18 & 19 April 2014
Both routes start from the University of Cape Town (UCT) grounds and will take runners along the lower slopes of Devil's Peak and adjacent forests. Beginner trail runners should enter the short distance, as trail running times are often double that of road running. This is due to the variable terrain and the steep ascents and descents. Trail runners should wear trail shoes for better grip and carry their own hydration – a bladder pack or hip belt. Click here to download the route map (size 157kb).
Looping out of UCT on the ring road, the first k is a gradual uphill. Leaving the UCT grounds, you run a short section of tar, before swinging up onto Devil’s Peak with a “quaint” wake up hill. This leads you onto a contour trail that meanders through the forests and meets up with the main 'Plumpudding' jeep track. A speedy downhill takes you to the Pine forests and a long uphill climb to the start of the Woodcutters Trail, the Avatar indigenous forest section. This is a beautiful contour path that crosses the Newlands stream, where a drink of water may be possible. Meeting up with a jeep track, the route heads down for 200 metres and then turns left, back to the Pines, crossing the river again. From the Pines you are on the home straight, but a technical winding downhill via the Oaks awaits you. This bit of fun pops out at the Old Zoo and you are almost home. Cross the road and sprint the last few hundred meters to the finish line.
This should be done by experienced trail runners, rather than beginners. The route is quite tough, with exposed cliff sections and one tricky downward scramble (marshals will be present). The first k is the UCT ring road loop, which takes you up to Rhodes Memorial. A gentle uphill to meet the Plumpudding track heading north around Devil's Peak towards Cape Town. These first few kays are very runable, with electric views of the harbour, Robben Island and the city. The romance is interrupted with a nasty uphill grind (this is trail running after all), which meets the start of the short bundu bash – an unfinished road. This scratchy scramble takes you to the jeep tracks again, and your legs can calmly rotate until meeting the long uphill to the cannons. This lung buster has you reaching Tafelberg Road and some emergency water. The route crosses the road and takes the diagonal trail up to Oppelskop, where all your effort is rewarded with awesome views of Table Mountain. Swinging left, you are on the Middle Traverse, a pleasant contour that loops you around Devil’s Peak to the blockhouse. The scramble down to the Block House is to be done at a slow and gentle pace, but you can speed up again once meeting the jeep track. A nice shady downhill is next, followed by 'bastard hill' - an old trail that heads straight up the mountain.