I hit “the tan” the first day in Melbourne since it was a quick walk from our apartment. The tan track is a 3.8km track around King’s Domain and the Botanic Gardens. The TAN name comes from its TAN-coloured stone surface OR because its circles the BoTANic Gardens OR it once was covered by TAN bark. It originally started as a horse track but is used for walking/running/cycling. Our days in Melbourne were warm (it was summer), so the heat did slow me down slightly.
I have looked and looked for local races and we always seem to miss them. But not this time! So we signed up for the evening Melbourne Zoo Run. I selected the longer distance (8K) and Stephen and Ella ran the 5K. It was a looped circuit around the outside of the zoo and then through the central part of the inside of the zoo. Now, we had seen these animals in Kenya just a couple months earlier; so I didn’t take pictures of the elephants or giraffes. This event was just alot of fun (and quite hot at the start)! There was organized stretching (with music and dance moves) prior to the start and then yoga afterwards. There was live music on stage with food trucks and alcoholic beverages (and that was after the post-race free food). We passed the food trucks and hit a night market (with food stalls) on our way back to the apartment. No race bling, but there was a bib. Thanks #solemotive for a great race (http://events.solemotive.com/sunset-series-landing-page/). And a new distance means a new PR!
I had heard about ParkRun from a friend but hadn’t been able to find a Saturday event that I could attend. Melbourne did have a ParkRun and the park was close enough that I could walk or take public transport but the event started at 0700, which was just a tad early for this runner (at this time). However, I did head to the park when I woke up and saw the tail end of the run. Albert Park surrounds a large lake which was full of rowing teams. There was a nice track around the lake with some shade and great views of the CBD (Central Business District). I ran to the park and then around the park followed by a slow easy run back home. It was the longest run for months!
The apartment we rented had access to a gym in the building; so it was easy to have a daily workout. I also found a yoga class one weekend morning for some realignment of my zen.
Tasmania proved to be more challenging for running and daily exercising. We were in a camper van while driving around Tasmania, so my creativity for exercise was tested. I didn’t have floor space but I did have ample ground! And many times, I didn’t have wifi for streaming yoga or cardio routines. I was “that crazy” lady doing HIIT routines outside the camper van. We were on the road every day, so finding a time to run that didn’t disturb our driving plans or delay dinner required forward thinking. But I did have some fantastic running adventures.
This run was one of those unexpected gems. I started with a vague idea of a route thanks to MapMyRun. I headed along the harbor once exiting our hotel. After the harbor, I headed towards the Botanical Gardens which brought me to Queen’s Domain. I ended up exploring this massive park and never made it to the Botanical Gardens. There were several intersecting running tracks/trails and I just made my way through the park. I nearly started sobbing when I discovered The Soldiers Memorial Avenue. It is a “pathway” of 520 trees planted in 1918 and 1919 to commemorate soldiers with a connection to Hobart who died in World War I. Each tree has a plaque and additional trees were added in the Soldiers Memorial Avenue Extension in 1926. In all there are 533 individually named trees plus one for an Unknown Soldier. After Queen’s Domain, I headed to the University Rose Garden and then back to our hotel.
Tasmania in Alexander Campervan
Bay of Fires
So what does a runner do when its been a day of driving? Get out and go! We were freedom camping at Bay of Fires (and no where near a road for open running). So, I found my way back and forth along the beach road and around the camp ground. I used our camping spot as a “home” spot and would run out for 5-7 minutes and then back to the van for 1-2 minutes of core exercises on my mat. And anywhere else than Tasmania, this run would have become old really fast, but not here! I am usually on board for beach running, but this beach was too rocky for bare feet.
My garmin data for this outing is non-existent, but it did happen! I made my way from the campground down the main road and through a neighborhood. The road then started to follow the Tamar River towards the Low Head Pilot Station and ultimately to the lighthouse. I passed a spot on the beach with several wooden benches. Little did I know that those benches would be magical later. This was the exact spot of our penguin viewing. I had no idea that penguin babies were hidden in the brush around the trails down to the beach!
This run has to be my favorite of Tasmania— it was in the town of Penguin! And this family loves Penguins! It was a rough running day- legs felt heavy, wind seemed against me, and it was hot. However, I kept going a bit further before turning around along the water’s edge. First I ran east along the water and then backtracked to our campground before heading further in the west direction. I ultimately turned around when I lost the beach view and was funneled onto a highway (ummm…no thank you). No penguins seen during the run; but we saw penguins that night in the campground!
My final run in Tasmania wasn’t the most picturesque since it was around and through Hobart Airport but it checked the need for a run. It was our last night in Alexander Campervan (we would turn it in the following morning) and one more night in Hobart (back at our original hotel) before heading back to mainland Australia. Throughout our travels, we have learned the trick of dropping off bags at hotels and then returning to collect them (days or weeks later). We survived the camper van since we left most of our bags in Hobart.
My country count for yoga classes: Buenos Aires, Dubai, on a Nile cruise, Dehli, Jaipur, Christchurch, Hamilton, Melbourne, Hobart.
Disclaimer- I am massively behind with updating this blog. I will eventually finishing cataloging our adventures and my running discoveries!