I tend to enjoy running any route for the first time, mostly because I run incredibly slowly because I have no idea where I’m going.
(Although according to the 80/20 running book I’ve been reading is actually a good thing – but that’s another blog post altogether.)
Last night I decided that I’d explore the Te Atatu walkway which follows the coastline along the northern tip of Te Atatu Peninsula. I had a quick look on Google Maps and from what I gathered I could join at the beginning of the walkway (at Murray Road) and as long as I kept the harbour on my left I’d get to the end point (after approximately 2.4k’s), where I’d turn around a come back.
As I was scheduled to run 5k today I would have to double back along the track for a little bit, but that wouldn’t be too bad as I’d be able to take some photos for this blog post on the return walk/cool down.
Firstly I’d suggest you start at Chapman Strand where the Taikata Sailing Club is located. There is loads of on street parking and the section from Murrays Road to this point (shown in red on the map) is basically one path and a large set of stone stairs (pictured above) which takes you to the bottom of Chapman Strand anyway.
It also looks like the Te Atatu Walk officially starts at the bottom of Te Atatu Road, which would explain why I was running along a sea wall (shown in blue on the map) and transferred to an actual pathway from that point, no biggie though, that part is a nice section to run along “official” path or no “official” path. 😉
The pathway “proper” is a mixture of wide gravel paths and wooden boardwalks. There is also a beach crossing (which somewhat surprised me when I came to it), I even doubled back a little to see if I had missed the actual track but I couldn’t see anything so I ran along the beach (thankfully the tide was out and I could run along the firm sand) until I found where the path started back up again. On my return journey I did find a path that took you away from the beach and up to Spinnaker Drive, so I’m guessing you could run along the road and re-join the path again at a later stage should you not want to run along the sand.
The entire pathway is nice and wide allowing plenty of room to get past other runners/walkers with what seemed to be the obligatory K9 in tow (or towing in some instances) and although the entire 2.4k to Spinnaker Strand is mostly flat, there are a few short inclines along the way and one set of gravel stairs located a few hundred metres from the Taikata Sailing club.
However, don’t worry! Should you need a moment to “take in the scenery” (or a selfie) there are look out points and chairs located along the entire route.
I turned around where the path seemed to end (at Spinnaker Drive) but upon further investigation I could have run along a couple of roads and then joined a 3.6k cycle path that would take me all the way down to the North Western Motorway.
I’ll investigate that section another day – I bet the view across to the sky tower is amazing from that part of the Peninsula!
Till next time