Monday, May 2, 2011

The Pennypinchers Cairnbrogie Trail Run

Photos from the Cairnnbrogie Trail Run

(courtesy of Glen Murray & Dael Bunge)
In December 2010 when we decided over a braai and maybe a glass or two of red wine to organize a couple of trail runs during the year I don’t think that we had even the slightest idea of the size of the challenge that we were under taking. January saw the Kurland Summer Run with 120 runners of all ages and abilities. Great. Lets do one at Easter time its holiday time in Plett and we can attract a similar crowd. We can have an Easter Egg hunt for the kids and a short and a long trail run. With Cairnbrogie farm owner Andrew Hill offering us a venue we got the ball rolling in January and let it roll gently not realizing the momentum it was gaining as Easter weekend bore down on us.

With a route in mind Jeff, Richard (Jeff’s right hand man) and I set about cutting single track and linking bits of the routes. Jeannette was put in charge of the Easter Hunt and found a great route though the forest past the dam and then back to the barn via the calf pens. It was only four days before the event that Jeannette and I managed to run the full 10 km route. We both blown a way and knew at that stage we were going to have a great event because the route was fantastic with a good mix of single track, jeep track and awesome views.
With online entries and email entries coming in steadily from March we were expecting about 175 runners across the board. Race day came and the Team got busy erecting a trailer load of Pennypinchers branding as well as the Gu banners and marking the last of the route. As the route was marked a troop of pestly baboons removed the wooden stakes. This troop then took up residence in the forest where we were to hide the Easter Eggs so we had to hold back on that plan until closer to the race start. On top of this we had a Tsunami of late entries. With that wave bearing down on us we had the an unbelievable Rescue Team step in and plug the holes left by Jeff and Chris who were busy marking the route for the third time. Mike and Gillian from Knysna and then Steve and Olga jumped into action and calmly handled the extra 160 odd late entries. The Tsiba College volunteers lead by Berna-Lee stepped in and got the extra cars parked in the fields handed out the extra entry forms and prepared for some of the on course marshalling. While this was going on the Plett Field Band played in with the backdrop of Pennypinchers banners and the huge white Cairnbrogie Barn creating a festive atmosphere for everyone.

With the rush of late entries the start was delayed by 15 minutes but everyone was relaxed and after a briefing the 10km run set off down the road onto a course that had only ever been run by 2 people. With quite a few trail running novices in the field and an unknown route the pace was still frenetic up front with a group of 5 or six runners including all the race favorites breaking away after the winding forest single track section. After about 6 kms the group was slowed a bit by the steep climb up from the coastal path but soon picked up the pace and spread out when they hit the gentle up hill back to the dairy. Mean while the back of the pack were enjoying the views of the ocean and also the surprise of cold water and Gu Brew at the half way mark. With many novices in the race not heading the recommendations of carrying water this was a welcome relief and provided valuable hydration to get them to the finish.

Next off was the 4km run which followed a route that more than half of it was paths cut by Jeff and Jeannette. The route followed a jeep track and then headed through the forest along narrow paths and winding single track. Here young and old enjoyed a snap shot of the joys of trail running.

The Easter Egg Hunt saw the most competitive starting line up with youngsters towing the line like a group of Kenyans at the start of an Olympic 300m Final. Jeannette started the race and was nearly swamped by the 76 kids who bolted of down the road in search of an early visit by the Easter Bunny. We had to use three valuable marshals in Ashley Willcocks, Lee-Anne, a friend from Knysna and Niels a visiting exchange student from Holland to guard the eggs from raiding baboons they still had a tough time preventing the eggs being taken by the front runners of the 4km race but in the end everyone came a way with something even if it was just a big fat grin.

The fourth group of “runners” lined up under the Pennypinchers Start/Finish Arch and what a special group this was. It was a group of the kids with special needs that are supported by the Sabrina Love Foundation and Die Sterreweg Day Care Centre. With a mixed bunch of kids some in wheelchairs others in purpose made buggies pushed by volunteers and parents while others walked along side this group headed out for a 250m loop along the road and then ducked into the area where the calves are kept and then having spent a bit of time with the calves they came back to the start /finish area crossing the line with the throngs of Easter Egg Hunters and received a Cookie from Nguni Restaurant and an ice cold milk from the hosting dairy Cairnbrogie.

A buzz of excitement shot through the air at the Start / Finnish area as news came through that the first runners in the 10km run were approaching the finish. Clearing the area of kids and parents it wasn’t long before Marcel Roos from Knysna stormed into the finish area. Crossing the line in just under 50 minutes he stumbled and rested his hands on his knees getting his breath back. Not far behind Victor Gugushe tiptoed into the finish followed by the Collins brothers John and Mark. Hot on their heels was the first junior Nick Cuthbert showing that he will soon be a real force to be reckoned with. In the ladies it was Barbara Hage from Wilderness who was to strong for local Kerry Ravenscroft with Christine Collins coming in third and doing the family double of two third places on the day.

In the 4km race the results were as follows:

  1. Emma Dreyer (also first girl home)
  2. Laurian Reed
  3. Dawn Springer
Men :

  1. Michael Peacock
  2. Adam Dugmore (also first boy)
  3. Craig Dugmore

We as a Team had achieved everything that we set out to do with the event:

  1. The race had an awesome venue and route( thank you Andrew Hill,Julliette Lubbe,Chris von Christenson)
  2. Every body had great fun on the day young and old fit and unfit. (thank you the Runners, the Tsiba volunteers, The Plett Field Band, Steve, Olga, Mike, Gillian, Ashley, Josh, Lee-Anne, Niels , Glen and Dael)
  3. There was something different at the Finish for the runners and with ice cold milk from Cairnbrogie (Milk Independent) and Cookies from Nguni the race was quickly dubbed the “Milk and Cookies Race.”(thanks also to Andre from Flashbacks for sorting the refreshments )(also for prizes Vantell Bricks, Advanced Massage Therapy, At the Woods Guest House,Kitchen Cafe, Face Adrenalin
  4. We made a difference in a few peoples lives and we will be donating R2500-00 to Die Sterreweg Day Care Centre as well as giving some of these special kids a small outing on the day. We also have hopefully blooded some new “trail runners”
  5. We were able to show case our sponsors on the day Pennypinchers, Earth Scout, Gu and Blue Steel Sports

And most importantly we had a BLAST.
Here is what some of the runners had to say afterwards

Dear James and the Pennypinchers AR TEAM

Thank you so much for the great event you organised at the start of this Easter holiday.

Events like this, and people like you guys , make a difference to the world we live in, by inspiring people and making things happen.

Really, thanks guys!
(Tessa )

Hi JamesMy apologies for only getting back to you know, It was a pleasure we all enjoyed it and could not stop talking about the smiles on the children`s faces especially the kids of the Sterreweg. We also had a lovely time.What a way to spend a GOOD FRIDAY!Please do not hesitate to ask us for assistance in the near future.Kind regardsBerna-lee (Tsiba volunteers)
Thanks James

Photos are lovely

(Lolita )
I have to tell you James , these pic’s , this event , absolute magic. That one of Jeanette leading the kids is a classic.
Well done to you and your team. Really brilliant.



Hi thanks for a super event. The set up was awesome,the route perfect!!!!. Super organization ! Well done
Absolutley awesome Team

Hi Dael and James! Well done on a fantastic event!!It was amazing-such fun!!!.Bex is super exhausted but talkin bout it non-stop + Torks and I are determined to do the proper run next year!!Well done you did Plett proud Xxxm

No comments:

Post a Comment