Sunday, March 2, 2008

It Doesn't Get Much Better Than This!

All I can say is WOW! I'm in Noordhoek, South Africa -- on the peninsula, south of Cape Town. This weekend we're on the Atlantic Ocean side, staying at the ACTS (African Christian Tours) Team House. On Tuesday, we move about 10 km to the Indian Ocean side. It is beautiful here.

Before leaving Johannesburg, a good friend described two runs for me -- one relatively flat and boring (in his words); the other gorgeous but brutal. We arrived at the team house about about 1:00 AM Saturday and got to bed at 2:30 AM or so. But, if I was going to run, I had to get up by 7:00. I woke up at 6:45 and was out the door at about 7:5. This is the view that greeted me as I walked out the door:

As I headed out, I tried to decide whether, in my state of way too little sleep, whether to do flat and boring or brutal and beautiful, up Chapman's Peak Road. When I got to the place where I had to go one way or the other, it was such a beautiful morning, I decided to go brutal and beautiful. Here's the visual result -- the total run was about 6.6 miles and 55:13 (average pace of 8:22 mpm):

Team house, looking up at the Chapman's Peak Drive

Start of the mountain climb

Looking back over the team house

Still climbing

Over-the-side view

The road is cut into the side of the hill

Chapman's Tunnel


Looking ahead over the side

Another looking back shot -- or my view on the way down

Nearing the peak

I can go a little farther

...and up

Note the sign and my photographer (we drove the route later in the day)

I turned around at this point so this is my first view on the downhill

Oh, did I ever make the right decision! It was brutal but so worth the pain. The mountain part of the run was about 2.3 miles up and, of course, the same down. gMap-Pedometer didn't give me a good elevation plot but it was a long climb. The last picture was taken at about the peak of my run, so you can see how high above the ocean I was. There were numerous bicyclists and runners -- I would guess 150 bikers and 50+ runners -- and only a dozen or so motored vehicles the whole time.

Eat your hearts out -- this was the prettiest run I have even done -- hands down, no competition, qualifies for a Runner's World Rave Run. Here are the placemark name and coordinates for Google Maps and Google Maps satellite image:

ACTS Team House, Noordhoek, RSA
--> Latitude: 34° 5'52.47"S
--> Longitude: 18°21'27.12"E

Run well, y'all,
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