Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Stanley's Light Mountain Run 29/05/2010 by Che Che Crewdson

Stanley's Light Mountain Trail Run - when you first read this you would beforgiven for thinking that the Run had been sponsored by some privatebrewery!However it has an even more interesting story which we are going to sharewith you as having now been there, done it and got the t-shirt - muchrespect is due to the man who now at 67 years old has done this route over300 times in his life while residing in the Klien Karoo hamlet of Ladismith.

Chris and Rhona along with other Knysna locals Jan Zonnestien ,Christine and John Collins travelled into the Klien Karoo on a very windy and wet Friday and the question on everyone's minds - what was it going to be like come race day ?

Running in MOUNTAINS when the weather closes in can be a very scary andunwelcome experience especially if you are not well equipped.For the Pennypinchers athletes we knew we were ready for any eventualitybeing kitted out with our Helly Hansen technical wear and armed to the teethwith our GU Brew, Chomps and Gels we had an answer for the cold and also forthe energy we would require in the process of covering 2000 m in altitude over the 24 kms we would traverse in some pretty hardcore and spectacularenvironments.

After a very sobering pre-race briefing from event organizer Ugene Nel ofQuantum Adventures on the dangers of not having the right equipment on handwhile in the mountains. (Three Trail Runners had recently died in Europewhen conditions had changed so unexpectedly) The runners prepared for the trek into the mountains.

Having been sent off by the 67 year old Stanley into a very chilly but clearmorning what was going to greet this band of intrepid competitors?The first 4 kms was on farm roads and once off it was hiking track going oneway - UP, UP, UP and more UP until we could hear the "waterwheel ofStanley's Light" turning away in its pristine mountain gorge. Ice coveredmuch of the route in the upper reaches and from the town resembled was cold but no time to worry about this or even pause to enjoythe view.....we had come to race and with conditions underfoot veryslippery in places with some major drops also lurking in the shadows it washead down and concentration ALL THE WAY.The knee wrenching tight downhill switchbacks soon took their toll and for thosewho had taken their Rockets Compression Garments. This was one sure way tonegate many of the problems other athletes were experiencing with cramp, blown quads or stiffness. The final 6 km was a rollercoaster ride with moretight switchbacks that created the ongoing illusion that as close as youcould see the finish line it was going to take a lot longer to get there asthe course meandered like some electrocuted snake all the way to the last100 meters.

Excellent performances from Rhona Zonnestien in the ladies (4th) and Chris achieving a Top 10 in the mens ensured that the PennypinchersAdventure Racing Team had continued to make their mark and most importantly give its team members the chance to test and pass on the benefits to others taking part in the many merits of the products worn and used by the team.To Helly Hansen, GU, Rockets, Earth Scout, Blue Steel, and IslandTribe THANK YOU for partnering us on yet another highly successfuladventure.See the following link for the full story on Stanley’s Light (well worth theread).
for the story about the light

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