Cape Town Trail Challenge
The Mountain and Trail Enthusiasts (MATES), in partnership with the Friends of Blaauwberg Conservation Area (BCA), will hold the second ‘BCA Mates Trail Challenge’ in the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve on Saturday 13 October 2012. After the success of the first event in October 2011, great interest is expected in this year’s event.
There are a number of race events in and around the Table Mountain area and the Winelands, but this trail challenge is the only one that offers the opportunity to run through the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve. With views of Table Mountain, Robben Island and Table Bay, participants can run either the 15km or the 8km route. The routes will run over the two hills, Bloubergkoppie and Kleinberg, and through the colourful spring vegetation within the nature reserve.
The race is organised in conjunction with the Friends of BCA, which is a non-profit organisation made up of volunteers supporting the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve. The proceeds of the race will go towards promoting the conservation of the reserve. Registration will start at 06:00, with the longer 15km race starting at 07:30. The 8km race will start immediately afterwards, at 07:45. There are a limited number of entries so pre-registration is encouraged. Participants can register using the form on the website and payment can be made via bank transfer. The entry fee has been kept as low as possible, and is R100,00 for the 15km trail and R50,00 for the 8km trail. For further details, please visit the MATES website: http://capetrailrunning.co.za/trailchallenge.html
Being a trail run, unlike a road race, there will be no marshals along the way. A medic will be on duty at the start/finish and a sweep will run with the last people on the trail. There will only be one water point. Participants should bring a windbreaker and a water bottle. As this is a green event, car-pooling is strongly encouraged. No littering is allowed: only footprints should be left behind. “MATES is a non-profit running club that’s more accessible to us as primarily trail runners. Many trail runners also enter the road races, especially the ultra-distance races, and thus need to be a member of the Western Province Athletics Association. However, none of the existing Cape Town clubs are primarily focused on trail running, and we’d like to support this aspect of athletics. We recognise the achievements of our runners in all disciplines of running, i.e. trail, road, multi-sport, etc. and we want to encourage the appreciation of our beautiful environment by promoting exercise on the mountain.
The club also aims to teach hikers and runners how to respect the natural environment and act safely when on the trails. Lastly, weaim to support the development of athletes from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, striving to keep trail running affordable and accessible to all,” said the Secretary of MATES Running, Meindert Hoving. Chairman of the Friends of BCA, Roy Fuller-Gee, says: “After the success and enjoyment of the 2011 Challenge, we are looking forward to seeing both past runners and some new ones taking on the scenic route through the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve. Whilst some runners come to win, others take the opportunity to admire the breath-taking views from the top of our koppies. We just enjoy showcasing our reserve.” The Blaauwberg Nature Reserve is only 25 km from the centre of Cape Town and is regarded as a global biodiversity hot spot.
It is approximately 2 000 hectares in size and has a rich mosaic of natural, cultural and historical elements. Being so close to Cape Town also means that the area has the potential to become an open-air classroom that is easily accessible to millions of people within its proximity. The race is sure to be a wonderful way of exploring this beautiful area. More information about the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve can be found at http://www.bca.org.za/. For more information on the City’s nature reserves, please visit http://www.capetown.gov.za/naturereserves
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