For reference, Kaapschehoop is off the N4, past Waterfal Boven but before Nelspruit. Steven and I were running together and we stayed in a comfy little house with Tony and Kate. With the rogaine only starting at 08h30, it was not a crack-of-dawn alarm wake up, thank goodness! The start was a quick drive from the town and through the forests.
When we got our maps at the start, Steven and I took a while to decide to run North or South; and then clockwise or anti-clockwise. North had the same number of max point score controls but less of the middle ones. I didn't have much recollection of the area from when I ran here in 2006 with Tania. We ran South and I'd mountain biked the following day in the North. That was as much as I could remember.
Anyway, Steven and I decided to run South as there were a couple of low scoring options North and close to 'home' that we'd be able to grab if we had time. Our route went clockwise from the event centre towards Kaapschehoop, then very far South and then coming back North-west. We chose to run clockwise because of the gradient - it looked like we'd have some nice long downhills to run.
In terms of navigation - not a helluva lot of choice. As mentioned the options were North, South, clockwise or anti-clockwise. And whatever your choice, most ran the same routes. Navigational difficulty was easy - perhaps too easy, especially with the higher scoring controls. Sure, they're far from the event centre, but I think that the decision to get them should be based not just on how fast you can run to them, but also how difficult (how much time) the control would be to locate. The only thing with this is that on a 1:35,000 map, it is hard to make the controls to a comparable orienteering difficulty because you don't have the detail on the map.
|The full map.|
A favourite part of the route was the fabulous long running from #29 (far South) to #28, through #16, #30, #20 and to #19. It was mostly down with few ups so we ran a lot here and enjoyed the cool shade of the forest, lovely scents and fabulous running. We especially loved the section running down to #14 and then down towards the river. Here the forest quality allowed us to go cross-country through the forest - bounding through a thick layer of pine needles. Older forest and just absolutely beautiful.
On reaching the finish, we discovered that those who ran North first cleaned up there and still had time to pick up some of the closer southern controls. Running in the North was more exposed with less shade but it was faster than the South.
We ran almost the same southern route that Nicholas Mulder and Ryno Griesel (race winners) ran, but in reverse. The main difference would have been to run #16, #14, #21, #30, #20, #19 and then #8, on the way to the finish. We did #16, #30, #20, #19, #21, #14, #1 and finish. Truthfully, it would have been more uphill for us and we wouldn't have had the lovely run that we did. We also doubt that we would have made it in time... we got to the finish with about 13 minutes to spare and we had a delicious downhill from #1 to the end. It would have been a longer uphill from #8 to the finish and taking into account being slower on more uphill... I think what we did worked well for us. Nic and Ryno cleaned up in the South and then cleaned up most of the controls in the North too!
|Nic's route (as the crow flies) in blue. Nic ran this North to South (#8 to #16). This could have been an option for us to run in order to get #8, which was out of reach with our route.|
A big thank you to Ian, Craig, George and the other ROC members involved in putting on this event. My year wouldn't be quite the same without rogaining every October - it's a favourite-favourite event ;)
|Ian Bratt doing race briefing|
|Steven and I before the start|
|A nice bit of through-forest traversing from #17. Here we were with a pair from Stanford Lake College - these guys did really well. The most the one guy had ever run was 10km! I unfortunately didn't get to chat to them at the finish.|
|A little stone house on the way to #22|
|Little froggie on the water reservoir at #28. Lots of froggies here.|
|Steven was taken with this tree on the out-and-back road to #20|
|Sign in the town of Kaapschehoop ;) Aside from the incorrect use of apostrophes, it's cute (should be kids, cats, dogs, frogs, no apostrophe). Pic taken Sunday morning during a walk around town.|