The saying “Life is a climb, but the view is great” is true with the Battle Up Blaauwberg Hill Trail Run. The event, which happens annually, will take place on September 28 at the iconic Blaauwberg Hill, a site that has become synonymous with trail running since it started hosting one of the toughest offerings in the city ten years ago.
The City of Cape Town is partnering with the Friends of Blaauwberg Conservation Area and the West Coast Athletic Club to host this physically and metaphorically breath-taking event.
“The Blaauwberg Nature Reserve boasts a spectacular view down fynbos slopes from Blaauwberg Hill and the race will also give the participants an opportunity to gain access to this part of the nature reserve which is normally closed to the public,” says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt.
Those interested in participating can book online by visiting the www.entryninja.com.
Runners will have the options of a 21km and a 12km run.
The race will start and end at the Table Bay Mall, and will be set off by a restored historic cannon.
The Hill Section of the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve is fenced to contain large game species such as the Eland and Red Hartebeest. Therefore, the City arranges special events, like the trail run, to facilitate public access into the area.
The space is also utilised for environmental education programmes for schools.
Only participants will be able to enter the Hill Section of the Nature Reserve on the day of the race. Part of the route trails through the field where the historic Battle of Blaauwberg took place in 1806. The trail then leads to the top of the hill where World War II buildings still stand today.
The runners who make it to the top of the hill will have any remaining breath taken away by the astonishing views of two World Heritage sites: Table Mountain and Robben Island. With some luck, herds of Eland and Red Hartebeest may be seen on the way back down.
“The trail run is offering an annual opportunity for people to benefit from using this space, but there is much more to enjoy. For example, the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve offers accommodation in a beautifully renovated World War II structure now called Montispectus, which means ‘behold the mountain’. Booking is essential and I urge residents to visit Montispectus,” said Alderman Nieuwoudt.
The reserve also partners with the Friends of Blaauwberg Conservation Area to host guided walks into the Hill Section. These focus on the interpretation of the cultural and historical and ecological aspects of the area. (For more information visit www.bca.org.za.)
The Blaauwberg Nature Reserve protects three endangered vegetation types, namely Cape Flats Dune Strandveld, Cape Flats Sand Fynbos, and Swartland Shale Renosterveld. It is the site of South Africa’s first Green Coast designated by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA), and it was also nominated as a Provincial Heritage Site.