see the rest of the chases so with 2 of the legs almost finished it was race on... The single track to the Neck isn't for racing, but the boys didn't know that and dropped me like an old man with a broken leg...

This is also leg 1 with the kid still behind me...

Leg 2 - 1h51:14, total time 3h06:04

Leg 3 starts with 250m road before you hit the last mountain... The climbing started again and there ahead I could see Greg and I was closing...

I should stop my story here as things were going well and I had been having a good run... But like the race I must go on and tell you more! I became light headed and dizzy, and all I wanted to do was sleep, just curl up and sleep... But it was cold and wet and I was alone on the mountain, so I pushed on... slowly over the top I was loosing time but the finish line was all that mattered. One more climb and if I could climb this last mountain it was easy going all the way... I looked back on the climb but didn't see anyone, but I know they were coming!

Yes I was up and now last year I had to walk on this down, this year i wasn't going to fall to pieces, or was I? I crossed the Manganese mines and started down, but the legs were slow and wait I was going to be caught... He was in a team... I soldiered on... Then is happened just before the fort, Derick caught me I was now down to 2nd 40+, but maybe the legs would come back... Down to the cannon and back up to the road, what Nic, the next 40+ guy was also chasing.

I hit the road and took off, but Ms 310 (my Garmin) wouldn't let me run any faster (ok it was my legs) I got to the beach and Derick was off in the distance and Nic was next to me... and then he was gone.

The running was easy and at my slow pace it splash through the river and started the last km I could feel people running me down... I wasn't caught and I climbed off the beach and splashed through the finish line, race over...
Leg 3 - 1h26:54, total time 4h33:00 lost anything from 5-10min on that last leg, but maybe I just didn't have it in me to keep pushing hard after 3h15...


  1. You love all that crazy running don't you?! And by crazy I mean up and down mountains, through streams and in the hail. Actually, it sounds kind of fun.

  2. OMG! This one had me on the edge of my seat. It sounds like you ran a bit short on glucose. Love the bow! Great job! I'll be thinking of you when I run in Utah in a couple of weeks! Your stories will keep me pushing hard up (and down) the mountain!