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Photo: Ray Salisbury

Outdoor Tracks

Runs of good fortune

A tough run where you will stray far beyond your comfort zone. GRAMPIANS RESERVE

NELSON TASMAN

Route: The classic start is from the Botanics sports field. Run along Milton St towards Atawhai Drive, where the small, well-maintained track starts directly opposite Founders Park. Zigzag uphill for 15 minutes through shading gum trees, with 11 switchbacks. This steep climb will have your blood coursing through your veins. The air at the very bottom of your lungs will be replenished with every stride. Dig deep to get to the top stile, where you will be greeted by a grove providing respite from the sun. Run along the face of the Malvern Hills through Sir Stanley Whitehead Park and be rewarded with magnificent views over Tasman Bay and Nelson. This is a tough climb on a summer’s day but try it in the cool evening and the twinkling Nelson lights will be your gift. After the last ‘kissing gate’, loop around the Centre of New Zealand to take in the view up the Maitai Valley. You will soon descend back to the Botanics, to be greeted by dog owners, soccer players and the glorious sports field where, on Saturday, May 14, 1870, New Zealand’s first recognised game of rugby took place.

The Gum Tree Climb

Outcome: Consider yourself enlightened.

Kick up your heels and run in and around Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough. Keen runner Stuart Bathan finds the Top of the South has ample tracks for those inspired by fitness, nature or both.

N

elson Tasman is known for its outstanding mountain biking, laid-back beach days, accomplished arts and crafts, scrumptious food and classy craft beers. It also has amazing running and walking opportunities. Here are my top running/walking route suggestions for residents and visitors alike. These tracks will put you in touch with the wonderful Top of the South rivers, beaches and amazing vistas. They are all low-traffic routes. Some have a gradient but don’t be deterred – see the changes in slope as a frontier for growth and strength.

This is a run that can be done once a week and allow you to train hard for any upcoming events. An old Chinese proverb says, “Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.” This loop will remind you that sometimes the best run happens on a day you didn’t feel like running. Allow 50 minutes. Highlights: Spectacular views over the Boulder Bank (Te Taero o Kereopa) and Port Nelson. A well-maintained track of tall, shady gum trees. 40

Grampian Reserve

A tough run where you will stray far beyond your comfort zone. Sam Harris, American neuroscientist/philosopher, argues that there is no such thing as ‘free will’. Fundamentally, your unconscious brain makes decisions. So this is a run where your conscious brain has told you to avoid the peril of a long, steep climb but one day your unconscious brain will decide that you are ‘ready’ to run. Accept that you are merely a passenger in this process. Allow two hours.

Profile for WildTomato

WildTomato January 2020  

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WildTomato January 2020  

Running & Walking Trails | Willow Bank | Fighting Fit | Regional Pride | Dining Out | Blackenbrook Wines | Maruia Springs | Olympic Rowing H...