Every now and then people tend to cross your path and the connection leads to a great micro-adventure. Great adventures are to be had when your daily work schedule, personal life, and some free time all align to pursue an outdoor escape on some epic singletrack trails. Recently while having coffee with Kamin we were discussing some new ideas and micro-adventures we would like to squeeze in before I would head off on another work project.

I mentioned my idea to Kamin that I wanted to head out to Muratie Wines and go make use of some of their Singletrack marked routes constructed by Dirtopia which I have run multiple times before with my son. The plan was to take on Loop 1 which is roughly 7,4km’s and complete as many loops as possible. But also, to spice things up invite a cyclist or two along for our little outdoor challenge. This is where Kamin, Dirk, and Rusty came into the equation. Just to give you some background we all tend to ride gravel bikes together when all the stars do align from time to time in our busy schedules.

The workday challenge would consist of the following – start in the morning at 8 am (as you would for a day at work) and then push as hard as possible and complete as many loops as possible of Loop 1 at Muratie Wine Estate.

Challenge excepted:

Our date was set for the 30th September. Dirk, Rusty, Kamin, and I left early on Thursday morning from home to try and miss most of the morning traffic and to be ready at the start of Loop 1 at Muratie Wines to commence our #Workdaychallenge. On our first loop, I set out pushing as hard as I could with the 3 Mountain bikers breathing down my neck. To be honest, I think they could have smoked me from the start, but they were as always true gentlemen letting the runner lead the way out, after loop 1 they dropped a gear and left me on my own. You see being a trail runner you work hard at every km but when you ride an MTB you tend to get some rest on the downhill sections. Anyhow that’s my excuses out of the way (lol) With Loop 1 done we have created our very first Segment challenge called #Workdaychallenge-run and #Workdaychallenge-cycle

Thereafter the initial 4 loops were fine but once I started venturing in the 30km range the real work started especially with the mid-day heat starting to set in. Roughly just after 12 am I pulled into our little pit stop area located at the start of the trail where Dirk, Rusty, and Kamin were busy refueling for their next loop out and they asked – How many km’s in Willie? I looked down and out of stupidity/ tiredness, I stopped my watch and saved the activity. An absolute daft moment by me. So just after 12 am I completed 38km’s. But my workday was far from over. So, I sat down (early lunch) had some dates, fruit, and hydrated a bit and 30 minutes later I got going again. Legs were a bit stiff from stopping too long, but I love that feeling of tiredness. The best part of it all is I am sharing the trails with great friends, and they were all pushing themselves and having a great time out on some of the most epic singletrack out there. This was also the lap I stepped on probably the biggest Puff adder I have ever seen. I think we both had such a fright seeing each other on the trail. Without any incident, my newfound friend also greeted Dirk later in the trial. These bad boys will most definitely start to come out more now that our warmer weather is settling in.

The best part of making use of the Trails at Muratie Wines is that a majority of the trail consists of roughly 90% of the singletrack. There are very few places that mainly consist of singletrack only. The rest of my workday of running started to slow down but I knew the next lap would mean I would get a Trail marathon in the bag and then I would start to venture into the Ultra distance range. It’s been a while since I have ventured into the Ultra range myself. I first chased down the 45km mark then the 50km mark and then finally wrapped it up just after 14H00 at 54.2kms in 7 loops. It was a scorcher and we were all happy with our day out especially the elevation gain for the day with our multiple loops of Loop 1.

With all of our boxes ticked and grinning faces, we made a joined decision that we were all happy with our loops/ km’s achieved for today.  Dirk and Rusty completed 61.7km’s of 8 multiple loops on their MTB’s and Kamin bagged also 54.2kms. I think we all achieved the most elevation gain on our activities logs for the day.

With a round of ice-cold beers all around we closed off our #Workdaychallenge. Rinsed off our sweat at the great showers on offer at the Trail centre. Packed up our gear and made our way home to reflect on a great day outdoors shared by great friends #GetOutThere

Written by Willie Richards