Trial Trail Run

Australia has been called The Land of the Long Weekend.  And long may it stay so says the Unsporty Woman!  Not so say business owners who still have to pay staff even though they are producing nothing… but this is a running blog so I will leave this subject well alone.

A public holiday.  What for?  This weekend it’s Labour Day or Eight Hour Day to celebrate better working conditions and more family friendly working hours.  What does a hard working nation do to celebrate less work?  Have a day off of course.

Two weeks ago we had a half day public holiday on a Wednesday.  What for?  For a horse race!  Launceston CupDid I go to the races? No I didn’t!  I went for a run! Pauly had to work on the farm but finished mid-afternoon (after working more than eight hours) then we headed into Launceston to have a trial trail run (try and say the last three words quickly!).  We had hoped to get to Greens Beach for a trial on the 6km headland track that connects the two beaches we will run for Convicts and Wenches, but the Farmer just couldn’t get away early enough.  Instead we opted for a run in Launceston’s Cataract Gorge.

I’ve posted about running in the Gorge before, but this time the places we ran were new to me!  I was born in Launceston and grew up just a stone’s throw away from this iconic Australian landmark, but I had never set foot on some of the tracks I will tell you about.  The Gorge truly is a hidden piece of wilderness right on the edge of Launceston’s CBD.  You could be shopping down town one moment, then after a five minute car journey be on the edge of the wilderness, then with a bit of a run be out in the middle of the Gorge feeling like you are miles and miles from civilization.

We are so spoilt to have this place to run!!!

After parking at the First Basin we ran up the Duck Reach Track.

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There are lots of lookouts along the way and it’s rather steep in places!  That’s mountain-goat steep.

20150225_153513We took the long climb up several sets of steps.  The track is a mixture of well maintained gravel paths, boards, steps and narrow rough tracks.

20150225_154336We crossed the suspension bridge near the old Duck Reach Power Station.

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20150225_154457Then it was up some rather steep flights of steps – I lost count how many there were.  Did I say trial trail running?  Not much running was happening here!

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20150225_160031Then it was finally back to the paths more travelled.  While we were running we saw hardly a soul; not so back down in the main part of the Gorge.  There were several bus loads of tourists as well as locals out enjoying the scenery, the afternoon off and the last of a wonderful hot summer.

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As we were running I heard the familiar thump thump thump of a wallaby in the undergrowth several times but didn’t seen any (no snakes either thankfully).  This curious local (pictured above) was taking a peek at the tourists just metres away from a parked coach in the main car park.  It was funny that most people were busily looking at their phones, consulting maps, looking down towards the water that they didn’t see him sitting cheekily nearby.  I pointed him out to a passing tourist who was quite shocked to see him – quickly grabbing their camera to take a snap.  It pays to look up and take things in!

A perfect end to the run was a trip to the King’s Bridge Pub.

20150225_163735First a glass of wonderful Tasmanian Janz sparkling wine.

20150225_165502Then some delicious Australian seafood.

While we were sitting outside enjoying the food, warmth and a relax after our rather strenuous trial trail run a tourist stopped to ask – in faltering English – directions to the Gorge.  It was just a short two minute stroll to one of the entrances we told her. How lucky are we to have such a wonderful spot to run in???  We locals don’t really appreciate how fabulous it is.  Visitors to Tasmania include it as a must see on their itineraries.

And how much does it cost to enter?  NOTHING!  It’s free for everyone, local or visitor.

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How far did we run for this trial trail run?  Just 5kms.  How long did it take us?  50:34!  With all the ups, rough parts and of course happy-snap taking to show you, it made for a slow run.  A slow run but a wonderful run.  Are we ready for Convicts and Wenches?  I don’t feel ready but next Sunday we shall give those 25kms our very best shot!

Go Team Huey, Dewey, Louie and Daffy! (Part of the newly formed team to be known as the Quackers – more on this later).

Happy running 🙂

24 thoughts on “Trial Trail Run

    • The bridge isn’t too bad, I don’t like to run over it when there are tourists on there. Unlike Pauly who gorilla runs to make it even wobblier! We have a small one in Deloraine too. Lots of fun!

  1. I well remember Cararact Gorge – we two Brit tourists took a short walk there after a lovely dinner by the river. Another memory was when a local ‘character’ park his hurse (complete with coffin) outside whilst we were dining!!

  2. It looks simply gorgeous! You are likely to have such beautiful trails to run.
    … and I would be so excited to hear the thump-thump-thump … unless of course I heard that sound on a trail here, then I’d be worried about what was about to attack me 😉

  3. I haven’t yet had the pleasure of exploring the trails that far up the Gorge Annie…. but like you, I am finding a newer love for what the gorge really has to offer and so close… where have we been…lol.
    Was lovely to read your post and see the pics, and have an fantastic run on the weekend! 🙂 xx

  4. Amazing views Annie ..thanks for sharing but I bet them view are much better in memory then on Camera..?! Ran a 42.6 km training run Sunday gone by and it must’ve have been the most memorable experience yet;) Go get that 25k and enjoy every step ;);)

  5. Good luck for your trail run this weekend, sounds like it will great fun if just a bit challenging! Are you dressing up, I can’t imagine you would pass up that opportunity 😉
    I’m looking forward to exploring the North a bit more now that my daughter is at uni up there, I’ve only ever done a small walk around the gorge, there is so much more to see.
    Have fun on Sunday and watch your step!

    • Thanks Sam 🙂 I seriously thought about dressing up. Memories of how scratchy my last costume run was held me back – 6.4kms was ok, but 25 I thought would be a bit much! Let me know if you would like a friend to explore with!!!

  6. More lovely photos to remind me of home 😊. I’ve been along that path behind Duck Reach & kept a very keen lookout for snakes !
    Good luck with the trail run in Sunday. X

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