Although running throughout Winter has it’s downfalls (especially if you prefer to run on beautifully scenic (yet mud laden) trails as opposed to firm yet infinitely boring roads) there are some distinct advantages.
For example, it’s not as hot and there are generally much less people out and about, so not only is finding parking easier, but you won’t have to worry about navigating around other trail users. In fact I spent much of the last summer season longing for Winter so I could get away from the oppressive heat and crowds!
For those of you who “have” to run throughout the wetter months or those of you (who like myself) just kind of feel bad arse because you choose to run regardless of the weather, here is a list of some of the more “Winter Friendly” trails in Auckland.
If you’re going to run this 8km loop, you’ll end up with wet feet anyway (because after all, it is a lake), so what’s a bit of rain from above between friends?
The only thing to watch out for is the area near the waterfall can flood after really heavy rainfall, you’ll still be able to cross although it’s much easier if you’re familiar with trail and know which direction to head in.
This 6km loop is well groomed and rarely muddy, although the gravel section of Slip Track becomes extremely slippery when wet so I suggest that you travel in a clock-wise direction to alleviate this.
This 12km out and back follows a Watercare Service road which is wide and firm underfoot – perfect for winter trail running (and be sure to check if the bell mouth overflow if the dam is high).
Another Watercare access road (6.4km out and back) although this one is EXTREMELY well used even in Winter so I suggest using it as a last resort if your aim is to “get away from it all”.
And yet another Watercare access road.
This trail is particularly awesome in Winter as the numerous waterfalls become quite spectacular. The first section can get a little muddy (but nothing compared to other trails in the area) and if you choose to run past the dam and loop back along the tramline, that area can be quite slippery, but it’s worth it to climb up the dam face.
Looking back over this list it would seem as though your best bet is to find a Watercare Dam and then run along the access road associated with it. 😉
Till next time