Does the thought of running on a treadmill at the gym between other sweaty people just make you groan with boredom? It may be a good option on Brisbane's frequent rainy days but on a morning when clear skies reign, why hit the gym, when you can take advantage of Brisbane's many dedicated walking and cycling tracks. Some of the most picturesque are:
Just minutes from the city is Mt Cootha and its thick, unadulterated bushland. Several gravel tracks wind up and across the low mountain, all well maintained. If you prefer bitumen to dirt, the road which meanders up the back of Mt Cootha (Sir Samuel Griffith Drive) is quite graduated and not as frequently taken by drivers as the steep main road to the summit. This is the run for you if you want to forget you are in the city.
This is my personal favourite route. Along the Brisbane River with incredible views of it's many bridges and the city, runners, walkers or cyclists can make their trip as long as they want. A brand new bikeway stretches from the Regatta Hotel in Toowong to the city, but the path continues past the botanic gardens, Storey Bridge and can even stretch all the way to Newmarket if one is willing to take a few side street detours. Multiple bridges mean runners needn't even take exactly the same path back but instead can run along different sides of the river each way. There are no cars or resulting petrol fumes to deal with and the path is either concrete, bitumen or boardwalk the entire way with drinking fountains and covered seating areas at regular intervals.
Okay this isn't exactly a Brisbane route but it simply must be included. A half hour drive north of Brisbane, its probably better for those longer weekend runs. It is also possibly the nicest. Again, one can make it as long as they want, with a path all the way from the Sandgate Esplanade, across the Houghton Highway Bridge and then right around the peninsula to Scarborough at the north end of Redcliffe. For the most part, the connected pathways are metres from the beach and surf so you could even run along the sand if you so wished. Running along to the sound of waves hitting the beach and the chance for a dip in the sea before heading home to shower? Yes please!
So what are you waiting for? Get out of the gym and head for the great outdoors next time you need to get the heart pumping.