Cape Town’s weather often struts its stuff over Easter – a carefully planned strategy to dissuade tourists from wanting to move here permanently. Trail runners don’t mind rain, it’s the wind we’re not fond of. Admittedly, no runner is, but encountering strong gusts whilst negotiating precarious precipices and dramatic drop-offs high on a mountain can be more than tricky.
Thankfully, we trail runners got in first and booked the calm weather for our Two Oceans Trail Run on Friday, leaving the +45km/h gusts for the road runners to battle during Saturday’s Two Oceans Ultra and half. Sorry ‘bout that!
This was the third running of the Two Oceans Trail Run, but my first. Running the Two Oceans Ultra has always been a non-negotiable date etched into my diary, but now with 16 of them under the belt, my excitement for those 56km on t@r has waned somewhat. That’s never good, running shouldn't ever be dull. So this year I spiced up my Easter weekend with the Two Oceans Trail Run – another opportunity to play on my favourite mountain.
Racing isn’t why we run. Running is why we run. We run for the joy, the beauty, the exhilaration, the thrill, the challenge, the silence, the fresh air, the feel of the elements. And, if we want to race the clock or for a position, then to all this we add competition. But often, if we’re too focused on competing, we can lose the full experience of all that other good stuff – we barely have time to look around and soak up the reason why we’re running in the first place.
So, this particular event I chose to run rather than race. And just that slight change of mindset meant I enjoyed being out there even more, and when I crossed the finish line, my legs felt like they could’ve run it all over again.
The 22km route is a great one – it has a little of everything: jeep track for much of the first third, and then proper single track for the rest. It winds around lower Devil’s Peak, up onto the middle traverse towards the front face of Table Mountain, then back upon itself and around the front section of the Devil (not the Peak), dropping down to the King’s Blockhouse and onto the densely forested single track sections of Newlands Forest. The route is spectacular – it promotes Cape Town at its trail running best.
* photo by Chris Hitchcock