Monday, January 16, 2017

Westcliff Stairs,stepping it up...

Photo:
One of the few curb-side road signs that are still readable.
And it is from this street that my stair climbing adventure was to begin.

Photo:
If you want me to be more specific,
then this is the corner that you are looking for.
But be aware that there is now a gate here
 that is only open to vehicular traffic between 06h00 and 08h30
and again from 16h00 to 18h00 Monday to Friday.
There is a pedestrian gate, that is open all the time.
If you want to drive in,
then go via the entrance at the corner of Westcliff and Kildare,
which is less than one km away. 

Photo:
This is the flight of stairs that can be accessed from Westcliff Drive.
There used to be a plaque at the foot of these stairs,
but that seems to have been removed.
These form part of the 210 steps that locals use for running and walking.

Photo:
This "hidden" entrance in Wexford Ave
is where the main sets of stairs start.
They might not look tough, but trust me, 
they are more difficult than they look.

Photo:
The stairs were constructed out of the local rock and
built by unemployed miners in 1922.
I am uncertain if the concrete pathways along the side
have an actual use or not.
Perhaps they help with run-off water during the Highveld rainstorms?
What was of interest to me was the camaraderie amongst those running or walking.
All ages, all sexes, all colours...all equal and supportive
 as we each tackled the stairs for our own goals.

Photo:
There is some respite from the uneven 
and non standard size treads.
But this is deceptive as there is a second set of stairs,
just around the corner! 

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I have been unable to establish if the iron guard rail
was installed at the same time as the steps
or if it was added later.

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Onward and upward...
Unlike road work, where I often end up chasing other runnres,
here I decided to set my own pace and stick to that.
It is easy to get "caught-up-in-the-moment"
and run harder that I can...
and then suffer the consequences the following day

Photo:
Westcliff and the surrounding suburbs
seem to have a passion for stone walls...

Photo:
Even though I was huffing and puffing,
that did not stop me from appreciating the natural beauty that can be found
on sections of this training circuit.

Photo:
I was able to take time to stop and smell the flowers.
This being my first training session on the stairs,
I decide to walk rather than run...and I completed three circuits.

Photo:
If I had gone any faster,
this might have been the view that I would be enjoying

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A reminder to post your time to a local Facebook page...
I have a feeling that an earlier sign might have vanished
as this one is held in place by four VERY sturdy bolts.

Photo:
To me, this tree has a female form...I might be wrong
and it could be a runner looking for a toilet!
There are water stations along the way, but no toilet facilities.
These stairs will become part of my road running training for 2017.
To find out more about the activities that occur on these steps,
like the recently accomplished Everest Challenge,
visit their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/245853462170479/

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