There’s something rather delightful about being able train on an island; it’s rather like taking a morning holiday. This morning I caught the 5:15am ferry from Victoria Point across to Coochiemudlo Island. It’s only a ten minute ferry trip but it might as well be a time warp.
From the moment I stepped off the ferry I felt my whole being relax. The unseasonably cool weather and overcast skies dampened my enthusiasm for my run a little but not enough to keep me from heading off at a trot along the beach. The sand felt soft beneath my feet and it didn’t take me long to find a rhythm in the soft sand.
I was starting to feel playful as I rounded the tip to the island’s eastern beaches so I splashed my way through the warm waters of Moreton Bay. The tide was almost at its peak so there wasn’t much hard sand to run on but that doesn’t matter much to me – I run for the joy.
I turned off the beach onto a road just before the north-eastern tip of the island because the beach here becomes impassable at high tide. While I usually run barefoot, this morning I decided to slip my shoes on for the road and trail sections of the circuit.
The road runs past beach houses and mangroves. A man was sitting on a chair fishing as I ran past. His relaxed pose affected me and added to the holiday feeling the run was giving me. The road became a gravel track as I climbed the hill at the western end of the island. This hill is said to be man-made – obviously not by a runner.
I followed the trail to the steps leading down to a narrow trail through the bushland behind the mangroves. The steps were rough and slippery so I walked down them. I felt close to nature as I ran along the trail at the bottom of the steps; branches and grass fronds grabbed at my ankles and I had to jump fallen logs along the way. I listened to the birds singing in the trees as I ran.
Once out of the bush I climbed back to the top of the man-made hill and turned east again at the Community Hall. Part-way down the hill I slid down a steep drop back to the island’s southern beach. After crossing a narrow but deep salt-water inlet I ran through the water back to the island’s jetty where I turned around and completed the circuit in reverse.
On reaching the jetty on my return lap I realised that I wasn’t going to be able to complete a third complete circuit by 7am when I was due to get a ferry back to the mainland so I scurried along the beach for a quick out-and-back along the eastern beaches, playing in the water and giving my legs a workout on the soft sand.
By the time I caught the ferry I had run 12km, mostly along soft sandy beaches. I definitely earned my breakfast stop at the bakery.