Spectacular sunrise at this morning’s KZNTR 1000 hills trail race , held at Nagle Dam. As a result of my injury, I downgraded to the 20 km from the 38 km route. This would be my first time (properly) back after 11 weeks of being injured. Walking poles would also be used for the first time today.
We started off in the chilly air and after a short, gentle up we descended into the light – lit, under – the – dam, tunnel. Very cool for making fun echoing noises and hollering. Into the bright morning sun again to then travel a rather steep UP! Rewarded at the top with a panoramic view of the dam – spectacular. A steep, not very technical, down followed. It was either fast, or fast.
River crossing. Yay! So much fun. Thankfully fellow trailers gave a hand to keep the rope tight and we waded waist deep through to the other side. Some decided dry shoes were essential, off came the shoes. Chilly and refreshing.
We continued along undulating paths and district roads then back down into the tunnel to venture around Nagle Dam. Another, small, up and a wonderful fast descent to finish with the KZNTR race village vibe.
The best part about the race was the people that I hung out with. Yes, scenery was absolutely stunning and a very well organised event. For me, it is the people that make it that much more special. Met Kevin Smith who asked about the walking poles and how I was finding them – read below to find out! A quick pic with Gareth and Ben. Met the legendary Herve Rougier – Lagane who is a long-standing trail fundi with a wealth of information.
Also, finished the last leg of the race with Dion around Nagle Dam and finally, catching that jumping pic for my friend, Fee.
Trekking Poles in 1000 hills
This was my first time using trekking poles. I was given them – you twist to make longer or shorter – and they seem pretty good. I adjusted the height for me and set off with these poles after researching different techniques. First, I tried the skiing, poles together, way. Secondly, I tried opposite arm and leg, one pole at a time. On the flats I held them in my left hand and ran with them. The poles were very helpful for the steep uphills. For the downhills, probably due to my lack of experience, I found they were more a hindrance getting caught in bushes. I chatted to some fellow pole users, and they found that the poles helped keep them more upright and gain better grip to push off or steady themselves.
If you have run 1000 hills, how did you find the route and your experience? What are your thoughts on using trekking poles? I am keen to hear any advice and tips for next time!