The single thing I love the most about living in Hamilton is that there are plenty of options to go for a run. There is an abundance of green areas – parks, river paths, lakes – in and around the city. After 4.5 years of being restricted to the treadmill and the occasional desert run it is an appreciated change.
Speaking about changes, having four seasons here is quite refreshing as well! Autumn has given me some nice sceneries along my runs and walks. What follows are three of my favourite routes of the moment, along with some snapshots I took on the way.
1. Run along the Waikato River
Last week I ran along the river all the way up to Wairere Drive, where I crossed the river and went back from the east side. The first half was far more beautiful than the second, as a substantial part of the way back was along the road, but despite that it’s a route I will definitely run time and again. Albeit right in the centre, the track makes you feel like you are far away from the crowds, unless you go there on a sunny Sunday afternoon. In that case you will find lots of families biking, walking, or jogging. It’s a route that showed autumn colours in full swing, and I am looking forward to seeing the first fresh greens and blossoms in spring. I have never been further north from Wairere Drive towards the footbridge, but I am eager to try that part as well, as it must be very beautiful. Here are some more images of the route taken in late summer and autumn.
2. Run along Hamilton Lake
Clearly, I am not the only one who enjoys a run along Hamilton’s most visited lake. Whenever I go there – at least once a week – the path is packed with joggers. It is also a popular track among mothers with their young offspring, and from time to time I spot a parent running with his/her baby in the stroller. I am already looking forward to taking Maria on such runs as well, but I think she needs to be a bit older for that. If I took her on a run now her head would be juggling from side to side. The nice thing is that this lake is hardly a kilometre away from home. I often use this part to warm up and cool down before and after my run. If I go for a walk I usually take one lap around the lake, but when I’m running I tend to do two, which makes a nice 10-km route.
3. Run to Hamilton Gardens and back
A third favourite route of mine has been along the river as well, but towards the renowned gardens in south-east Hamilton. It is a slightly more quiet route, especially the path along the western bank. The paddock along the eastern bank has been my favourite part of the run in autumn. The colours are just gorgeous! It is a route I choose when I don’t feel like going for a long run, but if, while I’m running, I feel up to going a little bit farther than initially planned I can easily include the actual gardens in this route, which has numerous stunning paths.
Now that I got back to running regularly, I am curious to find out more routes in town. For those living here, please let me know what are your favourites!