As if to prove my point to Coach Ringmaster Dave, I ran a “trail” in my rugged Salomon trail shoes and I am now in pain. During last week, Ringmaster Dave had asked me if I would advocate running a road race in Salomon trail shoes. My response was a vehement, ABSOLUTELY NOT! I explained, you’ll get hotspots on your feet. You’ll get ITB and you’ll hurt your knees. And I was right! As I found out over two and a half painful hours of grumbling and “running” along what was to become the most boring trail run I have ever endured.
If you’re a road runner and you’re looking for some cross training or if you’re new to trail running and would like an entry level trail route, yesterday’s trail is the one for you. It was at Modderfontein Nature Reserve. Modderfontein is on the edge of the largest industrial area in Johannesburg. One of the most polluted areas in Africa. And there we were, running in the “nature reserve”. I never heard nor saw a single bird. One of my friends alleges they saw Zebra. I saw a buck as we approached the parking. I know that at one point, I ran through a puddle of industrial effluent. It was Fukushima green.
“Hidden amongst the green rolling hills and savannah-like grasslands, lies the beautiful free flowing trail of the 275-hectare Modderfontein Reserve, perfect for Trail Runners.
The event venue offers unbelievable views, superior trails that caters for all fitness levels and is well known family friendly venue — just a short drive from Sandton! Terrain: Hard Pack Single Track, Jeep Track, Savvanah, Grasslands”
That’s how it was described.
This is what I remember: Paving blocks, metal grate, hard pack single track, tar road, jeep track, hard pack single track, forest, grassland, tar road, some mud, hard pack single track, tar road, some mud, grassland, jeep track, fences. There were no discernible hills. Wait, there were two discernible hills, one on tar road and one on hard pack jeep track. There were no rocks. There were no decent downhills. There were no really difficult bits. The mud was navigable and I was disappointed at how many people chose to go around the mud instead of over or through. This was a trail run for people whose inner child is dead! Or for people who would like to slowly kill their inner child.
The only thing that kept my mind entertained was thinking about how much damage my rugged Salomon trail shoes were doing to my slowly recovering body. And by “entertained” I mean “furious”.
Modderfontein, which amusingly enough means muddy fountain, I will not be back. I’m too boring to run with you!
Yours in the love of really tough stuff!