Our days were busy and our stops were short in Picton and Kaikoura so there was no running for those two stop. We had several good hikes and those are discussed on the main page. But Christchurch was great for running! We had been moving every 2-3 days for a couple of weeks and a few days of being in one place was wonderful. We rented a house a block away from Hagley Park (ok….I may have picked the house because it was close to the park) and it provided plenty of running paths. We hit the park almost immediately after arrival. I started on one of my New Year resolutions of running a 5K monthly. The weather was slightly cool and drizzling which was just perfect for a hard but short run. There were a variety of paths leading throughout the park; it would be easy to run this park daily with different routes. I managed a satisfying 27:05 for the 3 miles!
My next run was a meandering 10K through the Park and then into the Botanical Gardens with beautiful blue skies and warm sun. In addition to a monthly 5K, I wanted to run a monthly 10K and hoping to watch my times drop over the months. I didn’t have a course in mind and picked my way through the park, along the river, through gardens and then back again. The park was full of other runners and sporting activities which always makes runs enjoyable. The Botanic Gardens had a free entrance so I was able to simply run through the gates and around the paths. The flowers were in full bloom and just radiant under the sun. The Avon River was quiet and still with tree branches dipping into the water. You can tell from the garmin data that I definitely didn’t have a route in mind! It was another satisfying run of 6 miles in 58:25.
We were busy in Queenstown! Between hiking, luging, bungy jumping, and jet boating…there wasn’t much time for running! However the Queenstown Trail was just down the street from our rental house. I headed out the door without much of a plan for distance or time. I had views of the Remarkables or the Kawarau River the whole time. There were some elevation changes (gradual inclines and gradual declines) scattered throughout which made the run challenging. I had some shade leaving the neighborhood and a bit by the Kawarau River but it was a hot summer day. I quickly regretted leaving the water bottle behind. Once I realized that it was going to be a hot run with some inclines, I brought my pace down and focused on remembering the scenery!
Te Anau was another great spot for running. We rented a house that was just a couple of blocks from Lake Te Anau. There was a gravel pathway which eventually become a solid surface (Lake Te Anau Terrace) that lead from Upukerora River mouth towards the town’s center. I could have driven to more challenging paths in the mountains, but it was so easy to just head out the front door! I followed the path into town exploring a bit of the main street and then turned around and ran back. I was running along Lake Te Anau and Murchison Mountains were across the lake. I ran through a small boat harbor and a couple of beaches for public swimming. I was very tempted to jump in the water to cool down. I even witnessed a water landing. It was another hot summer day but I brought water this time! My garmin was acting up during this run, so there are two recordings of the run. This run was on my 47th birthday and I realized that after I came home and I couldn’t make the miles or kilometers equal some variation of 47 (4.7 miles of 4.7 kilometers). So maybe next birthday!
There will be more running on the South Island as we make our way towards the Glaciers, but I will post those runs later.