Race Report –Tsiba Trail Run at Groot Constantia
So Wednesday 9th November I did my first TSiBA trail race and trail run since PUFfeR at the beautiful Groot Constantia Wine Estate. The TSiBA Eden Trail Series takes place at a variety of wine farms in the greater Cape Town area with a field of approximately 200 participants. The primary aim is to raise funds for TSiBA and their education initiatives (find out more here). I had wanted to do one of their runs for years and finally had no other commitments to be able to go along and take part. The Tsiba Trail Run was advertised with two distances 6km or a 12km option.
Its not everyday you get to run a race around the oldest and most historic wine estate in South Africa and I was super excited as i arrived at Groot Constantia on a chilly evening with light drizzle after the day’s sporadic rainfall. I was glad I had worn a long sleeve top as I hurriedly registered and then joined my fellow runners huddled both in and outside the wine tasting area waiting for the start at 6:30pm. It was great to see many people I hadn’t seen for a while and also some others that were trying running off road for the first time. I had a chat with the guys from @hammersa that had come out once again in support of the event and its runners setting up a water table with their great product on offer to refuel as well as recover after the race.
Since the Slanghoek Triathlon I had decided to try and work on my speed and so decided upon arrival that I would do the short 6.2km route and treat it as a timetrial. After a quick race briefing we headed off into the vineyards on jeep track that was pretty sure underfoot. Wanting to get a good start I had moved to the front and shot after the half dozen runners that had flew off at the start. The first kilometre of the run took us up towards Simons restaurant and past the Cloete Cellars (see below) then we turned off up into the vineyards. The route felt familiar as we took in a similar route to a Cape Trail Series Night Run from a couple of years ago. Needless to say that there was one particular climb that cooled our heels pretty quick except for VOB’s Dion Middlekoop who was haring away with a couple of guys giving chase. The climb didn’t last too long but certainly tested my fairly poor trail fitness and strength i.e. Quads.
We reached the upper section of the vineyards and then went through a nice forest section before we hit the long downhill track that was pretty loose in places back into the vineyards below us. As we hit a flat section and ran next to a small dam there was a group of four of us keeping a good pace. I wasn’t sure at times if I could keep it up as we twisted and turned our way through the vineyards and I was feeling a bit breathless. The climb and fast descent seemed to take its toll as two dropped off our little group and then I was running on the shoulder of a tall guy keeping firmly in the centre of the path ahead of us. I glanced over the vineyards and then looked at my Garmin as we hit the 5km mark and then started thinking about when I was going to try and pass and if I had enough in reserves for a sprint finish. We turned up along the boundary fence of the vineyards and I looked over and saw the Hammer flags over the vines. There was roughly 300m to go and there was now enough room to pass. I picked up the pace and overtook the chap in front of me then as I made the last turn I put in a last push to the finish to have some breathing space. Debbie from @hammersa passed me a cup of heed at the finish and I thanked the other runner for making me run so hard.
Click here to see my Garmin’s record of my Tsiba Trail Run
I waited around sipping my cold drink and cheered the other runners as they passed. I eventually walked down to the wine tasting room (pictured below) and joined some fellow runners and industry colleagues for some wine tasting. I can highly recommend both their Cabernet Sauvignon and Chenin Blanc. I didnt try the others as I enjoy these particular red and white wines.
A great evening out and am now looking forward to my next wine tasting erm I mean trail running race with TSiBA.
Mix it up a little and enjoy what you do.