It’s crazy to think that in 2016 I spent 164 hours and 23 minutes running!
I mean yes, technically that’s less than 2% of the entire year but it must be at least 1.99% more running than I did the year prior – actually scrap that, it’s probably 1.99% more running than I’ve ever done in all of my previous forty some years combined.
I started the year following the 12 week Higdon 1/2 Marathon plan, training towards my first (and what I thought would be my last) 1/2 Marathon, The Coatesville Classic in March. The following month, after taking a couple of weeks off (because once again my knee was shite) I somewhat accidentally took up trail running.
And I guess as the saying goes, that was that.
I’m certain that the reason I’m still quite literally running today is because I’ve not only gone from running on the road to running on trails, but more importantly I’ve gone from having to run whatever distance is listed on a piece of paper to just getting out and exploring and I’ve certainly done some exploring.
As it’s the last day of the year for prosperity I’m going to do somewhat of a round up of this years running adventures;
Most frequented trail;
The Lake Wainamu Loop at Bethells (see photo above). I run this trail regularly because it’s “my local” although in fairness that also means that the Te Henga Walkway is also “my local” (because they’re across the road from each other) but here I don’t have to climb a big arse hill. 😉
Most overrated trail;
Omanawanui at Whatipu the so called “secret jewel in the treasure trove of tracks in the Waitakere Ranges” wasn’t worth the hour long drive. I mean sure the views are nice, but no more spectacular than the views afforded from any of the other coastal tracks in Auckland (most of which aren’t located in the back of beyond).
Most instagram worthy trail;
Oh shit! That’s actually a hard one. The Te Henga Walkway has amazing views from up on high, but it’s quite a slog to get up there! The view from the Windows Walk is also stunning, but then again you do have to drive to the Karangahake Gorge and go through a dark tunnel in order to peer out of the holes to appreciate the view (and we all know how I feel about tunnels), so I’m going to go with Huia Dam Road (which incidentally also has a tunnel) but what’s great about this trail is that the most Instagram worthy dam in all of the Waitakere Ranges is located near the start of the track. I mean, how convenient is that!
Most picturesque run;
A trail such as the Te Henga Walkway may offer amazing views but honestly most of the time you are way too busy concentrating on the trail ahead of you to appreciate them and although the Huia Dam Road won the instagram worthy title it is more a series of highlights than one consistent wow whereas the Upper Nihotupu Dam Track, is quite breathtaking in it’s entirety (and it’s non technical enough for you to be able to appreciate it). Not only is there a cute little forest section but there are also waterfalls (plural), views across the reservoir and a section of disused railway track to the base of the dam – apparently there are also some tunnels, but I haven’t searched for them, I’m guessing you head down past the picnic tables (as opposed to heading back towards the dam face).
(As in cooool man – not gosh isn’t it chilly) – Easy peasy, the Karangahake Tunnel Walk, it was even kind of cool in the temperature department. 😉
All I can say is bring on 2017 – I’m ready to explore some more!
Till next time