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October 6, 2015

Top 5 Cape Town Running Routes

As part of the #IGNITECapeTown (that is the hashtag to use) campaign running around our little video we shot recently for PUMA, I wanted to share some of the best routes that I like running in this incredible city. I am going to give 5 different types of routes on various terrain as well as what to expect, what to pack, etc.

But first, let’s recap that video:

Now that we are supremo excited, let’s chat about the routes I love most.

THE BEST EASY VIEWS

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Ok, I can see the views aren’t great in this image, but this shows that even when the weather is all Cape Town in Winter, it’s a magic place to be.

The Sea Point Promenade is a superb option if you are looking for views (for days), fresh air and an easy run. It’s flat, fast and there are water / loo / rest stops en route for you to take advantage of. I absolutely love this place for a run where I do not have to think – I can just open my stride and fly.

Distance is 4-40km, depending how far you extend it – you can run all the way to the 12 Apostles Hotel if you want. Take a friend and have a breki at Sotano in the morning or a beer at the Winchester Mansions in the evening.

THE HUSTLE & BUSTLE

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Every Friday morning there is a 5km social group run that I love attending. It starts from outside the FNB Building in Bree Street. There are various abilities so you can pick your pace and stick with a group. A great way to make new friends, meet new people, etc. The route hustles its way through the V&A Waterfront, the docks, Granger Bay and past the Stadium before returning via the busy morning streets of the CBD. There is a superb energy flowing by then.

You can grab a fresh flat white from Hard Pressed Cafe, right at the finish, or wander up Bree Street to grab a bite to eat in what is culinary central in the city.

Start is 6:30am outside the FNB Building in Bree Street.

THE BEGINNERS GUIDE TO TRAIL STOKE

Newlands Forest is one of my favourite trails, mainly because it offers so much in terms of options and extensions. For the beginner trail runner, the trail network is super simple and easy to follow. The main paths are wide enough for two runners to run side by side and safety is superb in the area. You can park at the entry of the forest off the M3 and there are boards there showing the trail network. With trail running, you need to be a little more prepared. So even if you are only going out for 30min, I would take the following, in case you get lost or fall (these things happen!). You can find a breakdown here: :

  Day 3 of the #IGNITECapeTown challenge and to mix things up lets talk about running essentials. If I’m heading out for a long morning of exploring I’ll take along what you see in the kit grid. Apart from the essential footwear, the rest would be for a typical day in the mountains of Cape Town. Emergency kit (tampons for plugging wounds, cable ties for ripped shoes / tourniquet use, space blanket, anti-chafe cream & tape for wounds. Missing some safety pins used them recently) – I’ve used this kit on myself but also on runners I come across who are hurt. Warm jacket. Nutrition from @rehidrat & @llama_bar. @suunto for pace / HR / route guidance. @oakley eyewear for protection. I always take my phone with my medical aid card tucked in the back. A weatherproof camera is useful if you’re prone to dropping it while scrambling up ravines. Lastly I take my iPod filled with emotive, relaxed music that enhances the experience and surroundings. All this fits in one of the trail running packs I use. What are your running essentials?   A photo posted by Raoul de Jongh (@raouldejongh) on

THE LION LAP LOOP (LLL)

SO, you’re comfortable on the trails now, and you want to risk a bigger loop. With some hills. This is one of my absolute favourite loops in the world because its got some of everything in it.

It’s trail (+ a little bit of tar) with views for days and you get to run past these spots:

Summer is coming. I can feel it. #secretrunningsociety

A photo posted by Raoul de Jongh (@raouldejongh) on

This is definitely a route to take a friend who takes great photos who can generate a new profile picture for you!

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I have one route left to share and I have been wondering where to take you next. There are such choices here – the loop up to the dams on top of Table Mountain, The Devils Peak Loop, or Cecilia Forest?!?

But in the end, I am going to go with something a little easier, solidly on the tarmac (unless you extend) and impossible to get lost.

THE RUNNERS HIGHWAY

If you drive to the very end of the road on Table Mountain, you will come to a fenced off bit, but the road extends. Park you car there. Get the GPS going and make sure you take a camera. The road extends roughly 3km from there to where it becomes a dirt road (that leads up to the Kings Blockhouse) but the tar bit is decent enough. You could extend and park at the cable car and run it to make a nice 10km on the tar.

There is a source of water at the boom if you run the longer run, but if you are a thirsty human, take along a 250ml small bottle of water for the run. The road was originally for cars, but its in disrepair at the moment, so only us runners are allowed there along with the cyclists who enjoy it too (so be aware).

Safety is of no concern there, so take along some earphones with some music to get you excited and have some fun out there. You can expect views like this:

How rad?

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That’s it for today – keep tagging your images with #IGNITECapeTown for the next two weeks and run one of these routes in that time.

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