Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve
6Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve Kleinmond 08 August 2020
Experience the best of both worlds in the penultimate race of the TSSL in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve surrounding Kleinmond.
This is as diverse a route as you can get with coastal pathways, forests and mountain trails complete with spectacular ocean views.
The penultimate race in the TSSL takes us to the spectacular Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, starting and finishing in the sleepy town of Kleinmond. This is as diverse a trail as you could possibly wish for, with everything from magnificent coastal trail, riverside pathways, big climbs and fast technical mountain trails! From the start we zig zag through the back streets to get onto the coastal trail at 1.2km, before hitting the windy coastal path complete with bridges and boardwalks. This feeds onto the Palmiet River trail at 4km, taking us into the start of the climb into the mountains (6.3km). The climb includes a short section of yellowwood forest, before the vistas open up as we ascend sharply to the terrace half way up to the high peaks (7.5km). Enjoy a fun traverse before climbing to the high point at 9.2km and 259m above sea level. From here it's peddle to the metal all the way down the mostly downhill run to the golfcourse at 12.3km and onto tarmac through town and a gentle descent to finish line!
A little of everything is the order of the day for the penultimate short course race out of Kleinmond. From the getgo we tear out of the blocks through the back streets to get to the coastal path at 720m. After a fun section of boardwalks and trails we get back to the beach to cross the bridge over the estuary and mission along the sand to a second bridge at 2.5km. This gets us under the road and into the trails through the empty campsite, through a river (4km) and through the backdoor onto the Kleinmond golf course. After a steady climb to the back end of the golf course (4.8km), we turn onto a fanstastic mountain traverse before joining with the two longer routes at 6.3km. From here it's an easy run down to the finish through the backstreets. The final culvert gets us into the sprint finish and welcome respite!
Don't be fooled by the seemingly long section of flat coastline, this course will make you work all the way but you will be rewarded by a trail that is super diverse. The first 1.2km gets us out of suburbia and onto the coastal path. At 4.3km we join the Palmiet trail and follow this to the Palmiet river bridge at 6.3km. At the Palmiet road bridge however you head up and over to access the trails on the SW side of the Palmiet river estuary. To the 9.7km mark it's a fast mixture of trails and jeep tracks that gets you to a private section of coastal path that for the next 1.7km will test your bouldering and balance! Don't be fooled by the profile, it may look flat but it's technical and slow. At the 11.4km mark you get back onto coastal path and head back to the Palmiet bridge and the base of the mountain (13.7km). From here it's climb, climb, climb to 16.7km, with only a brief respite at 15.4km! But the climb is worth it, as from here the hardest work is done and it's majority down down down to the finish - 5km of quad busting technical trails before the final sprint home on through the backstreets of Kleinmond. A watery culvert is the final hurdle to the line and your completion of the penultimate XL!
WILDRUNNER TRAIL RUNNING GRADING SYSTEM (WTG)
Download the WTG here.
The Wildrunner Trail Grading system (WTG), was developed in 2009 and designed to help you make informed decisions on trail running events around the country. Unlike road running, trail running routes and races have many more facets to them, making them either harder or longer (in time) than you may expect.
Every race/event should give you the total distance and accumulative ascent, but using road running sense to work out your time based on these factors alone would be a mistake!
The three primary 'trail factors' affecting your overall time and effort on a trail run are as follows:
1. Terrain difficulty (easy or tricky?)
2. % single track/off-road to on-road (how much on difficult terrain?)
3. Route severity (how steep?)
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The three factors mentioned above have been expanded into an easy three part grading system. Each trail factor is listed below with the descriptions. Look out for races with a WTG and use this guide to make informed decisions.
'Technical' terrain = trail that is ‘busy’, that requires extensive concentration and trail running technique - for example a rocky hiking path, or a 4x4 track.
'Off-trail'= Describes sections that do not have any obvious or established route, for example a river bed, grass field or a section of beach.
'Single-track' = Describing a trail that is narrow and typically only wide enough for one runner to run on at a time and in single file. Examples of typical single track would be a hiking trail, mountain bike trail, game trail, livestock trail
Cape Winter Trail Series® - Tygerberg Nature Reserve: YELLOW 8B
Gauteng Summer Trail Series® - Leeuwenkloof: ORANGE 7A
Jonkershoek Mountain Challenge 36km: GREEN 8B
Skyrun 100km: RED 9B
All Wildrunner events (www.wildrunner.co.za) carry this grading system - look out for the grading on the event listing.
PART 1: TERRAIN DIFFICULTY
YELLOW = Easy, non-technical terrain, all on established trails and tracks
ORANGE= Moderately easy terrain, short sections of ‘technical’ terrain but largely easy running, all on established trails and tracks
GREEN = Moderate challenging terrain, with a mix of ‘technical’ and ‘non technical’ terrain, mostly on established trails and tracks but may or may not have extended sections regarded as being ‘off-trail’
BROWN = Moderately difficult terrain, more ‘technical’ terrain than ‘non-technical’ terrain, challenging but mostly on established trails and tracks although may or may not have extended sections regarded as being ‘off-trail’
RED = Difficult terrain, majority ‘technical’ terrain that is extremely demanding, may or may not have large sections on un-established trails and tracks
PART 2: % SINGLE TRACK/OFF-ROAD
1 = 1-10%
2 = 11-20%
4 = 31-40%
5 = 41-50%
6 = 51-60%
7 = 61-70%
8 = 71-80%
9 = 81-90%
10 = 91-100%
PART 3: ROUTE SEVERITY
A = Mostly runnable gradient
B = Mostly runable gradient, but has some steep ascent and descent that may require walking
C = Lots of steep ascent and descent that may require walking