16 Jul 12
One of many reasons why I decided to stay in Noosa when working here in 1990 was the great running (or walking) routes I discovered while living on the Sound. Here are 2 of my favorites –
How can anyone not love running on the beach. I’ve found the best starting and finishing point is at the Sails Restaurant near the end of Hastings St. It’s best if it’s not high tide so you have some firm sand to run on and you aren’t going to get your shoes washed over with a recalcitrant wave. This run is about 3.5km long and is nearly dead flat.
Starting from Sails head west on the beach, you should be warmed up a bit when you hit the first groin and have to plod up a small incline over soft sand to cross the rock groin. Continue along the shoreline until you reach the river mouth. A short climb on soft sand and you’re up to the tower at the river mouth. Follow the river to the Noosa Woods, here there are a variety of paths you can take but generally you want to backtrack in an eastern direction. There is currently some work on the paths so you may hit a few dead ends but eventually you’ll find your way back to Hastings St.
Normally I cross back over to the beach at the Woods entrance in order to avoid the pedestrians and traffic on Hastings St. The boardwalk leading back to Sails provides you with a spring in your step; you may even fool the beach goers that you are indeed a serious runner! Avoid running on the boardwalk around meal time – the aromas wafting from the restaurants can be torturous.
Another great flat run is the course formerly used in the Tri and now used in the winter festival run. The course starts & finishes near the Sheraton Hotel. The out and back run is pretty well spot on 10km. The course is mostly off road and shady in spots so great for a summer run. It is modestly lit as well so can be done at night, just watch your footing.
Starting near the bridge in front of the Sheraton (by the way this is about as hilly as it gets) head west along Noosa Pde. It’s best to stay on the northern footpath to avoid crossing any intersecting roads. After about 2km on the footpath you’ll reach Russell St, turn right and then left at the end of Russell. Now you are on the most enjoyable part of the run, the foreshore of the Noosa River. Follow either of the 2 pathways until you reach the yacht club. If you now stay on the pathway nearest the road you can cross the canal on a pedestrian bridge.
Now it gets a bit more complicated – stay on foot path and it will lead you onto a rather wide footpath along Hilton Tce. Keep an eye out for the bowls across the road on your left, you want to turn the opposite way here onto Hilton Esplanade. Follow the Esplanade up to Sydney St, turn left then left again onto Hilton Tce. With any luck you’ll be able to find your way back to the Sheraton – same way you came.
This is a very popular run and you can normally easily weave in and out of pedestrians, cyclists and dogs even in the busiest holiday periods. My favorite time to do this run is in the evenings – the western sunset on the river is unforgettable!
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