Sunday, 15 April 2012

Running for the sake of... exploring

Saturday morning I was up before the crack of dawn to meet Fred and Charlene at Pirates for an Emmies (Emmarentia/Spruit) run. Charlene is not new to running but she is new to wanting to improve her running. This was her first run with Fred, who has been assisting a number of new runners. I just tagged along.

From Pirates we headed through to Van Riebeek Park (this is the name of the park area below the dam wall) and into Emmarentia proper. Wonderful to see so many runners, bikers and dog walkers enjoying this most beautiful morning. We did a 9.9km loop, ending back at Pirates where there is a Saturday morning market. So we had a cup of tea/coffee while we chatted.

After hot drinks, Charlene went her way and Fred and I drove off to Delta Park to leave my car there for 'Run Part Two'. And this is where all the exploration happened.

Jacques has a new trail book on the go and before leaving for Thailand I wrote up three Jo'burg trails. On my return he asked if I could do the one on the Braamfontein Spruit, a popular spot for runners and mountain bikers. I agreed immediately because the chapter on trails on Jo'burg would not be complete without a piece on the Spruit. As I said to Jacques, "It would be like a Bloody Mary without the tomato juice".

I know the Emmies and Emmies to Delta section very well but I haven't run much of the rest for ages. So, off we went. The area is looking so fabulous and the trail is divine. The last time I went through the one section we had to crawl through some vegetation but this time that stretch is looking great and the trail is well used - with thanks to some bikers (more bmx / trick bike than mtb) who have built ramps around here. We got through no problem and continued on.

Not sure how far we would go on this outing we then got to a hill and decided to go up and take a look to see what was on the other side. We ran up and over and then kept going. We ran through to the 12th Avenue bridge, just short of the N1, which we could almost see. We needed to get back to the nearby shopping centre where Pam, Fred's wife, would be fetching us. With Fred running a half marathon this morning we thought it best to rather get a lift back to Delta instead of running the 15-odd kilometres back.

We both got such a kick out of this run because we ran sections both familiar and unfamiliar and totally enjoyed discovering what was around each corner. Yes, this is what running is all about.

And, it has planted a seed for an AR Club trail run. To share the goodness. We're looking Sat, 7 July for a "Dead of Winter EMMIES TO N1 AR Club Trail Run". A to B. The run will be open to everyone. 8am start. More details as we make 'em.

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