I have just returned home from the most amazing trip to South Africa’s Western Cape. I was privileged enough to stay for 6 weeks and had some of the most incredible experiences, including running tours with the superb Philippa Jephson from Run Cape Town.
Philippa explains “It all started in Buenos Aires, Argentina, when I started running in 2010 and after running my first half marathon with a local Argentinian friend he invited me to be a running guide for his business, Urban Running Tours. I was a little reluctant/nervous initially but was persuaded & had loads of fun showing tourists around the suburbs of Palermo, Retiro and La Boca. So, when I came back to Cape Town I did my tourist guiding course and with support and a little coaxing from special friends I set up a website, got a logo, worked out some routes & started “Run Cape Town – Sightseeing on the Run”, in February 2013.”
Having heard from a friend how great Philippa and the team were I was excited to run with them and I started my trip with the Cape Town City tour, the companies most popular run that takes in all the sights and sounds of central Cape Town (CT). The city run traces the founding and growth of the city of CT, from its beginnings as a refreshment station for the Dutch East India Co. to how it has grown into a cosmopolitan, dynamic and vibrant metropolis. We visit the statues of the initial founders of the area, including Bartholomew Diaz, Jan van Riebeeck & his wife Maria de la Quellerie, and visited some of the oldest buildings in Cape Town including the Castle of Good Hope, to the oldest church in CT, the NG at Church Square, as well as the City Hall & Parliament and the beautiful Gothic cathedral of St George’s. We saw newer installation such as the arch for arch to honour Sir Desmond Tutu, unveiled in October 2017. We visited the Company’s Gardens, a historical green oasis in the city and the colourful Bo-Kaap, a predominantly Muslim neighbourhood where many inhabitants trace their roots back to the slave trade in the Cape, now protected as a world heritage site. We also got to see a little of the coast line running along a short section of the famous Sea Point promenade & the Mouille Point lighthouse, the new CT stadium (built for the 2010 world cup) and the lovely modern Green Point Urban Park, before exploring the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, one of the most visited sites in Africa south of the pyramids.
Philippa is so full of knowledge and is so easy to get on with that I was able to enjoy the city in a unique way and come away with a different perspective then you can’t get anywhere else. The city tour is a pleasant 12k route, with intermittent stops to take in the history, Philippa is very attentive and security conscious, I never felt at all unsafe running through this large city. A tour like this is suitable for any level of runner and is a real must do, I came away feeling that I knew the city.
I was also lucky enough to be able to take in a Trail run with Philippa, Andy (A business partner of Philippa) and Dave (A very experienced Trail Runner) up the infamous Devil’s Peak. This run was in stark contrast to the City run. We started at 6:30am armed with head torches and set straight up the steep mountain path, after a challenging 700m climb we reached the pinnacle and are rewarded with the most breathtaking views of the city below us and of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head, an experience that can’t be replicated anywhere in the world. After some time taking in the awe and beauty of the mountain we set off on a superb run back down the the longer winding mountain trail paths on what would be any seasoned trail runner’s dream. As I completed this run I knew already that it would one that will stay in my mind forever. Whilst I would say a run like isn’t for the total beginner it shouldn’t put you off, the hard work is worth it and the team look after you so very well.
Philippa is also able to put together bespoke packages to meet the needs of most runners of all levels and ambitions. I would wholeheartedly recommend running with Run Cape Town and be prepared for the run’s of your life.
www.gorunningtours.com (run by Lena based in Copenhagen & Robin Based in Barcelona)
runningtours.net managed by Raoul Spronken, based in Maastricht.
*Services described in above blog were gifted
*All opinions are genuine