Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Great Ocean Rd adventure!

I rearranged last week's training schedule to give myself time to go to the Great Ocean Rd over the weekend with some friends. We rented a van, packed 8 people and all their bags plus a surfboard in, and made our way out to the Great Ocean Rd early Saturday morning. The day was perfect -- already 30C at 8 in the morning. It would heat up to about 35C for the rest of the day -- a stunner of a day!!

On the Saturday, we made it out to some beaches, and I got some pretty awesome shots in. Here's a sampling:

Yes, despite living in Australia, I still can act like a tourist!
It's a frickin' kangaroo!!

Do you see the sea lion?? I thought it was dead -- I love seeing
dead animals -- but it flapped its tail at me. Very much alive!

On the first day, all I had in terms of training was a 35' run. 
Hill sprints! It was shockingly hot and humid, so I ran in my
favourite swim suit... then straight into the ocean!! There's
nothing better!!

We found this beach on our way to the Twelve Apostles. I'd 
never seen anything like it -- I thought I was in heaven.
Everything (and everyone) glistened in the brilliant white
sun. Even the fog glistened. It was spectacular!

On the second day, I woke up at 5:40am to get my long run in. I started in Port Campbell and ran for 2 hours to catch the sunrise. The entire Great Ocean Rd is pretty isolated, with small pockets of towns appearing every so often. In between, there are obviously no lights on the road. Once I got out of Port Campbell (a 5' run), I was in pitch black for an additional 40 minutes before the sun rose. I thought I would see a spectacular sunrise, but instead I was in the middle of a very serious fog. 

At the end of my run, when it had cleared up a bit. 
Visibility still pretty poor!

I couldn't see anything around me, everything was coated in a very sticky humid fog. Even my eyelashes and the hairs on my legs and arms had drops of water hanging on them. 

Returning into Port Campbell.

I ran towards the Twelve Apostles (pictured below), but couldn't see them. Instead, I was treated to a very surreal feeling of being absolutely enveloped in clouds. Very hot, sticky clouds. At one point, I ran so close to a sleeping kangaroo that I awakened it. It freaked out, jumped very high, freaked ME out to the point that I screamed hysterically, then it jumped off. On a more calming note, I did run into a baby kangaroo. It was casually in the middle of the road when I spotted it 5m away (yes, visibility was indeed very poor!!). We looked at each other, then it jumped across the road into the bush. There are some moments in life that you end up remembering for a long time, and on the rare occasion you recognize these moments as they occur. This entire run was one of them. There's nothing like being alone amidst the majesty of the ocean, the cliff faces and the Australian bush. 

After my run, we checked out of our hostel. By then the fog had burned off and the sun shone long enough for me to get some good quality shots of the Twelve Apostles. This is what I would have seen in my run had it been clear: 

Beautiful, no?


  1. That place looks amazing - I've been to Melbourne 6 times and never ventured far enough to see anything like that, I can't believe how clear the water is! Looks wonderful. I've only been as far as Geelong in one direction and Elwood in the other...both shitholes!

  2. Wow. That's so unbelievably beautiful!
    It almost looks unreal.
    I can't imagine seeing it in person.

    Guess what? I'll be wearing some Sauconys soon enough, I won a pair at work. Have you ever worn the guide, omni or hurricane?

  3. @Malcolm -- Yes, you're so right. Geelong is such a shithole. It's just past Geelong, further away from Melb, that you see the really beautiful Great Ocean Rd. Next time, eh?? Although nothing in Australia has yet to compare to NZ's South Island for me. (Have yet to explore the Nth Island)

    @Steph -- good on you!! I truly love Saucony. Once you find the right shoe for you in their line, I feel like they do wonders. I used to wear the guide but I felt it had too much support for what I needed, so I switched and now stick with the Ride. I don't know much about the Omni or the Hurricane though. I can tell you that my racing flats, Saucony Fasttwitch 4, are very very fast and awesome. :)

  4. I'll probably be back over there later this year, so now I know there's something worth visiting I might make a road trip down. You'll have to check out the North Is when you come back, there's a lot of cool stuff to see and do up here too :)

  5. I am so jealous of your training grounds!!! Nice!!!

  6. That sounds like an awesome trip! Having 7 of your good friends to hang out with at the beach every day after your training sounds like a great way to spend a week! Thank you for the pictures they are great! With all the heat and humidity, you would think you were running in my neck of the woods ;) Have a great rest of your trip!

  7. @Malcolm -- yes, I know, the Nth Island will be on my to-do list. I'll have 2 weeks in NZ in a few short weeks (which will probably only be South Island, however), but when I move over to NZ permanently (Dec 2011), I'll visit the North Island, see what all the raving is about!!

    @BDD -- amazing training grounds, I am thankful I am so lucky!!

    @Andy -- all trips so far have been amazing. Heat and humidity... my oh my, where are you from?? Very rarely it is both hot and humid in Melbourne (usually it is one or the other), but this has been an incredibly strange year weather-wise. :)