Mar 23, 2015

Ran 12 km this morning. Not doing too much ahead of Wednesday’s long run. Tomorrow will be even shorter. I think I might catch the train to the outskirts of Sydney and run home. It’s more interesting than running the same old suburbs around my place.

And now for another instalment of Greatest Runs I’ve Done:

Sea Cliff Bridge and the Royal National Park: This is a run I’ve now done three times – twice from south to north, during the Melbourne to Sydney run 2009, and on the third last day of the world run in 2013; and also from north to south while training for the world run in 2011.

The run is roughly 35 km in length from Thirroul in the south to Waterfall in the north, and consists of two distinct stages. The first half is along the coast, including the spectacular Sea Cliff Bridge, where you at times are running on a section of road that is suspended out over the ocean. Soon after passing through Stanwell Park there is a big climb up to Stanwell Tops. This is where Lawrence Hargrave – who invented flight aerodynamics and the aeroplane wing, enabling the Wright Brothers to add a motor and build the first plane – conducted most of his experiments. The view along the coast on a clear day is fantastic.

From there the second stage begins, as you enter the Royal National Park. This was the world’s second ever national park, after Yellowstone. The running is very relaxing as you make your way along a quiet road (on week days) under a canopy of sub tropical rainforest. The final 5 km involves another climb up to Waterfall, the southern most suburb of Sydney. One can catch a train to Thirroul and back from Waterfall, so it’s a pretty easy half day of activity for those living in or around Sydney. Well worth the effort if training for a marathon or ultra.


On This Day


Mar 23, 2012

Distance today = 38.85 km; Total distance = 3898.39 km; Location = Desert View, Arizona – 36 01.465′ N, 111 49.525′ W; Start time = 0734, Finish time = 1457


Well, I did reach a new record high elevation today, and pretty early on. I got to 2,284 metres, which is higher than anywhere in Australia, and only 350 metres lower than the Col du Galibier, the third highest pass in Europe. I’m pretty sure it’s downhill from here for a while, though.

But, first things first. I ran 5 km early this morning before taking a break to have a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon. Once again, I will refrain from the superlatives, and simply say that anyone visiting here should take this ride. It is particularly exhilarating when the chopper approaches the canyon surreptitiously from low over the trees, and then it suddenly appears and the pilot drops the craft down into canyon, leaving your stomach up in your mouth.

From there it was straight back to where I left off running, and I completed another 34 or so kilometres of very enjoyable running, right along the southern rim of the canyon. The whole way the Grand Canyon was just over to my left. When there weren’t stunning views, there were pleasant Ponderosa pines lining the road – a great forest run in itself, even if the canyon wasn’t there. There couldn’t be too many better single day runs in the world. Not sure why, but I was a bit faster than normal today, and feeling good.

Tomorrow I bid adieu to the Grand Canyon, and head toward Monument Valley. I expect to reach it before the end of the coming week.

PS I passed 2,000 km of running in the US today. It has only taken me 20 days to run the last 1,000 km.


Mar 23, 2013

Distance today = 50.62 km; Total distance = 18,363.89 km; Location = Dogern, Germany – 47 36.452′ N, 08 10.279′ E; Start time = 0823, Finish time = 1702


I’m not sure how this European winter rates, but it must be one of the coldest late seasons for some while. I hear it was snowing all over the UK today, and it was down around zero where I am.

Much of my day was spent running along the Rhine River, after another early foray into and out of Switzerland. Some parts of the run were fantastic, with great cycle paths to run on. Other parts were horrific, with no shoulder and very fast cars zooming by.

There were quite a lot of modern commercial suburbs that I had to run through, although there was the occasional classic German village too. The pick of the day was Laufenberg, with its sister village across the bridge in Switzerland, Marktgasse. In contrast, I finished the day adjacent to a nuclear power station (no Homer Simpson here, though).

Right at the end of the day I reached the 70% mark for the run so far – another nice milestone under my belt.