Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Running Through Cape Town

My original motivation for running in Cape Town was to be able to eat copious amounts of food without having to feel guilty about it. However, over the past four weeks, running has come to be a great way for me to learn about the city. Through a very scientific process of randomly deciding to turn down streets that look interesting and following random other runners that I see (definitely not creepy at all), I’ve discovered some really neat places and some magnificent views. So lace up your virtual running shoes and follow along below to discover with me a few of the many beautiful places in Cape Town!

Step 1: It’s 7:30 am and the sun is just about to rise. You’re all geared up and have one hour to run before you have to get ready to go to your internship site. If you’re feeling up for a challenge head up the hill (go to step 2a), if you’re feeling like a flatter run head down the hill (go to step 2b).

Step 2a: Good for you sprinting up that hill! You can now either keep left to run along what looks like a fairly flat path (go to step 3a), or continue up the hill in the general direction of the University of Cape Town (go to step 3b).

Step 2b: You’ve run downhill from the cottage and are now at main road. You know there are shops in both directions but past those you have very little knowledge of the areas. So what would you like to do? To go left proceed to 3c and to go right proceed to 3d.

Step 3a: So you chose to take the flatter path. No shame in that. Unfortunately for you the path was only flat for about half a mile, and your next two miles were pretty much all uphill. Luckily all your hard work paid off and you reached the beautiful Kirstenbosch gardens. Take a few minutes to enjoy the beautiful plants and views and then enjoy your downhill run home.

Step 3b: Wow- continuing up the hill! You must really be in great shape! If not, you’re really feeling the burn right now. But don’t worry, the climb was definitely worth it. You’ve made it to Rhode’s Memorial where you have a beautiful view of the city. If you’re feeling extra adventurous you can hop on one of the trails that leads even further up the mountain. But I’m not doing that so you're on your own!

Step 3c: You run down Main Street past the familiar Pick’N’Pay and Nando’s and head into an unfamiliar area. But all of the sudden you come upon an extremely large and beautiful park where there are lots of other runners. As if that wasn’t enough, you turn around and notice that you have a perfectly unobstructed view of the mountains. Great find!

Step 3d: You run down Main Street past Woolsworth and the Creamery (you should go there tonight- you definitely deserve ice cream after this run). You head through a nice neighborhood and right when you were about to turn around you come across a large dog park. Assuming that the dogs won’t mind sharing the park with you, you head on in and run around the loop. There are several cute little streams running through the park and some nice greenery as well. The best part is that you didn’t get attacked by any dogs! Just kidding, the best part is definitely the great views of the mountains. Now time to say goodbye to all the doggies and head back home.

Running through a city allows you to learn so much more than you ever can just driving around. You find the secret hideaways and the little charms that make it unique and special. It makes you feel less like a tourist and more like a member of a community. And while I’ve loved all of the cool adventures we’ve had (paragliding, going to markets, kayaking, etc.) some of my favorite moments have come from running around the city.

Hope you enjoyed your virtual run!

-Karly R.

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