Cape Summer Trail Series®
Cape Summer Trail Series® Elgin Valley XL 25 February 2018
Medals for all XL finishers
Prizes for category winners and spot prizes up for grabs
Click here for more information on categories
The magnificent country estate of Oak Valley is a fitting scene for the final race in the Cape Summer Trail Series®. This is exclusive access to hallowed mountain biking trails through an eclectic mix of landscape from pine forest and open fields to riverine forest and apple orchards. This is the ultimate feel good run that in practice is a fast, fun and non-technical course. The XL is an ideal ‘upgrade’ for those who have either banked the Series (3 out of 4) or want to just race something longer. It’s a real test of leg speed!
Out of the blocks the XL is on a stand alone course. The initial trot takes us back out towards the main gate before turning into the orchards. At 2.1km we turn off open farm tracks onto the MTB trails. A gently undulating course through open fields takes us to a small plantation grove (6km) and a fun zig-zag downhill section. A climb up through a dark thicket follows before dropping us down to join in with the Championship (Long) course at 8.7km. At 9.5km we turn into a magnificent pine forest section that is the start of the climb to the first high point of the route at 12.8km. Another fun fast descent follows before a sharp uphill gets you to the aid station at 14.9km. It’s a descent to 17.5km through a really fun combination of open fields, indigenous kloof with ferns and the lower vineyards. A short 500m uphill gets you to a traverse around the dams and across to yet another fun downhill through some thick valley scrub (19.2km). At 20.4km you have the unenviable task of running right past the start-finish on your way out to your final 4km. The good news is it’s in the shade and a really intense jumble of forest hills and downhill’s! Before you know it the finish is once again in sight, and a bridge spills you onto the lawns of Oak Valley.
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