New Year’s Day is a good day for something a little different so today I treated myself to a run through the inner Brisbane suburb of New Farm. This is where we ran for high school cross country and athletics training all those years ago. It’s difficult to believe sometimes that the first time I took a run through the riverside streets of New Farm was almost 20 years ago. And here I am today, coming back here when I want a running treat.
I park my motorbike next to New Farm Park. It’s a holiday today so the streets are quiet, and families and couples enjoy picnics in the park. I run across the soft grass to the banks of the Brisbane River where the setting sun is giving the water a gold-coloured tinge instead of their usual muddy brown. I don’t know whether anyone looks at me when I run because I’m focused on the sensation of running along the river and am listening to music through my earphones.
At the end of the park I run along a concrete footpath to the Merthyr Bowls Club where a walking track leads to another parkway next to the river. The walking track here is a rough concrete with pebbles in it. It’s rough on my feet so I try to run on the grass next to the track where I can. It’s pleasant to see the boats moored out on the river and almost impossible to believe that just twelve months ago this whole park was flooded in the great Brisbane floods of 2011. Even the City Cat terminals have been rebuilt after being washed away.
At Sydney Street I leave the river front and run through the streets of New Farm to the top of the cliffs that overlook the Story Bridge. There used to be a floating walkway along the river from Sydney Street to the city and it’s absence is one of the few reminders of the floods in the New Farm area. As I run along the footpath I pass locals out enjoying the New Years Day afternoon by walking their dogs or taking their children out for exercise and fresh air.
I reach the cliffs and run up the hill to the Story Bridge. Running across the bridge is always enjoyable but for some reason the surface of the footpath seems to really take it’s toll on my bare feet. I’m not sure why but I always feel like the soles of my feet are burning after running on the bridge but for some reason I forget every time I head out. Despite the mild discomfort I enjoy being surrounded by the steel frame of the bridge with the city high rises to my right and inner suburban New Farm to my left. It’s like the bridge marks the intersection of old and new.
I run across the Story Bridge before turning around and heading back into New Farm. I run back down the hill at the top of the cliffs. At the bottom I turn around and sprint back up the grassy section of the hill. I repeat this three times, working hard until my lungs and legs scream at me. It feels good to squeeze a small hill set in the run.
After my hills I run down to Abbott Lane where the old Moreton Bay fig trees form a long archway for me to run down. When I was in high school it was always a treat to run down Abbott Lane on our training runs because it is just so pretty. After Abbott Lane I head back to the river and return to my motorbike the way I came.
I complete the 8.59km run at 5:23 pace.