GET GEARED UP Keen to take your trail-running to the next level? Dr Rosie Carey is a mine of information, so we asked her to break down the basics of essential gear to start investing in.
NE of the positive benefits of road running is that you really require hardly any gear for it: a pair of running shoes, some shorts and that’s about it. Trail-running can be as simple as a pair of trail-running shoes, but if you plan on taking it a bit more seriously you may need to start looking at buying some extra gear.
Races often have ‘compulsory equipment’ lists. These lists aren’t a ploy to try to get you to buy more stuff, or because the race organisers are being difficult, but are essential for the terrain you will be running in.
Trail-running, by definition, is off-road. This means that conditions can vary from desert heat to freezing cold (literally), rocky mountain path to slippery. muddy forest trail. And it’s not uncommon to twist an ankle or trip and fall while trail running, especially if you are tired and the legs aren’t being quite as obedient as they should be. The list of essential equipment is to protect you from the elements and to (possibly) save your life if you do get into a difficult situation. HYDRATION PACK I covered this in the last article, but in summary a hydration
pack should have capacity for at least a litre of fluid (more if the run is longer). Remember that if conditions are hot and humid you may require more fluid. As a general rule, bank on 500ml/hour. WATERPROOF JACKET This is an important one because people often confuse windproof jackets with waterproof jackets. Windproof jackets are usually lighter and cheaper than waterproof jackets so people are tempted to use them instead of waterproof jackets, but if it is pouring with rain, within a few minutes your windproof jacket
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There was an interesting gathering at the Scout Hall in Townsend Park on Sunday afternoon. DA Councillor Tommy du Toit invited members of the public to a presentation on developments of interest with special regard to the proposed sale of a portion of the park by the Municipality. Also under the spotlight was service delivery in general for the Ballito area. Predictably the Municipal Manager who had been invited to the gathering, was nowhere to be seen but there was a presentation by Christo Botha, the last of the Old Guard at the Municipality. He gave us a no holds barred understanding of how things have changed and it is clear that we are in a very precarious situation. There was a massive general power outage across Ballito on Sunday caused by aging infrastructure and Christo had attended to it brilliantly with the limited resources at this disposal. He has over thirty years of experience here and is eminently qualified to do the job. But he is obviously extremely concerned about the future. There is a massive shortage of capacity – what used to take four years of applied study has now been fast tracked to four weeks and the results of this brilliant piece of legislature can be seen in the chaos that reigns in municipalities across the country. Ours is particularly bad because of the
will be soaked through and you will be at best, cold and uncomfortable and at worst, at risk of hypothermia. Waterproof jackets are made of a waterproof material and have sealed seams and zips to ensure that very little water gets through. SPACE BLANKET A space blanket is a foil blanket that is ubiquitous to most first aid kits. They work on the principle of reflecting body heat to keep you warm. I have known of a case in which a trail runner injured his leg and was in a very remote place. Emergency response workers took a couple of hours to get to him and covering himself with a space blanket probably prevented him from becoming hypothermic. THERMAL BASE LAYER If you are doing a run that goes through the night or in which the weather could be bad, a thermal base layer is essential. This is a tightfitting long sleeve top that keeps you warm while still wicking moisture away from your skin. CHARGED CELLPHONE Not just for scenic selfies. There are a few emergency apps such as MySOS that you can download in case you get into trouble. ENERGY BAR This is not always on the compulsory list, but I always take along an energy bar or gel. You will be grateful for it if you get lost or end up taking longer en-route than you expected. WHISTLE This is so you can call for help if necessary. Remote places don’t always have cellphone reception. There are other items that are not on the compulsory list, but may be worth considering taking along, such as; a Buff, cap, anti-chafe cream, sunblock, trekking poles.
Most of the gear mentioned is readily available at sports shops such as Sportsman’s Warehouse (032 586 1000). If you want a more specialised store, try Trappers Trading at Lifestyle Centre (032 586 3570) or the Salomon store, Gateway (031 584 7127). unprecedented growth here. A surging demand for water, fibre and electricity has created a kind of gold rush of activity around our aging infrastructure. Cables are damaged constantly by sub-contractors digging to install new lines. Often trenches are filled in and closed up to avoid having to pay for the repairs and when this damage results in infrastructural failure it becomes a nightmare to locate and repair it. Street lights are another issue entirely. The ongoing drama around tenders and the appointing of contractors to address the current situation has resulted in an almost impossible scenario. To call the situation unsatisfactory would be an epic understatement. And then, there’s the pressing matter of the proposed sale of 4000 square metres of our park to a developer in a clandestine deal of questionable integrity. That matter was hardly touched on because there was no new information available to the gathering. But Deon Viljoen, the newly elected Chairman of the board of the Dolphin Coast Residents and Ratepayers Association, DOCRRA, is confident that they can work out a strategy with the municipality that will deliver more positive results. He was at the meeting and made a lot of sense in his discussion with the ward councillors around service delivery going forward. I would suggest that it is now mandatory for everyone who has an interest in Brand Ballito to join DOCRRA to give them the support they need. I don’t wish to sound alarmist but we are at the tipping point now and if you believe that your investment here is secured by the leafy barriers and the posh gatehouse security features that help you sleep a little more soundly, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. To find out more visit www.docrra.co.za
Catch Dave Charles on the Afternoon Drive powered by Bidvest McCarthy Toyota Ballito on 88FM every weekday from 3pm.