"I'd rather be seen on my bicycle than on a park run" - Quote from the dark side

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Beacon Run

I often read about people running to a beacon or past some beacon when they are out on their mountain trails. I do this quite often even though I haven't written about it. Yes, I can do a beacon run here in Johannesburg!

Last Saturday I did my beacon run. I do this at the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve 11km south of Johannesburg. I live another 11km south of the reserve so it is quick and easy to get there.

We are at the end of the winter so it is very dry here in JHB at the moment. The trails are dusty and the plants don't show much sign of life.

I started out on the Bloubos Trail making my way to the Beacon Trail. The reserve has several trails with lots of different difficulties and technical variation. For me it makes the perfect training ground.

Bloubos Trail
Beacon Trail

There are several routes to take up to the beacon and even though this is by no means a mountain, it is still a hard climb to the top. I have seen many hikers turn back or stop to wait for their partners to go to the top and back. A lot of people underestimate the trails in this reserve.

It is so dry and there are so many game paths that it is hard to see the trail in places. Let's hope we get good rain soon...

Game  paths crossing the trail.

Some more climbing and then it was the final push to the beacon. The views are great from here and it is certainly worth the effort.

Beacon at the highest point in the reserve.

1645m (5397ft) - Not that high but still good altitude to train at. ( My Suunto has been through the wars a bit...)

And what's the point of running to a beacon without making a fool of yourself...?

Johannesburg to the north.

Looking east.

Looking south.

Looking west.

From here I took the Legae Loop to go down again. You can easily see why this is called the Legae Loop...

There are some really beautiful places in the reserve. I made my way back to the Ruins Trail. I decided while I was at the top I wanted to run down the Ruins Trail. I always use it for climbing from the other side and thought this was a good time to use it for some descent training.

Ray's Ruins Trail.

Some nice ruins to see.

There are quite a lot of ruins in the reserve. I will write a post about them and the history behind it some day.

Going down was quick although the dry ground was quite slippery in places. I made my way back to the Bloubos Trail via the Kiepersol Trail. I felt a bit dry and hot. 

Dusty trail down.

Soon I was back where I started. Another successful beacon run behind me. This run reminded me once again how much I love being out there.

Back at the entrance.

Definitely successful!

This Sunday I will actually run a race in this reserve. I will only run the 8km but part of the enrty fee goes back to the reserve and I really want to support that.

Happy training everyone!


One Crazy Penguin said...

Looks like a fun run :)

KovasP said...

I keep forgetting how mountainous SA is - 1600+ meters is good elevation!

Kate Geisen said...

Thanks for the little tour! :)

I've never heard of a beacon run, so this was a first for me. Good luck in your race this weekend!

ajh said...

Looks like a great adventure. I can see why you like it.

Karien P. said...

Love the last pic :) . I'm always amazed at the "tan" that I pick up during my trail runs, only to realise later (under the shower) that it was actually only dirt, haha... :)

Liz said...

I've never heard of a Beacon run, but the views look lovely!

Robin said...

Very cool. Love all the pics, what a great place to be able to run!

Char said...

It's been really dry, hasn't it? Great photos. It's always so interesting to see other runner's stomping grounds.

Unknown said...

It really does look dry - maybe moreso even than where I'm at. We've actually had a relatively wet summer which is fantastic, because we need it. For the past several years we've been under our normal average of 10" rainfall per year...scary when you can't even get that much!

Amy said...

Ha ha - I love your selfie! Love seeing all the pictures, espcially the city way off in the distance. Great run!

Lindsay said...

I always enjoy seeing/hearing about your runs and getting an "inside" look at S. Africa! Beautiful as always!

Anonymous said...

Hi Johann
Just discovered your blog! Looking forward to a good read!