Running to the Light


Training for my next marathon has begun in earnest. Mindful of the fact that in previous long distance ventures I have been prone to boredom I have started exploring different places to run.

The Surf Coast Walk is a 44km stretch of walking and cycling track from Point Impossible near Breamlea to Fairhaven just past the Split Point Lighthouse.

I’ve most commonly used the sections between Torquay and Anglesea both in running races and as handy long distance trail training for events such as Oxfam Trailwalker.

Last week I ventured further down the coast and ran from the Split Point Lighthouse in Airey’s Inlet to Sunnymeade Beach and back and then a bit further towards Fairhaven to make up the k’s.

I love a lighthouse.


Split Point Lighthouse

The Split Point Lighthouse was built in 1891 and is still operational. It was automated in 1919 but the lighthouse keepers’ cottages and stables are still in existence, the former now private residences and the latter a cafe. (I can’t comment on the standard of coffee as I’ve not yet sampled the wares at this establishment.) You can take a tour up to the top of the lighthouse most days.


Sunnymeade Beach – the turnaround point

The section of trail I ran is narrower and more secluded than the more populated stretch near Torquay and Jan Juc and I must say I like that. It was supposed to be an “easy” 9km run according to the training program but I suspect the hills, sand sections and stairs probably tipped it over into “slightly challenging”. It’s also always windy along the coast.

But what better way to train for a 44km marathon that traverses the Great Ocean Road than to run beside the ocean in the wind?

As I ran in the bush with the sound of the sea in my ears and the wide horizon to my right (on the way out) and my left (on the way back), I couldn’t help but think how very lucky I was to live in this part of the world and have such natural beauty right on my doorstep. And it propelled me to share it.

If you’ve ever thought about an Aussie holiday, please come and definitely put the Great Ocean Road on your itinerary. And maybe come soon. Between the bushfires and the coronavirus, our tourism operators and small businesses are suffering. Maybe even include a bushfire-effected area in your trip. The businesses will love you and you will be witness to the restorative magic and beauty of the Australian bush after fire. It’s a miracle worth experiencing.

I decided I wanted to include this in my blogging friend Jo’s Monday Walk despite the fact that I didn’t walk, I ran and it wasn’t on a Monday, it was a Tuesday but since running is really just very fast walking and Tuesday morning here is still Monday in much of the world, I’m calling it eligible. Jo is actually taking a break from blogging for a bit but I encourage you to explore her past Monday walks because she goes to fascinating places, takes beautiful photos and there’s usually cake.Β  Click here:Β Jo’s Monday walk


27 thoughts on “Running to the Light

  1. Thanks so much, lovely! All I could hear was the sound of me panting to keep up with you, but I did so enjoy the scenery (much of which is similar to what we have here, but I’m sure on a smaller scale πŸ™‚ ) Good luck with the marathon, H, and take good care of yourself. It’s a funny old world out there.

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  2. Is that the last man (read: apostle) standing, H ? I haven’t been down there since Mad Max days – like, 1977 ! Christ ! – longer ago than the ages of many of your followers, I should think .. It is super country: so typically coastal Oz.
    I’m somewhat anxious about the fact that several of your past really-good-runs have been mounted on the backs of periods of zero preparation: I trust you are keeping this in mind ? [grin]
    Love ya, H ..

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  3. I agree. Such a lovely part of the country, in fact we were down that way only recently. I love a good lighthouse too and I actually have fond memories of staying overnight in one of their light keepers cottages, many years ago. Good luck with the training and the run.

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  4. Beautiful photos of a lovely not walk. I am in awe of what you see when you go outside as it’s so different from anything I ever see. Thus is the wonder of blogging, I guess. I hope your tourism gets back on track soon.

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    • It is a great part of blogging – getting to experience environments we normally wouldn’t. (For me it’s snow.) I’m also lucky I can run along this path all year round.
      I fear some businesses may not survive this downturn and it could take a long time to recover.

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  5. It is a lovely area I can vouch for that with some very steep steps onto the beach! I’d find it difficult to keep up with you though πŸ˜‰ As for tourism, I have a feeling that many people (including me) won’t be getting on a plane any time soon, especially not one that stops in Asia. I am always ill following a flight anyway. The Coronavirus is not what Australia needed after all the devastation that’s for sure. πŸ˜•

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    • Yes, the bushfires had a massive impact. Even businesses not near the fires were getting cancellations. People seemed to think the whole country was on fire. One business had people cancel a wedding that’s not until October!
      I’ve always loved our ‘Shipwreck Coast’. (My Primary School principal wrote books on the subject and I received one as a prize once.) But yes, those stairs are a killer! πŸ˜€

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  6. If you’re going to keep on running this is a lovely place to do it and I’m glad you took the time to share it with us. I do feel though, in the tradition of Monday Walks, you need to return to that cafe and sample the cake so you can give us a recommendation. πŸ™‚ I’m sure you’ll soon use up the extra calories on your next training session.

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    • I think having such a fabulous place to run is what keeps me doing it! Certainly it’s the place for my favourite race that I’ve run for three years in a row so far. (And, bizarrely, never blogged about it. I really need to do something about that…)
      Yes, I’ve not quite got the hang of the Monday Walk rules. If I’d been more on to it, I could at least have taken a photo of the rather delicious Eggs Benedict I had at another cafe nearby the previous week. Not cake, but still an added attraction. πŸ™‚

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  7. Your photos are beautiful. I’ve only been down that way once, and only out to Queenscliff from memory. It was so beautiful and I do have plans to return sometime (not least because T has friends with a brewery in Torquay). Probably not soon though 😦

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    • Good luck with your training and I hope you get to run it. Right now I’m training without knowing if the race will even go ahead. Such is the world now.
      I’m very fortunate to have some fantastic trails in my local area. It makes training more bearable on those days when you just don’t feel like it. 😁


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