I like the ‘Bikini Run’. It leaves from Manly and has 3 kilometres of concrete path until you reach 40 Baskets Beach. From here it gets a little gnarly as you rock hop along the beach (particularly if the tide is in) until you hit the start of the dirt trail and upward climb and stairs. You hit the top of the point an head down more stairs on the other side to Castle Rock Beach.
It was fun sharing this with @steverd66 yesterday. He was up here for work so we hatched a cunning plan to go for a run and restore our mojo by getting in touch with nature (well as much as one can with public transport) so caught the Fast Ferry across to Manly.
We were both reasonably fatigued (Stephen had completed Melbourne Marathon on the weekend and I had finished a days training already) plus I am training to heart rate so we took it reasonably easy as the sun started to set as we ran.
We made it to Forty Baskets Beach in no time and made quick work of the rocks. In the diminishing light, we climbed the stairs. Usually I run most of these, but after doing strength training and stair repeats the night before, I was happy to hike them.
It was getting quite dim as we neared the top so we broke out the head torches and suddenly hundreds of eyes appeared from the bush as startled possums glared at the lights with their glistening eyes.
We pressed on. This time running down the stairs towards the beach. We stopped to take some photos of bandicoots, but they seem to know when you are about to take your phone out and then run off. A surprise was seeing a tawny frog-mouth owl glide silently from its vantage point on a rock to the safety of the trees.
The stairs became more compressed, steeper and windy. The stone stairs made way for carved stairs from solid rock or irregular bluestone. This was fun I thought as we sped down them. Finally we made the stairs at the end of the trail and descended to the beach for a quick pause before doing it all in reverse. What started as a 60 minute run had turned into a 90 minute run!
We wrapped it up with some water from Manly wharf. I chewed down a WPI protein bar and we caught the last ferry back to civilisation.