Originally posted 24 August 2015
Update 12 October 2018: please note this blog refers to the course and event series as it was for the 2015/16 series; please refer to the series page as linked to below for details about the 2018/19 series. Running Calendar premium members can get 20% off 6, 12 or 16 series entries for the 2018/19 season. Refer to the discounts page and membership info for futher details.
Last week I went for a run with Nick from the Harcourts Cooper & Co Beach Series and Jason from Triathletes Corner on the new 8km Coastal Run, which is one of the events at the weekly beach series returning on November 3rd.
The other events are the 5km and junior 2.5km beach runs; 500m, 1000m, 1500m and junior 250m ocean swims; and 1km & 3km stand up paddle events.
The only time I've ever run along the coast on the North Shore was a few years ago when there used to be a Run Auckland from Milford Reserve which ran along a section of concreted pipeline at some stage on the course, and further north at Whangaparaoa for the Xterra run at Shakespear, so this was all new ground for me. And it was a lot of fun!
It was a fairly dismal day, overcast and a little rainy, but quite possibly perfect conditions for a spot of coastal running. There's a little bit of everything on this run: beach running, concrete coastal paths, a water crossing, and a bit of rock hopping every now and then.
The nice thing about the course is it's not too long and it's not too technical, so it's a great place to start if you're new to coastal running. It's also a great way to try out and see if something longer like the North Shore Coastal Challenge is for you.
And being part of a weekly series means you can come back each week and see how you improve over the series, and try the course out under a variety of conditions. The Beach Series keeps a full record of your times over the course and you earn series points; to be eligible for the points competition you need to have competed in at least 10 of the 18 events over the course of the series.
The only thing that might have put me off from entering the series is the drive from the eastern suburbs over to Takapuna on a weekday afternoon/evening, but Jason (coming from St Heliers) says it only ever takes him 20 to 30 minutes to get over there so don't let that put you off.
Here's my Strava activity of the run, and the official course map and some pics below.