Running in Canberra (ACT, Australia) Part 3

I had one more chance to go for a run while working in Canberra. I needed to work a 14 hour day on my feet, so I figured an easy run was in order.

I headed back to Lake Burley Griffin to see where my feet would take me. My run ended up looking like this:Canberra Run Part 3

7BC2F4D1-B663-41F2-A7E6-D079683FBED2I headed along the edge of the lake, stopping to have a look at a statue of Australia’s longest serving Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies on the way.

The lake is very beautiful, and cannot be captured in pictures. I did stop to take one picture however, as I could see Black Mountain in the background (I had run up this earlier in the week, see Running in Canberra Part 2). I would have loved to have more time to explore the lake so will have to do so on another visit.

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I then turned up Anzac Parade, where various memorials line the path up to the Australian War Memorial. On Anzac Parade, my run got a little emotional. Passing the Air Force memorial, and the Navy memorial, then the Royal Nurses memorial, I got to thinking about my grandparents who served in, or after World War II. I only briefly spoke to each of them about it before they died, and for the rest of my run, I felt like they were running alongside me, pushing me onwards. 9F5BDC61-52D1-40E0-B925-EAB9E960B7AE

This was a very timely reminder for me. To be thinking about their struggles, and the suffering they would have witnessed, while I was running made me realise that the challenges I have in my life, and the suffering I feel when running a long run are minimal compared to that created by war. As my husband would say, it’s all relative. And sometimes remembering that can help push through the struggles and suffering onto things you never imagined possible.

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Running in Canberra (ACT, Australia) Part 2

One of the prominent features of Canberra is the few mountains that surround the centre of the city. From the window of my accommodation, I had been longingly looking at Black Mountain as a potential running spot, so when I got my first chance, that’s where I headed.

Black Mountain aerial

Black Mountain sticks out like a sore thumb, mostly because a fairly ugly phone tower has been built on top of it. Personally, I feel it is a bit of a pity to spoil the top of a mountain with something that is so aesthetically unappealing, but thankfully that doesn’t affect how much one can enjoy running up it.

Being so visible from anywhere in Canberra, I decided not to check a map, and just run towards the mountain until I found a trail. Doing so meant that I had a little detour until I found a track but there was success at last.

Black mountain run

It was a great run. I came across the most spectacular wattle trees in full bloom.

Wattle

The first trail I found looked promising, until I realised that the Botanic Gardens were closed, and I would have to run around the fence until I found another way up the mountain.

Eventually I came across the Canberra Centenary Trail which led up the mountain. While on this trail, I came across a summit walk which I then followed to the top. I was under time restrictions because I had to go to work not long after this run. I was about 1km from the top, when I really should have turned around so I’d have enough time for a shower when I got back to my hotel room. But that close to the top, there was no way I was turning around.

I got to the top and quickly took a happy snap to prove I was there, then had to speed to the bottom of the mountain to get back in time.Me at Black Mountain Summit

I had to stop halfway down, to get a picture of the beautiful evening sun coming through the trees, then I was in a major rush to get to work. This was a really fantastic run that I would recommend to anyone who likes a hill or a trail. Try it out next time you are in Canberra.

Sunset on Black Mountain

Running in Canberra (ACT, Australia) Part 1

So one of the best things about running for me, is that I get to explore new places.

This week I’m in Canberra (Australia’s Capital City) for work, and there’s no better way to see the city than running. I knew I’d have time constraints with my work commitments and running is a great way to see the sights in a brief space of time.

Canberra is a runner’s paradise. There are a lot of flat areas, but if you feel like tackling a trail, there’s plenty of nature parks within a few kms of the city centre.

I’m planning 3 runs here in Canberra (or 4 if I can get up early enough before my plane leaves!), so for my first run, I thought I should see some sights. This was my favourite type of run. One where you set out in a general direction of something you want to see, but one where you allow yourself to get completely off course and end up seeing something else amazing.

Canberra part 1 run map

I had decided to head in the direction of Parliament house and Lake Burley Griffin. Many friends had told me they enjoyed great runs around the lake, so I thought it might be a good place to start. Lake Burley Griffin is made up of three basins and apparently it is quite popular to choose one of the basins for a circuit run. The central basin (between the two bridges) is the most popular, being around 5km. I knew I didn’t have time to do a whole basin run, so instead I just headed along the lake.

Soon I came to the National Museum of Australia which is an amazing piece of architecture that has to be seen to be believed. Designed by Howard Raggatt, it is so multi-faceted that running around it was incredible. Every time you turned a corner, something new and interesting was revealed. Most interesting to me was the braille that adorns the exterior walls. I had to look it up when I came home to find out what it says. According to Wikipedia, the braille translates to some common Australian sayings, such as ‘She’ll Be Right’, but also includes more controversial sayings relating to the white occupation of Australia. The controversial phrases have since been obscured by metal discs placed on top, making them illegible.

Here’s an aerial view.

National_Museum_of_Australia_(437595660)

By the time I had marvelled at the museum, I realised I was 2km further than I really had time for, so had to high-tail it back to my room to get ready for work. It still wasn’t all business, I managed to stop and watch some lignets on the way back.

LignetsAll up, a nice 7km run to start my week in Canberra. Stay tuned for my next Canberra run, which I’m hoping will be a trail run in one of the nature parks.