Highlands Trout at Katse Dam in Lesotho are undertaking the first large expansion from 500 t.p.a of production to 1250 t.p.a production of trout in floating cages. The cages have been imported from Akva in Norway. The local Lesotho team have previously been trained in assembly of these, which takes place in sections on land at the Katse workshop facility. After the sections are assembled, they are moved into the water at the slipway and bolted together to form 20m by 20m square cages. These are then towed out to the mooring site on Katse Dam and once moored, the internal nets are hung and the outer cage is covered by bird netting. Fish stocking to these cages is underway.
The 2012 winter season has officially been declared as being here with the first snow fall this past weekend in the Lesotho Highlands. The mountain pass getting to the Katse Dam was snowed in, leaving several vehicles stranded overnight. The snow storm struck quickly, surprising travelers who were not prepared for snow this early in the season. Several vehicles “lost the road” and collided into the barrier and countless others that were not 4×4 had to be abandoned on the pass. A cautionary note to any travelers going to Katse that they need to prepare for all weather conditions this time of the year.
42 km results:
1st Mamphane Maluke 3:30
2nd Moitheri Mokhethi 4:10
3rd Motlasi Pklela 4:13
21 km Results:
1st Litsietsi Lempe 1:22;
2nd Relebohile Sejake 1:32;
3rd Lefo Monaheng 1:32;
1st lady Amy Carson 2:41
The inaugural Highlands Trout Mountain Challenge took place on Saturday and was a resounding success. Over 120 runners both local and from South Africa tackled the 3 races; a full marathon, half marathon and 5 kilometre fun run. The Challenge was generously sponsored by Highlands Trout, CShell and Lesotho Breweries.
Mamphane Maluke was the star runner of the day. Despite starting the marathon 20 minutes late he was able to overhaul the entire field and win by over 30 minutes. To put his run into perspective no other runner was able to break the 4 hour barrier. Well known Comrades runner, Bruce Fordyce, won the veterans prize in 4:21.
Litsietsi Lempe won the half marathon in a creditable 1:22. The first lady home was U.S visitor Amy Carson.
“This is a real challenge”, Fordyce said at the finish. “These are some of the toughest hills in road running anywhere in the World.”
The high altitude of the Katse area also adds to the challenge. However the tough course is more than compensated for by the beauty of the surroundings and the warm friendliness of the local people. Many local folk helped to hand out drinks en route and to cheer the runners on their way. Finishers were given a unique medal attached to a miniature Basotho hat.
Veteran marathon runner, Gavin Sacks, who has run all over the World, declared that this was one of his favourite races and that he would return. Many other runners agreed with him.