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Umkhombe Trail Run & MTB Fun Ride

[image] 26 February 2016

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Cooler weather is always a trail lovers dream, with the exception of the early winter morning rising.

However, if the sights to be seen are not enough to make this worthwhile, then a simple run in nature should do it.

Thus we were lucky with the Umkhombe Trail event’s weather.  However, as luck would have it, it also brought with it some unexpected mist.  Not too much, but certainly enough to wreak havoc with the course markings.  This is another lesson to be learnt as we tried to deal with a few lost souls.  Fog, mist, whatever one may call it, swirled around just enough, almost playing games with those out there.  Thankfully, this did move on and our spectacular views could be enjoyed by most for the best part of the runs.

The very speedy 5km athletes peeled off onto a single track path, following which they crossed a small stream, could get some refreshments and head on up the ascent home.

A few serious climbs took those doing the longer trails into the far hills, where you could look towards Tablemountain, catch a glimpse of the Duzi river and visualise the route of the Umgeni River valley.  Once up top the 21 and 16km runners, headed back on a most welcome descent, through the valleys where the calls of the Purple Crested Lourie can be heard.  Side stepping bushpig and porcupine diggings, the runners then had to make their way out of the indigenous forest area back through the soon to be sugar cane lands.

There they joined the 9km route and summated the infamous ‘Tick Hill’.  Hopefully it didn’t live up to its name.  A meandering path then ensured everyone could enjoy some welcome single track again through carefully cut, shady paths. Nyala Mile perhaps did not boast it’s namesakes, as they would have run for cover with the sound of footsteps.

The 9km athletes then peeled off to the right to enjoy Porcupine Paradise – a haven for these wonderful creatures.The longer routes then descended to the banks of the Duzi River from where they had to change gears again for the final climb towards home all on single track.

Thank you to everyone who took part in our second event.  You’re all stars and through your support we can all make a difference to conservation.
We look forward to seeing you again next year.

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