Runsploration!

One of the many great things about running is ‘runsploration’, ie exploring new places by running.

parkrun tourism is one part of runsploration. Sometimes it’s going to a place specifically for a parkrun, and sometimes it’s finding the nearest parkrun to where you happen to find yourself on a Saturday morning. Last weekend I was in Brisbane and I thought I’d give New Farm parkrun a go – it was reasonable walking distance (and easy running distance) from where I was staying, and it was on the mighty Brisbane River. The early start was a bit of a challenge but I could see why all the Queensland parkruns start at 7 (rather than the 8am I am used to) – even by 7 it was pretty warm!

The start of the beautiful New Farm parkrun!

I wasn’t sure exactly where the start was, so I allowed plenty of time. I ran there, just under 4km, and immediately regretted my decision not to wear insect repellent – I was plastered with small flying insects! On the way I stopped to check out the Powerhouse markets – at 6:30am they were a hive of activity! In Adelaide it would be rare to see many people on the streets at that time on a Saturday – most of them would probably be still in bed! No daylight saving in Queensland (meaning effectively an earlier sunrise) and the heat means that people tend to be out and about super early!

The bustling market at 6:30am!

The parkrun itself was nice – probably the largest one I’ve been to, with a crowd of just under 400. And they even had someone leading a group warmup!

The pre-parkrun aerobics class!

(I didn’t feel the need to partake, I had warmed up more than sufficiently on the way there!) The start was a bit congested and there were a few tight corners early on but it was a nice straightforward course along the river (in fact, it retraced part of the route I had taken to get there) with lots of friendly, encouraging marshals and a couple of high fives!

Hot, sweaty but scenic 🙂

On Sunday I got up at what can only be described as ‘arse o’clock’, partly to beat the heat, and partly because I had places to be, and snuck in a 20k long run. I was ‘meant’ to do 30k but I figured after 100k last weekend I could do a slightly shorter one. It was already pretty warm by the time I started at 5:40 and by the time I finished it was as if I’d been in the shower fully clothed! I ran the familiar course along the river but a little further this time, and broke it up with a double crossing of the famous Story Bridge. 

Early on in my long runsploration in Brisbane. Dripping with sweat already!

So I managed to see a bit more of Brisbane than I otherwise might have, and at the same time got a few runs in!
I’ve done a bit of runsploration elsewhere. In London I did my last few runs before the Liverpool Marathon, although they were super slow and convoluted owing to the frequent photo stops (which I guess are par for the course when it comes to runsploration!) 


One of many photo stops on my runsploration of London!

When in Sydney for a conference a few years back, as well as managing a sneaky parkrun in my old neighbourhood, I managed a couple of morning runs that crossed the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge (unlike the Story Bridge though, the Sydney Harbour Bridge only allows pedestrians on one side – the other side is for cyclists).

The sights of my Sydney runsploration – and the obligatory post-run coffee!

In a few months I will be runsploring my way across the USA! Among other things, I plan to sneak in a run in Central Park in New York, some trails in Portland, and another bridge crossing, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fran (last time in San Fran I cycled across the Golden Gate so it will be cool to be able to run it too!) Obviously the Boston Marathon will take me to parts of the city that I might not otherwise have seen and I hope I am able to take a lot of it in!
And if things go to plan I’ll sneak in a parkrun – my first one outside Australia – in Washington D.C!

Where have you runsplored? And where would you LIKE to runsplore?

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7 thoughts on “Runsploration!

  1. I ran the Golden Gate bridge a few months back when I was in San Francisco. I had meetings all day and was so I had to hit it early. It opens (automatically) at 5am and I was at the gate about three minutes before. It was great to be the first one to cross the bridge that day, and then get back across and back home to my hotel to enjoy the rest of the day. LOVE runsploiring! 🙂

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  2. I’m still reading your blogs Jane, I think this is my favourite one yet!
    I was in America early last year for 10 weeks, but I only started running late last year, looking back now I wish I had gotten into running prior to going. I can only imagine all the amazing places I could have run whilst over there!!

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  3. Look forward to hearing about your US runs! Just recommended your blog to a virtual run group I’m in as some are doing the Semaphore coastal – told them I know the place for race reports! 🙂 I’ve got a bit of time in Cambodia and Vietnam in a few months, so hoping to use some runsploration in the very early morning to see another side to those countries than I would otherwise see.

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