Running Seven Mile Beach
The first light of dawn gave initially faint illumination as we gathered at the southern end of Seven Mile Beach ready for the run. I did a quick warm up that was about as effective as one of Michelle Jenneke’s (meaning it had no physiological benefit- not that it was likely to earn me a swimsuit modelling contract) and we set off. The tide was as high as Bruce McAvaney’s adrenaline when Cyril Rioli gets the ball, but we were quickly off the wet sand and onto a track at the end of the beach, heading towards Lauderdale.
This surprisingly even and well-maintained track was another of Hobart’s hidden gems. It gently rose and fell with the undulating ground, with an imperious rocky hill rising to our right and sullen grey water (not actual greywater, just water that looked grey in the half-light) of the bay below us.
After a little more than four kilometres, the track ended and we followed the roads into Lauderdale for a while. After five kilometres, the beautiful music of chiming Garmon’s (if teenagers can call One Direction music, why can’t runners call the orchestral beeping of GPS watches the same) told us it was time to turn around and we headed back towards Seven Mile.
By now the sun had risen and the view out into the bay was spectacular, as we ran back over the hills. We stopped at the highest point on the track for a quick group photo before continuing on the start point.
Once back at the beach, we met up with another 15 or so people for the second part of the run, including the two Chris’s who had run from town. Obviously we couldn’t go anywhere without a few more group shots (we took so many selfies throughout the day I thought Kevin Rudd must be somewhere around).
Obligatory photos complete, we set off again. Whilst there was no shortage of fit runners around, the pace was set by Jarrod, leading from the start and proving once again that age is just a number (pay attention North Melbourne Football Club). The tide was still pretty high and the sand was as uneven as the public reactions to child abuse in the NT and Nauru, so we had to be a little careful of our footing early.
We had barely started running when we met Kaylee, who was doing her own thing a bit. She had parked several hundred metres to our left but still wanted to run with the main group. It hasn’t been discussed much, but if she continues this trend of positioning herself to the left of the group she wants to be part of, we may have to rename her Lisa Singh.
There was plenty of chat amongst the group- although a review of the Hansard documents for the event would find 90% of the talking came from Dalts, who seemed pretty excited about the number of runners we had. It was good to see Chris so cheerful, as you really don’t want to see Chris cross (I'm told it happened once in the nineties with a failed effort to make people jump, but thankfully has been rarely seen since).
The ten kilometre length of beach flew by (in Skinny Gene's case almost literally- he barely left footprints) with everyone jogging and chatting in good humour. By the end of the beach, we had separated into smaller groups somewhat, so instead of letting ourselves get further and further apart, we stopped to regroup (take not LNP).
The plan was then to come back via the track. The problem was that there was some disagreement as to which track. We followed the headland around for a few hundred metres and found a couple of possibilities and after some discussion and exploration we settled on one and set off again.
Not just because of fatigue, the trip back was bit harder than expected (a sentiment shared by Rian Lochte and some of his US swimming buddies). The sand amongst the trees was softer than the beach, plus the track wound around instead of going straight. Once again, we split into smaller groups on the twisting and branching tracks, but there was little concern of anyone getting lost this close to the beach.
After about six kilometres through the pine forest, we had actually come a fair way from the edge of the beach we were ‘paralleling’ (might have been more accurate to call it ‘perpendicularing’ at some stages). We came to a gravel road running diagonally towards the beach. We followed this for a while before reaching Pittwater Road. With the laser-like precision of Pauline Hanson heading for racial controversy, Pittwater Road arrowed unerringly straight towards the water, eventually turning right to run back towards the car park. We passed the airport and eventually saw most of the group waiting for us back at the start point.
The circuitous route home had added an extra 3-4 kilometres but with pleasant weather and good company had passed pretty comfortably.