Saturday, January 15, 2011

Kurland Summer trail Run 12th Jan 2011

Kurland Summer Trail Run hosted by Pennypinchers Adventure Racing Team 12th Jan 2011

At gathering around a fire ( a braai) in early December while the Team was discussing the plans for 2011 I suggested it might be fun to organise a trail run and I have got just the spot to do it if we can get the permissions from the land owners. Peter and Zander Behr were only to happy if not a bit bemused to allow us to do a run across two of the most beautiful pieces of land in the Crags.

With the mix of the current team we were able to pull off an amazing event.Jeff and his son Brandon were seen shirts off sweating clearing the route. Netski sorted out the kiddies race and Chris arrived back from holiday the day before the event and put his expert skills of route marking and sweeping into place on the day. Race day arrived and we all pulled in our wives and partners to help with marshaling and entries. The day turned out to be a huge family affair with Jeff's Welsh in laws adding an international flavour to our team.
Chris,Netski and lettuce take in the flood of late entries.

The inaugural Kurland Summer Trail run which was organized by the Pennypinchers Adventure Racing Team was held on the grounds of the Kurland Hotel and the neighboring Kleinberg Estate on a hot Wednesday afternoon. The race was organized with two with two aims in mind firstly to have a trail run in the Plettenberg Bay area over the holiday period and secondly to raise awareness and some funds for two local charities, The Kids of Kurland and Mind the Gap charities which do a huge amount of good work in the local Kurland Village.
There were three different events on hand a 1,5km Adventure trail for kids, a 4km trail run for novices and the not so fit and the then the main event a 12 km trail run. The routes were clearly marked for all three races with the kids following a meilie meal trail through the forest and across paddocks back to the start where they all received a certificate and a gift. The 4 km route followed the 12 km route up a gentle hill through the forest before turning down hill and back to the start past galloping polo ponies and the green manicured polo fields.
The 12 km runners head into the mountains
The 12 km route continued up hill to the 3,5k mark and then the forest opened up into a spectacular fynbos filled valley. A long gentle downhill bought the runner s to the water point on the course , a clear cold mountain stream where many lay in the water to cool off and the racing snakes scooped a couple of mouth full’s of water and sped off only to be greeted by a steep firebreak that got every one walking. The views from the top of the firebreak stretched as far as Robberg and the sea and were well worth the effort. From here the course speeded up with and undulating section of roads and jeep tracks to the finish.

Guy Dempster downs a bottle of Independent Milk at the finish of his 4km Run

A total of 120 athletes took part in the races and the winners in each category were rewarded with prizes from many local sponsors including Ocean Blue, Plett Puzzle Park, Advanced Massage Therapy, Knysna Cycle works, 34 Degrees South, Spur Plett ,Independent Milk and Pennypinchers.Photos from Glen Murray addeda great touch to the event.

Winner of the men’s 12 km race was local running club athlete Chris De Villiers described the route as tough but awesome. His winning time of 60min and 55 secs was a couple of minutes ahead of Knysna junior Nic Cuthbert and Martin Fraser Mackenzie. The ladies race was won by Georges Chantal Nienaber with Kerry Roos and local Kerry Ravenscroft in second and third respectively.
Peter Behr of Kurland hotel was one of the Novice runners in the 12 km run and despite being absolutely “buggered’ he really enjoyed the run and was going to definitely train for the next one.

The Kurland Mielie Meal Kids race saw 24 children ranging from age 1 half to 14yrs old participate. The trail consisted of following mielie meal arrows which took the children thru forest jeep track, single track, fern forests, puddles and grassy meadows. The race/walk was about 1 half km starting and finishing at the same place as the 12 and 4 km race. The mom's and dad's who where not racing in the trail run come along or provided support at the finish line for the little ones. Jeff from the Pennypinchers AR Team had to run fast in front trying to keep ahead of the eager children while the rest of the mielie meal hunters stayed at the back with other Pennypinchers AR Team member Jeannette to explore the forest. Each child received a certificate congratulating them on completing the trail with prizes for each one of them. The children's entry fee went towards helping the unprivileged children in Kurland. It was a fun filled afternoon with lots of smiles and dirty feet to show. Thank you to all of the children who came along.

With the explosion of trail running in the rest of the country the Pennypinchers Adventure Racing Team has committed to organizing more amazing runs in the Garden Route especially in the Plett area. They are part of the mission to help make Plettenberg Bay the Nature Sports Capital of Africa. Look out for the Easter Trail Run to be hosted by the Team over the Easter weekend at another amazing venue in the Plett area.