If you are looking into this whole trail running thing, you might be feeling a bit daunted at the idea of running up mountains. Well recently I went for a run along the contour path on Table Mountain and would suggest this as a really great route to get the feel of trail running. It is ideal in that it is relatively flat and without too much work you feel as though you are lost in the mountains, surrounded by magnificent views and beautiful vegetation.
The contour can be accessed from a few different points, however I find going from Constantia neck is the easiest. If you start at the parking area at the neck, take the dirt road heading into the mountain; keep on this path all the way, not taking any turn offs. This will lead you back over the top of Cecilia forest and Kirstenbosch Gardens and onto the contour path. When hearing the word ‘Contour Path’, most people envision a fairly wide path accessible by cars, but in fact it is a hiking trail that makes its way along the mountain all the way to the Block House above Rhodes Mem.
In the winter months you will be able to take advantage of the many waterfalls along the route for drinking, however during summer they can often be dry so be sure to take sufficient water along. The nice thing about this route is that it is a ‘there and back’ run allowing you to make the run as long as you like. Heading all the way to the Block House and back would probably be a good 3-4hr run, so start it off easy and work your way to getting all the way to the block house and back. I would advise to always run in the mountain with at least one partner, as it is easy to get into trouble out there. Although this is a flat run, there are still a couple little climbs and one challenging section of steps in the middle, just to keep runners humble 😉
So now there is no excuse, see you out there!
Below is my run I tracked, however, don’t trust the distance recorded as the app got the measurement wrong.