For those who have been following the Run Where I Live Series Link-Up WELCOME! You’ve made it all the way down under!! No matter where you have come in from, I’d like to present Run Where I Live – Central Coast, NSW!
Firstly, I’d like to point out where we… approx. an hour and a half north of Sydney, the Central Coast is the perfect location for a quick getaway and an AWESOME place to run!
So let’s start by presenting you with how tough life is when you get to run amongst views like this..
Where to run:
The Central Coast is very runner friendly, for both road and trail runners. For Road Runners, it’s probably easier to select the area that you wish to base yourself – Terrigal, Avoca and The Entrance are excellent start/finish locations with plenty of amenities (public restrooms/cafes etc.) for when you are done.
These locations are extremely popular on weekends, so I stress to get there early for parking. Alternatively, if you were looking to run into a beachside location like Terrigal – park at Wamberal (there are a small band of shops along the Central Coast Highway), follow the highway to Ocean View Drive which then will take you down into Terrigal, take a left at the final roundabout on Terrigal Drive and head up the small hill which will take you to the heart of Terrigal itself. From here you can choose to run up to the Skillion bringing you to about 5km from your original destination. A return journey will let you hit the 10km mark.
Another great run route is through The Entrance, over the bridge to The Entrance North and up through the walking tracks at Terilbah Reserve to the Holiday Park. If you park at Toowoon Bay Beach the return journey taking in Bay Rd to The Entrance will also be about 10km.
Finally, if you are looking at a longer distance – then the safest bet is to follow the walking path around Tuggerah Lake. From it’s starting point at Picnic Point Reserve through to Chittaway Bay it’s a 12km journey along the waterfront. It’s an amazing and calming view to run beside, but be careful if there’s been a downpour – areas of the path can become submerged!
For trail runners we have a 10km loop journey through the Bouddi National Park, starting at Maitland Bay Information Centre. This is a sand trail, trail, beach course which is also for mountain bikers and is labelled as a moderate course. Parking is $7 for the day.
Alternatively there’s also Wyrrabalong National Park at Bateau Bay which gives you a series of shorter (3km one way) trails up to Crackneck Lookout. This is an easy course.
For more information on the National Parks service – click here.
Finally if you do need to get your track kilometres in, then the Mingara Athletics Track (at Mingara Sporting Complex, Tumbi Umbi) is available for public use training Monday to Fridays from 3:30pm – 7:30pm. There are costs involved.
Groups to run with:
Terrigal Trotters – The Terrigal Trotters run every Saturday at 6am, leaving the Terrigal Surf Club Car Park. Runners of all ages and abilities are welcome with the runs anywhere between 10km – 18km. There is a $2 cost involved.
Central Coast Cross Country – This is more a seasonal running club, with a one of registration fee of $20, then weekly race fee of $3. There are 3 race distances to choose from – short (1.5km/2km), middle (3km/4km) and long (6km/8km). They will also have a couple of 12km runs in 2015. These events occur Saturdays at 2:30pm (Autumn/Winter).
Central Coast Run,Jump, Throw – This is again a seasonal meet occurring at the Mingara Athletics Track- occurring in Summer on Saturday at 8:45am. There is a registration fee of $20, then a weekly competition fee of $6. There’s a weekly 3km distance event and then on a couple of programs there may be a 1km, 1500m event.
I honestly can’t write this piece without mentioning Parkrun. There are Parkruns located all over Australia – to check out one near you click here.
This is a weekly timed 5K run which is free to join in! All you have to do (in order to get your results and points) is register, print out your barcode and then get yourself to an event! The local Parkrun for the Central Coast is located at the Mt Penang Gardens (next to the Waterfall Cafe) at 8:00am and is a mix of road, gravel and grass (maybe a bit of mud if it’s been raining). It does have a couple of inclines, but overall is a fantastic course to get your run in.
Currently there’s about 60 -100 people who turn up weekly for the event, so it does have a bit of a smaller feel to those up the freeway at Newcastle, however it’s a great way to get a 5k run in with runners from all ages & abilities!
Running events on the Central Coast:
We have two big running events on the Central Coast, occurring in June and November.
If you’re keen for a completely flat point to point run when the weather is cooler then the Bay to Bay Running Festival is for you. Starting at Woy Woy for both the 12km & 21km events, the run takes you alongside Brisbane Water and finishes off at the Central Coast Stadium. This run is always incredibly scenic and really is a great event. It has to be one of my favourite yearly runs! It’s typically held on the second weekend in June.
If November running is more your style then the Central Coast Half Marathon is definitely one to look out for. This takes in the Tuggerah Lake track from The Entrance up to Chittaway Bay and back. It definitely isn’t as scenic as The Bay to Bay, but it’s an extremely flat course with some great local support. This race offers both 21km & 10km distances.
Here’s some other tips for you:
We do have a great independent running shop at Killarney Vale, called the Coast Runners Shop (140 Wyong Rd, Killarney Vale). It’s definitely your go to if you wish to pick up the vibe of the local running scene or want some more assistance in getting your running gear. All the staff are runners themselves so they definitely are in the know!
Trail running shoes can also be picked up at the Erina branch of Mountain Designs (Erina Fair Shopping Centre, Terrigal Drive, Erina) – an Adventure Gear chain. They have some great sales from time to time – I managed to get a headlamp really cheap – and also stock Clif Bars (YAY!).
Loving Local Organic Foodshop (Shop 2,82a Ocean View Drive,Wamberal)– One of the best places to get organic food, it’s located on Ocean View Drive (handy if you’re looking at the Wamberal – Terrigal run) AND stocks all the Blue Dinosaur Paleo Bars (trust me, they’re awesome).
For the BEST milkshakes on the Coast, stop off at Oomph The Foodstore (57 Victoria St, East Gosford).
Thanks for joining the Run Where I Live Series – hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the Central Coast, NSW down here in Australia. One more tip for our Northern Hemisphere friends: Summer runs Dec – Feb and highly recommend getting down here during that time (it also just means getting out earlier before the heat hits).
For a complete list of ALL the running spots associated with this series- check out the Run Where I Live landing post.