After a nostalgic ride in a school bus from Fernkloof Nature Reserve to De Kelders, runners always look forward to gathering on the edge of Die Plaat viewpoint. From there, they can follow the slow, coastal curve that forms the Walker Bay Nature Reserve, all the way to Hermanus.
The anticipation is almost tangible as one listens to the nervous laughter and chatter before the start of day one; a very special 23 km of coastal running at low tide. After the 17 km mark, the Klein River Lagoon mouth awaits and runners will need to wade through the lagoon at low tide. This section, at Voelklip Beach, is just 5 km away from day one's finish at Fernkloof Nature Reserve, and always makes for great spectating.
Runners can then spend the rest of the day soaking up the chilled vibe at Fernkloof. Many go down to the seafront and relax in one of the many cafes, bars or restaurants - also a great vantage point to spot the southern right whales in one of the many little bays along this section of the Walker Bay Reserve. This is also a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and reminisce about all the adventures you’ve had since you last met, whilst anticipating the next day’s mountain-trail section.
The resident troop of Chacma baboons has never disappointed as they welcome runners with their antics against the nearby cliffs at the start of day two. The mountain section of the Spur Country Classic is a vastly different experience to that of the first day.The trail contours around the main bowl surrounding Fernkloof's beautiful botanical gardens, and offers incredible vistas to feast the eyes on along the way. The crux of this 27-km mountain trail happens at the infamous switchbacks, at about 12 km, and is where runners will have to tackle a short, steep section that sends out a ‘hallo, howzit’ to the calves and quads.
The trail then climbs steadily to the highest point at around 700 m altitude at the 18 km mark. After that, it starts to drop gradually all the way to the finish, with exhilarating contour tracks snaking down the mountain and perpetuating views over the Hemel en Aarde valley on one side and Walker Bay on the other.
The finish at Fernkloof's botanical garden welcomes the tired runners, with family, friends and other runners creating a festive vibe.
Delicious, home-baked lasagne, followed by fresh fruit salad and ice cream are sure to satisfy even the hungriest and most discerning of runners. Without fail, participants rave about their experiences on both days.
Great trails, spectacular scenery and lekker people makes this a must-do adventure trail run.
Event date: 4 and 5 October 2014
Venue: Fernkloof Nature Reserve, Hermanus
Enter: Online at www.quantumadventures.co.za before 30 September 2014