The splendour of Northern Farm, a short drive from the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg. The trails are extensive and great for beginners.
I’m addicted to endorphins. I get my kicks from running, especially if it involves navigating a trail or conquering a hill.
Johannesburg has a great selection of urban and out-of-town trails. Trail running is incredibly accessible. It’s doesn’t require expensive gear. You will need shorts, a shirt, socks, shoes, water, food, your mobile phone and a running partner.
It’s not a good idea to run any of these trails alone as if you sprain an ankle on top of a hill, you will appreciate the help and sympathy from your running partner.
This post lists my favourite trails, but I know there are a plenty more I still need to run. Please leave your suggestions in the comments section of this post.
This photo of the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg was taken by the talented Roy Potterill (http://statigr.am/roywrench). I’m a fan of his urban photography.
There’s far more to Johannesburg than mine dumps, shopping malls, crime and oversized faux-Tuscan houses. How much more? Well, that’s really up to you. It’s not the prettiest or most happening city in the world. But there’s something about Johannesburg. It’s difficult to put your finger on it, but if you scratch just below the surface you will find unexpected vibrancy in a young city that’s reinventing itself for the better.
And I can’t be wrong as the New York Times deemed the city cool enough to be featured in an editorial in August 2012. I was pleased the reporter didn’t involve getting mugged in her 36 hour Jo’burg itinerary. There is no doubt you need to be aware of your surroundings when visiting or living in Jo’burg, but once the paranoia subsides, you will enjoy exploring the city and meeting its diverse inhabitants.
If I was your tour guide for three days, I would take you on the following adventure: Continue reading
Amazing photo of high-wire free walking downloaded from http://www.sebmontaz.com . It's worthwhile checking out this site. French film maker, Sebastien Montaz is a talented storyteller.
I enjoy a good story, especially a documentary film. When I came across this exhilarating video clip, I felt inspired by the carefree narrative of a group of friends exploring their limits in beautiful locations across France.
My first experience of tight rope walking was in Munich’s, English Garden. I enjoyed watching the balancing act of friends walking back-and-forth between two lonely trees on a rope just a metre above the ground . At the time, my only frame of reference was Man on Wire, an Oscar winning documentary about Philippe Petit, a famous high-wire walker.
Petit is a complicated chap with a big ego. His character didn’t inspire me, but his exploits made me think about the rewards of sound preparation and taking calculated risks to reach big scary audacious goals.
Talking of calculated risks, Lewis Pugh’s book Achieving the Impossible tells the story of an individual pushing the limits to the limit. He became the first person to swim at the North Pole in temperatures that would kill an average person. He achieved this by raising his body’s core temperature, believing in himself and putting in intense hours of grueling training for the epic swim.
Pugh signed a copy of his book for me. He wrote the following message on the title page: Follow your own dreams and never, ever give up! Most battles are won in the 11th hour.
We all need to find our own tight rope or ocean to inspire us to look beyond our comfort zone and tackle a big scary audacious goal. Life is a journey and it’s worth enjoying the relatively short ride.
The rear view of Runner's World South Africa's March 2012 front cover. Clever advertising from BMW
I look forward to receiving my monthly dose of Runner’s World South Africa. It’s one of the few magazines I read from cover to cover.
On the front cover this month is South African marathoner and Olympic medal hopeful, René Kalmer.
And featured on the inside front cover is a manipulated version of the front cover scene, featuring René Kalmer’s rear. Kudos to BMW for their super original double-page advertising spread featuring rear view camera technology.
And who says print advertising can’t be innovative?
Fry's, a KwaZulu-Natal based producer of vegetarian food is distributing its products in UK health stores. I came across two different stores stocking its full range.
I didn’t expect to see a Bidvest logistics truck or Fry’s vegetarian burger patties during a morning stroll through a town in the United Kingdom (UK).
The Bidvest truck driver delivered beer, wine and food to a pub. My favourite Fry’s vegetarian burgers (made in KwaZulu-Natal) are available in a health store just a block away from the pub. The Waitrose supermarket across the street stocks bottles of 2009 Boschendal Cabernet Sauvignon.
I shouldn’t have been surprised. South Africa has some awesome products, services and minds. And the country enjoys a long history of trade with the UK. Yet it was a good reminder for me. I am looking forward to seeing more South African products and services sold into developed markets during 2012. I will be doing my bit.
You will meet all types of people during your Soweto Bicycle Tour. It's great fun and will open up your eyes.
I love this time of the year. I am totally biased, but I do believe Jozi has the best climate in the world, especially during September and October.
The afternoon thunderstorms threaten, the temperature is perfect and many Jo’burgers emerge from their winter hibernation and begin exercising to get their bodies in shape for the annual pilgrimage to the coast in December.
If you are looking for a health activity I suggest hopping on a bicycle and exploring Soweto.
Kedibone Mulaudzi on stage at Parker's Comedy Club, northern Johannesburg
South Africa celebrated Freedom Day yesterday. This annual public holiday honours the country’s first democratic elections. 19,726,579 votes were cast between Tuesday, 26 April 1994 and Thursday, 28 April 1994.
Those three days changed South Africa forever. I will never forget the elderly black gentlemen walking past our family home on Tuesday, 26 April 1994. He had a huge smile on his face. He had every right to be beaming as he had waited almost an entire lifetime to vote for the first time.
I was too young to vote, but as a politically aware teenager, I was overjoyed that Apartheid had officially ended and a new era for South Africa was about to begin. It was an exciting time! Seventeen years later and South Africa is still an exciting and dynamic place to live. There is never a dull moment.
My wife and I visited Parker’s Comedy Club in northern Johannesburg on the eve of Freedom Day this week.