Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Ringing... er... running in the New Year

I've had a good two weeks or so with very little time spent online. Instead I've been in-and-out of Jo'burg and spending lots of time in Parys where I've had a good dose of running (including some parkrun PB times), some casual mountain biking, some river rafting and a little chillin' too.

This past weekend I was up in the Naboomspruit area of the Waterberg where I enjoyed two runs in a little nature reserve. My first was an 8km on Sunday evening where I had the pleasure of spotting the reserve's three giraffe as well as impala, kudu, nyala and zebra.

As my friend Rob quite rightly says of my running game viewing fortune: "That is so awesome seeing all that wildlife. I entered several trail runs where they said I would see lots of game and I did not see half of what you saw".

For run #1 (Sunday evening) I did the 6.2km and 2.6km routes. It was on the 2.6km route that I saw the giraffe. For run #2 on Monday morning, I did the 6.2km route twice - the second loop in the reverse direction.

Giraffe spoor. Fresh.
Definitely not alone out here...
Hello! The third fellow was a little more to the right (out of frame). 

It was cooking hot, even in the evening, so I decided to get up early (early for me!) to get in a longer run. I ran into the reserve just before 7am and it was already pretty hot.

About 500m from the start there was a muddy section of the dirt road so I squeezed off to the road side to avoid it, turning my back into the road-side bushes.


A sharp, hot burning jab on my right butt cheek. I swiped my hand behind me.


Eina! Burning like mad!

I got zapped, most likely by a wasp! Ow! Fortunately I'm not allergic and so it was nothing more than a white-hot sting for about 10 minutes on my butt and hand. Fine after that.

Just before about 2km I took a wrong path - I wasn't paying attention to the signs. And a good thing too because right in front of me...

Mr G. Raffe got more of a fright than me. He's running away down the road. He was less than 50m from me.
I watched the three giraffe for a bit and then resumed running. Having run the route the evening before I had a feeling I was on the wrong path - it was going downhill and should have been working its way up. After a bit I turned around, ran back up the hill and watched the giraffe again.

Zebbies and impala (and what looked like two albino bontebok) running away from me at start of second loop.
Second loop was really hot - good preparation, I hope, for the 80km ultra I'm running in Sabie area at the end of the month. I clocked around 16km.

Two lovely, lovely runs to kick off the year.

Hip-hip-hooray for many more in 2015 - and best wishes to you too for a year that yields all you set your heart towards achieving.

1 comment:

Staci said...

Lovely running experiences. Very few bush experiences beat seeing a giraffe run.