Run West Olifants 21 km – 24 September 2023

When one thinks of the West Coast of South Africa, usually wind swept, bright beach sand and remoteness comes to mind. Yet, the need to protect the coast is the furthest thing from most minds: of the consequences of prospecting and mining.

Trailblazer stands for justice, and we had to do our part and support the Protect the West Coast organisation in raising awareness and changing minds in the process. This chilled weekend of running a small section of this coastline about half way from Cape Town to the Namibian border was about Run West: For the protection of our wild shores. (* Photographs credit: Fahwaas Cornelius)

20230922 155251 OliStarting at the fishing village of Papendorp, this route traverses the coast via the Olifants River Mouth estuary, Strandfontein, and finishes in Doringbaai.

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                               Olifants River Mouth

46 FC100606* Olifants River Mouth and estuary top right.

                               Meeting up with founder and race director, Dominic De Jesus along the route.

                               Misty Strandfontein and halfway point of the run.

20230924 095305 OliAid Station (and start of the Euphorbia 10 km race): The National Sea Rescue Institute Station 45 Strandfontein provided some munchies and refuelling - much to the delight of Joseph's supporters!

                               Crossing some local day hiking tracks in the area, one cannot seem to escape witnessing the crossing of lines of commercial tracks in rail, roads and the lines of communication inbetween...

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                               The Olifants 21 km and Euphorbia 10 km races finish below the Doringbaai Lighthouse.


Run West War Cry

by Damien Schumann

To the soldiers of swaar
The soothsayers of sand
Step by step you have linked up our land
And bare witness to a reality all must understand
The message you now carry runs deep in your veins
And it is as rich as the garnet that is about to be estranged

Out of Namaqua our footsteps were few
But they carried a force the mines never knew
We stopped the diggers where they dared cross the line
And we prosecute prospectors where ethics lack refine
We've run over cliffs and beaches pristine
And learned from the San, their history serene
Fishermen have taught us to throw out our nets
But not to let greed ruin the feast

The Weskus wants to provide, and considers us kin
But to rape thy who feeds us is the cardinal sin

Grains through an hour glass
The holders of time
Are the makers of our minerals between earth and the divine
And in our divine I see a part of your soul
A gift from your ancestors who foraged this knoll
To the mines I ask, where does your history lie?
And will your grains turn the hour glass for the remainder of time?

So pick up your weapons, or takkies of choice
And run the South Easter right back to its source
With ears to the wind, and feet following the tide
No mine will stop us as we open our stride.

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