It’s always fun to run somewhere different, for our long run on Bruny Island we ran the Ladillardiere Peninsula circuit. This is a 17.5km trail, which loops around the exposed cliffs of Point Labillardiere and then winds around the sheltered beaches of Great Taylors Bay.
I haven’t done much trail running – I like to run fast and hike, but not usually combined together – so it was a great experience. There is a trail race on this route and we were amazed by the winning time of 1hr11mins, that’s an average pace of 4.04min/km over some interesting terrain! We both did much more leisurely runs…
The trail started off on wide, sandy fire-breaks, over some rolling hills. I guess if you’re a seasoned trail runner, this is where you’d pick up the pace. However, I was happy to jog along, admiring the views and stopping for photos. It was lovely to look across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel to the Southern Ranges on the mainland.
There was a bit off up and down, at times I could see the small dot of Mark on the trail ahead. There was no-one else out and it was lovely to stretch the legs in the fresh coastal air.
It’s not too often you meet a fluffy echidna out running, so again I had to stop for a few photos! We both spotted three echidnas on our run (but maybe not the same three?). Mark also saw a snake, I tried not to think about them – particularly in the overgrown sections where I couldn’t see what my feet were landing on!
After about 40 minutes, I approached the ‘big hill’, officially named Mt Bleak. After the sandy trails and hills in Hobart, my legs were not enjoying it and I got to the point where I was barely shuffling along – it seemed faster to walk!
The second half of the run was very flat, but still not very fast. In some sections the path was very overgrown – to the point where I couldn’t see the rock strewn path below, and it seemed more sensible to walk than run. I think they must definitely do some pruning before the trail race! The beaches in this section were beautiful and I looked forward to running on the sand rather than scrub bashing, it was firm underfoot and each deserted beach was home to a pair of oystercatchers or hooded plovers.
The last section of the track was single trail back along the protected side of the bay. It was great running along the edge of the forest, though you did need to concentrate. I had one ‘stack’ when I went to leap over a dry creek bed, but by this point I’d been running for over 90 minutes and my legs weren’t as springy as I thought, so I my leap wasn’t as far as expected!
One of the last challenges was a small stream following out of the bush along the beach into the bay. I couldn’t see an easy way around, so this was going to require jumping. After my previous poor attempt, for this one I turned off the watch, slowly walked backwards, and gave it my best long jump attempt! Again the sprinting pace wasn’t quite what it used to be, but I made it across the creek and my shoes didn’t get wet, success!
All in all, it was a lovely run, it took me just over 2 hours to complete the 17.5km circuit. If I’d done this as a day walk, I’m not sure that I would rate it amongst some of the other 5-6 hour walks that Tassie offers (it doesn’t compare to some of the mountain scenery), but for a run it was a good distance, moderately difficult and there were lots of nice views to keep the mind off the tiring legs!
And of course, after a long run the re-fueling was very important! No local cafes at the end of the island, no problem… We headed back to our cabin and had lovely fresh eggs from the hens, kale picked from the greenhouse, parsley and chives from the vegetable patch and crusty bread. Delicious!