It is definitely the season of challenges… and to be honest, anything to get outdoors at this stage. We decided to try The Sport Science Hoek’ed on Trails Challenge… Similar to the Gone 2 Gone Challenge it is a three month Trail Running Challenge with a different Trail Route for each month.
Just Step Out The Door And Go
Just going to add in here, if I have learned nothing else this year, in which we as a family have spent a lot of time on the trails, you are not ever too slow to head out as a trail runner. In fact, apart from the handful of elites, most trail runners are actually quite slow, they LIKE to slow down and enjoy their surroundings. For years I put off joining any trail running events, because I am the slowest runner on this earth, only to discover that trail runners often walk the hills… and in fact some hills have to be walked… and if you have just conquered a peak and you are exhausted, then it is best to keep moving, however slow you are… walking is actually fine. So run/walk your trails… and if you can’t face running… walk them. There is no shame in being slow… get out there and rinse off your work week and day to day pressures, by conquering peaks and discovering that you can do so much more than you ever imagined.
The Hoek’d on Trail running Challenge all begin and end at The Coffee Guy Roasters, in Noordhoek. The Challenge is free and virtual, which means you can go on the route at any time during the relevant month, whenever it is convenient to you. The first month’s event, August, is called The Climb… and climb we did. I now that we have done it, I am a little daunted by the title of next months’ challenges: The Flat (September) and The Long (October). You can read about the Challenge on the Sport Science Academy Website.
Starting from The Coffee Guy Roasters in Noordhoek, we set on on a very frosty and cold Monday morning. We have recently hiked Chapman’s Peak for the 13 Peaks Challenge, but never from the Noordhoek Beach side of the peak, we were really looking forward to this…
Looking down on Noordhoek Beach all the way…
We knew it would be tough, but the views… out of this world.
And breakfast on a Peak is always totally worth it.
The first part requires a certain amount of living on the edge!!!
The challenge for us however, was the cold, it really was cold, and here we are stretching up to get our fingers into the wintry sunshine – it didn’t help much.
This is a lovely and extremely challenging hike, not for the faint hearted the vertical is UP.
From Chapman’s Peak, we headed down towards Hout Bay and a really nice walk that is becoming all too familiar to us.
The great thing is that we reached the Peak in good spirits and hot coffee was the sweet reward.
The walk along the contour path at the base of Chapman’s Peak, to the base of Blackburn Ravine is absolutely stunning…
I am not sure why this route isn’t more popular…
It is breathtakingly stunning, beautiful waterfalls, gentle undulating path and really really lovely.
From the contour path we headed up Blackburn Ravine and once again: “Hello to the world of vertical.”
This is tough, up and up and really not for the fainthearted… absolutely stunning all the way and so well worth the effort.
At the top of the Ravine, you can head straight down into Silvermine or head up Constantiaberg to the Peak, or up Noordhoek Peak… the route said Constantiaberg, and off we went. The last time we climbed Constantiaberg it was a misty day and we didn’t get to see the spectacular views at all… so this was absolutely stunning.
At this stage the route takes you back over Noordhoek Peak, another extreme vertical and then a rolling journey back down to the Coffee Guys Roasters.
Except after a freezing cold day out on the trails, we decided for safety sake as the dark closed in around us, not to mention the small problem of curfew, we decided to head down the way we new best, into Silvermine and exited the park at Silvermine. If it had been summer and the daylight a little longer, the last couple of kilometers would have been the easiest of the day. Sometimes you have to call safety
It was a fantastic day out, full of views and new routes for us. We loved it in fact and there are definitely parts of that route that we will go back and explore again.