The Royal Coast Track

A 27km coastal hike just south of Sydney. This is generally suggested as a two day hike, and originally that was the plan! Hike in the first day, set up camp, have a nice fire and a chilly night, then wake up early, watch for whales and hike out.

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Best laid plans, huh?

With the camp sites all booked out, probably months in advance, meant there had to be a new strategy. My idea? Let’s do it in one day! Let’s run the 27kms. Piece of cake.

Well, not really.

Such a long run, I had no idea what to pack. I ended up over dressing with a jumper and a thermal too many. I took enough water, but thankfully there are also a couple of spots to refill – good to know for future attempts at the hike. I took heaps and heaps of food, more than I needed, but with an hour wait for the train at the other end and no shops in sight I was more than happy to empty my bag with my lunch.

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I underestimated the difficulty of the track. The first half was easy and familiar, managed to jog for the most of it, apart from the very muddy sections. The second half, phew, that was tough! Steep climbs and ankle rolling descents, had to slow down and pick my steps carefully. I was happy to not be carrying an overnight pack, and I loved the challenge of it. We ended up with around 29kms, after a missed turn off meant taking the long way to the train station, but every km felt worth it. My feet were sore at the end, my ankles tired from the constantly changing surface and bracing the twists, but it was beautiful and rewarding. I highly recommend hiking any part of this trail, especially during whale season (saw 2!). The scenery, the views, change often, constantly having me stop to appreciate the gorgeous area I live in.

I’ve always enjoyed running, ok, well maybe not when I was obese, but I know I longed for it then. Once I started running, started improving, started getting involved in running events, I knew I had found one of the most lovable pastimes around. The ability to get out into nature and let your legs power you through the wilderness is an amazing feeling, and on the plus side, it’s cheap! You can even go barefoot running if you’re interested in that kind of thing! I long for endurance running, for these kinds of distances. Not necessarily as a marathon event or some such, but a wilderness event, an endurance event, getting out and having my body propel me through life. It’s invigorating, it’s incredibly freeing, and I hope that in future I will be able to run more, run faster, run further, run longer. Those aching feet at the end of the run feel rewarding.

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I intend to return, periodically, to see how my fitness is changing, but primarily because it’s just so beautiful! There were two amazing waterholes that would be awesome to swim in during summer, as well as numerous beaches to enjoy.

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Last one!

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