Friday, 13 March 2009

Going to Hell

I always knew it would happen at some stage... yeah, I'm going to hell.

But not for bad deeds; no, no. I'm off to Die Hel this weekend to run the 80km Hell Run. The race is organised by Michael Graz, a dear friend. Michael took over the running of this event from our common friend Paul Mitchell, after Paul passed away in late-2004 (route was initiated by JP van Belle; Paul turned it into an annual event). As this is Michael's last year to organise the event - now that he is living in Wales - I figured there was no time like the present to head South.

Hell Run will continue to be held annually, taken over by Deon Moller. Deon has been involved with the event since its inception - in fact, his whole family is involved. His wife's pancakes at Ou Tol are legendary. So the event will be in very good hands.

In addition to seeing Michael and Heather, another dear friend is visiting from the UK. Tracey and I ran our first half-marathon together and she was on my support crew for my very first adventure race in April-ish 1999, a 250km in the Drakensberg. We regularly orienteered together, winning the ladies category at the very first South African Rogaine, held at Suikerbosrand - placing 3rd overall. Tracey immigrated to the UK weeks later.

This weekend is all about old times, dear friends (present and passed) and running, which is what unites our spirits.

Here are some useful things to check out. I've just seen that Google Earth has updated their imaging of this area. Wow! I've never been able to see it before (the res was low - old format until now). Go check it out - looks phenomenal!

Google Earth placemarks

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