I am here in Australia on business and pleasure with another Clevelander, Marc Morris. The trip included stops in Fiji and New Zealand as well.
Wherever I travel, I am always on the lookout for running paths and/or greenways to be sure I stay in continual running form and to take comparative notes for our Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway. I had not intended to write about this trip for this column because I did not expect to encounter anything that would tie in with our local Greenway. However, I have been happily inspired by what I have found over the last two weeks.
On this trip I needed to stay in shape as well because I had registered to run in Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia, in a half-marathon called the Zebra Zoom held Sept. 1. While in Fiji, I asked my hosts if there were any good places to run, so a group of us headed to the sea wall in the capital city of Suva. This was a beautiful run with majestic views of the Pacific Ocean and the mountain range. Along the path there were drinking fountains and exercise stations … just like our Greenway.
Then, while in New Zealand the next week I asked my hosts the same question. They recommended a run downtown in the historic city of Oamaru. What started as a routine run on sidewalks ended with a mile along the wharf where the city had placed a running path, benches, a playground, restrooms and public art … again, just like our Greenway.
My final country on this journey was Australia where I had done my online research to find the Dubbo Stampede, which included three races and the only half-marathon in the entire country that weekend. An attraction of this race was its setting, at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
The course led us out of the zoo entrance and into a historic homestead before we shot off onto a beautiful Greenway which wound through majestic woodlands and crossed the Macquarie River on an impressive pedestrian bridge. We ran for a bit in a residential area before turning onto a park with a combination of paved and fine gravel pathways which also wound along the Macquarie. We crossed over onto a combination walk/cycle track which eventually got us back to the zoo where the last three miles wound through its attractions and all the animals toward one of the more unique finishes I have ever experienced.
Although I sacrificed a few minutes off my official time, the views along the race were gorgeous and I couldn’t resist several occasions to stop and take photos to show the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway Board, which meets on the 19th this month. I noted many similarities and also potential solutions to dilemmas we have been dealing with as it concerns our Greenway.
This morning I took one last run in a neighborhood where I am staying in Campbellstown, about an hour outside of Sydney. I started the run at 7:30 Tuesday morning (3:30 Monday afternoon in Cleveland) and headed toward trails I noted when I arrived. What I discovered was a beautiful and functional Greenway that tied the various portions of the subdivision together. Paths wound peacefully through back yards and incorporated some pedestrian bridges and passages under roads, as well as links to a shopping area. I also noted that the real estate leasing office was obviously placed next to the Greenway … a strategic marketing tool.
This adventure Down Under proved to be very productive for me. I hope some of what I have discovered here can be taken into consideration for making our Greenway all that much better.
Facebook: The Greenway