Those of you who are a regular followers of PT SportSuite may have come across our maxim that we “don’t just love sport, we live it”. And yes, within our team you will find one or two sporting over-achievers burning up the local trails, or off in some far flung destination chasing their running passions on the big stage.
On the whole though, the majority of us are not running super stars; we’re “middle of the pack, weekend warriors” – and we’re ok with that. It’s all about getting those running shoes on and making it out the front door.
One person who could never be accused of being a “middle-of-the-road athlete” is Nic Rupanga, Cape Town trail running guru and all-round legend. Nic, a five-time African X champion, is PT SportSuite’s brand ambassador, proudly representing our team as he does battle with some of South Africa’s top runners in the country’s biggest trail races.
The cover star for the July 2022 edition of Runner’s World SA magazine, Nic is an inspirational runner but an even more inspirational person. Nethertheless, it was still an intimidating undertaking when Nic invited the PT SS “running club” to hit Cape Town’s trails with him one wintery June morning.
Eager but trepidatious, three of our crew put our trail shoes on with tummies full of butterflies – and met Nic at Newlands Forest – his home ground. With no-one wanting to be the weakest link in the crew, we had our games faces on – ready for what the mountain would offer.
And what a run it was …
Our fears proved to be unfounded, with Nic proving the ultimate guide and gentleman on a mountain that doubles as his back garden. He also seems to know everyone – greeting bikers, runners and hikers by name at every turn!
He took us on a windy single track heading towards Kirstenbosch – Cape Town’s spectacular public gardens. A few climbs, a few stops to catch our breath and some lovely undulating contour running. The mountain was green and the fynbos was wet from overnight drizzle. What a way to start the day! Nic cracked us up with his tricks – constantly telling us to head left whenever there was a fork in the path (left meaning straight up the mountain) – offering us tips to preserve energy and showing us new routes that none of us had explored before.
Sport and Community
In the end, as always, it was all massively worthwhile. And despite the nerves, we were inspired by Nic, who truly comes alive on the mountain. In a world of communication and connection over Slack, Google Meet and Email – it was also amazing to connect with team-mates in such a spectacular environment – sharing something we all enjoy together.
More importantly, it was a reminder of why we love the community that sport offers, why we’re so passionate about bringing communities together – in the digital sense – and why we believe in our mission to help sports organisations put their communities front and centre.