Tag Archives: trail running

Kamay Botany Bay

Oh Kurnell. What a beautiful spot for a morning run.

The Big Run folk are hitting their stride in terms of organising the STS events. Kamay Botany Bay / Kurnell this morning had great parking and a very efficient start wave progression. The 10k and 7k runners were sent off within a timely 2 minute window.

As usual for me, the first couple of K were pretty unhappy. My friend John caught up with me and told me the joke about 2 pigs in a warm, sunny field – they were bakin’! He also told me that my sis was close behind, so I decided to wait for her once I hit the cliff-top portion of the run. I had earlier promised I wouldn’t let her run off! What a gorgeous view, looking out over foamy ocean breaking up against the sandy cliffs. I did a little yoga and obliged a couple of people who wanted a photo of themselves enjoying the majesty.

Source: Sydney Trail Series

There was a reason sis wanted a guide on the clifftops

I enjoyed this course. It was absolutely beautiful. The water views were reward enough for getting out there first thing to run through the bush. Although, just as we headed inland, the course confronts you with a hill made entirely of sand. Ok, its not totally sand – just the narrow trail is sand. Urgh. WHERE DID MY SPECTACULAR VIEWS GO? WHO PUT ALL THIS SAND AT THE EDGE OF THE WATER? Seriously though, Sis overheard someone complaining that they didn’t realise there would be sand.

The sandy climb was interesting. I had to keep jumping out of the way of people returning from the turnaround point. So I knew that it wouldn’t last forever. On the other hand, there was no one in front of me, no one behind, only people going the other way. I did become a bit paranoid that I had gone the wrong way around the loop! It turns out not. Near the top, a fellow calls out “doing well – 300m to the turnaround”, and sure enough – I was soon greeted by a sign with a U-shaped arrow on it.

Now it was time to hurtle DOWN those sandy hills! At one point, I found myself in a leafy tunnel, leaping down a soft-sand corridor on my own private roller coaster, gliding effortlessly toward a field of grass that shimmered with many colours in the sun.

I decided I would finish strong. The MC for the say made a comment that my running strong to finish was “just what you want to see, good for the sport”. Hell yeah.  He might have been talking about the free bacon sarnies, but I’m taking the compliment anyway!

I got some fruit, asked Sis to buy me a coffee from the Pablo & Rusty van (pour over – very fresh ad delish), and we chatted while stretching. I even practised by yoga headstand with great comedic effect!

The photographers were hiding everywhere on the course – I am looking forward to some really nice photos when they appear on Geosnapshot.

Being a trail run, I thought it would be a good time to test out my new running backpack. Despite not really having anything essential to carry in it, I used it to hold my jumper, water, chapstick and phone. It was super comfortable. I am winning at backpacks!

Verdict: Another great morning!

Update: I downloaded some pics of myself from Geosnapshot.com – very happy!


Results from Manly Dam

Beautiful Manly Dam Trail Run – 16th March 2014


Time: 1:02:04. I honestly thought I was going to be a bit faster than that. However when I think about it, I did take quite a few sections slowly to navigate difficult terrain, because I wasn’t confident passing people, or because there is that hill where everyone thinks “I can run this, unlike those pussycats up there ahead of me who are walking it…yep, I’m running it, take THAT pussycats… oh no wait I can’t run it… can you cheetahs wait up for me!?”.

Out of a field of 55 women, I finished 15th. Overall I finished 38th out of 91 participants. Of women in their 30’s, I finished 7th (and even finished ahead of some women in their teens and 20’s – take THAT, youth! We won’t talk about the women in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s who totally whupped me).

Scrolling through the results, I notice a male/female couple in their 50’s who crossed within 1 second of each other after the 20km race. Awwwwww!

Sydney Trail Series has opened up a few brand new routes. Even though it took me an hour to get to Manly Dam on a Sunday morning, I found it completely worth it(TM).  


STS Manly Dan is a winner

Yesterday my sis and I braced ourselves in the very early morning to travel all the way to Manly Dam for our first experience of trail running.

Being quite stiff and sore all over (and sis not quite in condition from recent travel mucking up her workout schedule), we decided to complete the 7km race, starting in the last wave. The remedial “never run a trail before” wave. Everyone was very supportive. Our group even got a special reminder at the end to “just follow the blue ribbons”, and some joking about what to do if you get lost. I suggested “curl up in a ball and cry” but apparently the answer was more like “backtrack to the last place you saw a ribbon and try to connect to other runners”. Sounds sensible!

We had an absolute blast! People were friendly and encouraging. There were sections where people walked (even the really fit looking people). There were sections where we over took, and then later were overtaken. Maybe I was just very relaxed by starting in back, but it never felt like in a true competition where you try really hard to keep pace, and letting yourself be overtaken is fatal.

I loved being out in the beauty of nature. I really enjoyed the technical aspect of the run – climbing stairs, scooting down rocks, going slow to keep your footing versus knowing when to give it your all.

Very close to the finish line, I stopped to render first aid to someone who fell. Thinking she had popped a ligament in we leg, I whipped off my shirt to make a bandage but lucky for all it was just grazed and I got dressed again.

Afterwards we had a little cool down dip in the dam, and some fruit but avoided the free sausage sandwiches. We headed off, confident that we would be registering for the next one.

The best prize – completing your steps goal before breakfast.