distance: 6.6 km
run time: 40 min
walk time 30 min
total ascent: 136m
fastest pace 5:42/km
average pace: 6:05/km
Courtown Forest is definitely a hidden gem!
I parked my car at the leisure center and ran the tarmac for the first km. It’s not flat, but no long climbs at all, just a gentle up and down. I had a gale force wind blowing straight down from the north pole i my face on that stretch though. I’m rather pleased with a 6:50 min split for the first km. There is a little bridge that lets you cross a river over into the forest.
The forest tracks on the far side of that bridge were exceptional. They are pretty flat for large stretches and lovely and spongey, perfect running ground. Unfortunately they only continue on for another km so rather than turning around i started to look for a side track that would allow me to loop.
I’d say it was a bad mistake except, well, at least now I know there is no loop ‘that way’. I got completely lost on a track that went from narrow to no-existent and found myself fighting through dense trees and shrubbery being driven by pure stubbornness. I gave in after about 10 minutes, spent another 10 minutes fighting my way back and then cutting across a golf course to end up on a road that lead me back down to the beach.
It was good fun!
I ran back on the beach for maybe 300 meter before dipping back into the forest. As my time was toast I did another excursion off the beaten track (at km 5) which was no real improvement either, just narrower and more roots so I wont be going that way again.
It’s definitely a nice alternative to running up the hill. 6.6 km were no real major effort and I can see myself returning there very soon. it’s certainly pure bliss to not have to face a 240 m climb every time you want to go running and I think it will do nicely for my pace training.