This event has been on the cards for E.I.G.H.T. years! It didn’t start off in this area in my mind but as I spent more time out here for orienteering and rogaining, it began to take shape. It took me until now to finally do something about planning and scouting for this event.
I actually had another plan in mind for the event structure but unfortunately it just won’t work because if it rains then it would totally mess up the race – and in early March (outside of fire season as recommended by Komatieland) rain could very well happen. So, my ideas evolved and today I wrapped up route scouting.
I’m not going to be able to get in the distance I initially had in mind; but it’s still going to be a good ultra length and I think that the course will be a bit tougher than I anticipated. And not because of any major climbs or gnarly terrain. Not at all.
If one word can be used to describe the route – and the area – it would be LOVELY. Everything thing about it from the terrain to gradients to scenery is just… LOVELY.
It isn’t a mountain race so there are no massive climbs or knee-jarring descents. It isn’t a highveld race either so there are no rocks to trip you up. In fact, the terrain is totally un-technical and very much runnable. The grassy sections will work your feet and ankles but you’re very unlikely to trip over anything.
And that’s maybe where the catch is – if you could call it a catch. The course is so lovely and friendly and nice that there are very few free rides. You can’t freewheel on any steep downhills, because there are not really any (a few short ones maybe, but nothing significant). Sure, there are descents but they’re generally as gentle as the rest of the course. You’ll mostly have to work for every kilometre. But while you’re working you’ll enjoy looking – all around you.
Being a total softie, I’ve looked for lots of shade but also a variety in the scenery so that is isn’t just tree trunk after tree trunk.
With three big ‘puzzle pieces’ from my scouting outings in hand, I have spent the afternoon route planning. After a couple of permutations I think that I have designed a route that I’d love to run.
And I’ll be back here in a few weeks to do so.