Hobart parkrun, Risdon Brook park, Tasmania, Australia

Saturday, a new parkrun, and another new time – they start at 9am in Tasmania, just like England and Wales. I started my Tasmania trip in Hobart, so figured I’d stay there and run Hobart parkrun first up. Until I walked across it and got the willies, I was going to run the 11km or so to the start and perhaps run back. But there’s a perfectly good bus service, leaving at 7.54 from Hobart, that will get you to the bottom of the hill outside the park in 20 odd minutes for $3.30. I sat, conspicuous in my 250 parkrun t-shirt and with my bag, and was spotted by the one other runner, Adrian, who was catching the bus. Perfect, as I now had a guide so didn’t have to think about where to get off, not that it is difficult.

I had my bag, incidentally, because I picked up a bargain in Hobart. I booked two nights in one hostel, then noticed Jetstar had sent a $25 off accommodation code. Surely that couldn’t work in a hostel? Well, yes it could, so I had one night booked in a different hostel for $3. I didn’t believe it would really work, but it did, and changing location felt daft, but was really not trouble.

To the run. Once off the bus, it’s a wander up a fairly steep hill, which gives you the idea that this will not be a flat course. It is still a 2.5k out and back, like most of the other Australian parkruns I have done, but with some turns, climbs and descents. They aren’t really shown by the course profile:

Hobart parkrun profile
Hobart parkrun profile (the blue line is my pace, ignore that). Quite a climb in the middle, even if not that high.

The day before, I had run out of the hostel and turned right, towards Mount Wellington, expecting to find some beautiful scenery. And I did. Plus a climb. I only ran for around 45 mins, but boy, my legs were heavy after this one:

Knocklofty reserve
Knocklofty reserve – now that’s a climb.

At least you can see I ran uphill. The first mile was over 10 minutes, second only to an uphill mile at altitude in Ethiopia. Then I was into Knocklofty reserve, and followed signs taking me round the summit loop. Fabulous views.

Knocklofty views
Knocklofty views.
View down over Hobart – this isn’t the summit.
View down over Hobart – this isn’t the summit.
Narrow track
One side of the summit loop, the down side for me, is a narrow track that loops through the trees with some hairpin bends.

Enough about Friday’s run, this is the view that greeted me once up the first hill, walking to parkrun. The meeting point is in a hut away to the right, the start just below the lip of the hill, below. The start, and first km plus, is pretty flat with just a few turns.

Hobart parkrun, Risdon Brook park.
Hobart parkrun, Risdon Brook park.

People were interested in my 250 shirt – it is a rarity in Australia, and Adrian didn’t remember having seen one in Hobart before, so I had some minor celebrity. The run was tough, though my initial thought that I would take it easy was removed by the usual competitive instinct, plus the fact that Buzz, who Adrian had pointed out as a potential marker for me, was just ahead. I managed to pass him and keep him behind me, even as he pushed on towards the finish. Plenty of people ahead, mind, and running just over 20 minutes (20:04) was 5 seconds more than I would have liked. Lovely parkrun, and chatting to visitors from Adelaide, and the run director from Kent, in the cafe afterwards made for a sociable morning. I even got a lift back into Hobart.

Hobart waterfront, where I sat, later.
Hobart waterfront, where I sat, later.

Because it was a fabulous place, and I worked hard to get up there, below is a picture from the summit on Knocklofty reserve. On the way down, I saw signs to ‘Frog ponds’. I wondered what they might be, so ran over. With hindsight, and you’re probably there already, it’s fairly obvious what a frog pond would be, and there was more than one – take them in, for the noise, if you’re in the area.

View down over Hobart – this isn’t the summit.
View down over Hobart.

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