I'm not a natural blogger and I'm no techie. I'm an ultra trail runner by passion, and a journalist by profession - in that order of priority.
In this blog I use the one to talk about the other - my trail thoughts, musings and meanderings about running mountains and trails.
I call it rockhoppin', just because... well... that's what we trail runners love to do!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Single Trouble and aiming for the Sky

Hello. Apologies for the October silence – let’s just say it was so good to be back in the beautiful Cape after six weeks away that the thought of tapping away at a keyboard featured fairly low on my list of things to do.

I’ve been back nearly four weeks now, long enough to run all my favourite local mountain trails again, and to explore a whole bunch of new paths – that’s always fun.

I’m embarrassed to admit that on my very first run – which happened to be none other than the intrepid MountainMan-Tollner’s Hout Bay Triple Trouble, and also happened to be just 14 hours after an 11-hour flight back from the UK, I fell over my own feet on the descent from Suther Peak and managed to twist my ankle good ‘n proper. So alas, my Trouble didn’t even require a Triple – the very first peak did it for me, and I hobbled home to nurse a fat ankle.

And trust me, no girl likes fat ankles at the best of times.

So there I was, freshly home from running 310km across the Alps at pace without injury, and I can’t even manage 8km on a local hill at home. Go figure. At least I know what I did wrong: I did the unforgiveable... I sneaked a peak at the view. I know I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t resist.

But I patched up well, and when the ankle had suitably deflated and gone through the necessary shades of blue-to-green-to-yellow, I was able to hit the hills again. Just as well really, as Sky Run is now just over two weeks away. Sky Run’s by far the toughest continuous 100km self-navigation trail race in the country. It’s so tough it’s been known to make runners weep.

And this year with Tiffendel finally having breathed its last (after doing a death rattle for some years), we no longer have to haul ourselves up to the final checkpoint at Ben Macdui (the highest mountain in the Eastern Cape, a tidy 3 001m above sea level).

Race organiser Adrian Saffy, bless his smelly socks, tells us he’s found a far better spot to finish the race. But anyone who has run one of Adrian’s races knows better than to fall for his choice of soft adjectives when describing his routes. This time he’s cushioned the description of the final 45km of this year’s Sky Run in comforting words like “along” and “down”, but all Sky Runners should know better than to fall for that one... We know this new route will be no less tough than the original – in fact, we already know the distance has grown to 110km...    Thanks Saff!
I wonder what other delights await us Sky Runners this year?


  1. Great post Linda! Hope your ankle is hundreds in time for Sky Run. We went and did the final 45km's last weekend and all I can say is dam I am scared! For us few that are going to be pushing through the night we are going to be greeted with 100m cliffs and extremely technical descent to the finish in the blackness of the night. I'm already planning on doubling the dose of pain pills :P Those extra 10km's might as well be an extra 30. look forward to seeing you there.


  2. Fabulous blog - brilliantly written as always - thanks and good luck with reaching the Sky!Donna

  3. Sounds pretty awesome Linda - think I'll stick to the canal towpaths! Best of luck, Lynne

  4. Looking forward to The Great Sky Run, will probably only see you front runners at the race briefing and then again at prize giving. For those who have never done it, or are thinking of doing it next year, it is well worth the pain.

  5. Oh I did that "peaked at the view" thing earlier this year and wham! I'm very interested in all your Sky Run posts. I'm thinking to do it in 2011 but as a back of the pack type runner I'm not sure if I should. I might tap your brains about this next year. Have a great weekend!