Time for a Small Panic

17 October, 2019

Dear coach,

trail runners participating in the Kruger2Canyon 2018 challenge
Photo credit: Phoenix Capture. Kruger2Canyon challenge 2018

Time for a small panic. Have you ever heard of Mariepskop? It is one of the highest points in the Northern Drakensberg and the highest point of the Blyde River Canyon. It sports sheer cliff faces on several sides.

So why panic, I hear you say? Well, it’s a long story. I saw that entries to Kruger2Canyon were open. It’s a trail that the Old Goat has been hankering after for a while. The fact that it falls on the weekend before our 40th wedding anniversary and the fact that the Kruger Park, our most favourite spot in South Africa, is right there, had me pushing the “Enter” button without further ado.

And then I discovered that day one of this trail will take us on a 5km climb UP MARIEPSKOP. Oh joy. The final bit of this ascent is described as tough and technical by the racing snake that designed it. I know what technical means. It means assume the bear position and crawl while trying not to get hysterical. I asked the Old Goat whether I should get tranquilisers prescribed. ”You’ll be fine”, he says. Right.

Okay, so as not to make a total arse of myself by hanging off a cliff and crying for a helicopter, we need to launch Operation Mariepskop. It will be run with military precision. Well it will when I think of what I need to do, apart from acquire a pair of steel balls.

Here are my initial ideas:

  • I will run every single mountainous trail I can find without bitching about getting technical.
  • I will find rocks to climb up and down and will try and refrain from crying.
  • I will do step ups onto a high box EVERY SINGLE DAY until I can do 100 with perfect form and without breaking a sweat.
  • I will not cheat in gym and I will smile lovingly at the Bosu Ball – good balance is what I need.

I’ll keep you posted.

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