I’m in Maroochydore volunteering at an off-road triathlon race. It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m tired from being on my feet at the race all day but I know that I’ll feel good if I go for a run along the beach. Besides, I feel a little left out having seen all the off-road triathletes racing while I was standing around transition.
I check in at the Cotton Tree Backpackers where I’m staying for the night. It’s just after 5pm and the residents are all getting ready for their night on the town. It’s too crowded for me so I decide I’m definitely going out running along the beach for some fresh air and quiet. I strip off my uniform, pull on a pair of shorts and head out into the grey evening bare-chested and barefoot carrying my hydro pack.
I run along a footpath for about 250m before I reach a sandy beach. The river is choppy and brown from the storms we’ve had here in Queensland for the past few weeks. The sand is soft underfoot so I feel like I’m going slowly. However, when I look down at my GPS I see that I’m running at about 5:30 pace. I follow the beach to the mouth of the Maroochy River where the brightly coloured kites from the kite surfers cut a striking contrast to the steel grey sky.
I round the point and follow the beach for a few kilometres. The normally crystal clear water has turned a muddy brown from the rain and storms. The shore is covered in a wide band of thick brown foam. The foam is shin-deep and it’s impossible to see through it. I can’t tell whether there’s drift wood or holes ahead of my next foot fall so I try not to run through the foam but sometimes I can’t help myself, and I have to run through the water and foam.
After running all the way to the far end of Maroochydore beach I run back to the mouth of the Maroochy River where I complete my run. I stop on the massive sandbags that form a wave break at the mouth of the river and watch the kite surfers play. Some are focusing on speed while others do tricks, jumping high into the air. It’s a lovely way to end my day.
Total: 5.61km run @ 5:47 min/km barefoot along the beach.