Thursday, 26 February 2015

Lovely Lakenvlei

I slipped off to Lakenvlei yesterday for a quick visit and overnight stay to confirm the route for the 2015 running of my race - the third year. Again I hooked up with Amos and we drove the route together. He'll cut the grass by tractor next week so that it is race ready.

I spent the night playing with my maps - updating our rogaining/MTBO map of the property - and to work out the best split for the 30km route and to calculate distances between waterpoints and overall route distances. With that done, I crashed.

I've had a heavy few weeks (with too many 2am nights) and while my new Checkpoint Challenge Schools League has been successful and fun, it has been demanding with map updates, course planning, reports, admin and all the other bits. We're on the home straight now with a training event on Monday afternoon for my selected participants (top scorers) - to teach them how to do a point-to-point course and how to use EMIT - and then the FINAL on the 9th where my kids will run against participants from the other schools league. Nail-biting stuff. I hope my kids will rock it.

And a harddrive crash on Monday morning didn't help my stress levels. Fortunately all is well.

But as I turned on to the paved road leading down to Lakenvlei Forest Lodge... it's amazing the effect that the place has on me. Within minutes I relax and just this one night away saw me returning to Jo'burg invigorated and ready to attack tasks that had me feeling overwhelmed 24hrs earlier.

Some photos from my quick visit and afternoon spent out on the route.

The paved road leading to Lakenvlei Forest Lodge
On arrival at the main lodge and reception, after saying hi I usually head outside to look at Lakenvlei Dam. Serene and peaceful.
This is why the grass needs cutting... the approach to Waterpoint 1 from the trees. Komatiland Forests very kindly cut the grass for Forest Run. Some sections are A-ok, but on those where no-one has been - since Forest Run last year - the grass can be as tall as me!
Wild dahlias... and a little cosmos
Bass Dam - and about 1.5km from Waterpoint 3. Only runners on the 60km route will pass here.
It took us a few hours to go around the route. I got back to my log chalet and set an alarm for 18h00. I passed out on the couch for about 30 minutes and on waking headed down to the main lodge to wait for sunset. Aside from the security guard who came to say hi and check if I was ok, I was the only other person on this part of the property. Very cool. Lakenvlei is usually full on weekends but is very quiet during the week.

Sunset took a while to come and was well worth waiting for. The colours, which are so soft and pastel ahead of sunset, got richer with the sun's descent.

Sun saying bye-bye
The colours became so warm and golden - beautiful.
This gave me the idea of moving prize giving one hour later and combining it with sundowners so that the runners and their family can enjoy this too.

Leaving Lakenvlei this morning. I'm already looking forward to being back here on 10 March for a few days and the weekend of Forest Run. 

No comments: