Darby River Run - Reports

Darby River Recce Run Report—2nd September 2015


It was nice and warm in the afternoon by the time we got to the Prom. We headed out on the track towards Tongue Point, taking pictures when we saw an opportunity for a great background. Once on the track, the first few hundred meters are on dark sand with wooden retaining walls (careful there, it’s easy to trip both up and down). My first “Wow!!” moment was when I saw Darby River from the side of the hill—it’s just beautiful! At about 0.7 km into the run we got the first glimpse of the water—absolutely stunning vista!! I think Paul hasn't heard this many “Wow!!! This is so beautiful!!”–s in such a short period of time in his entire life.

A bit of up and down followed with pictures at every good opportunity. There are sections where the waves are clearly audible and the smell of the water is just refreshing. We were lucky, that in the warmth and sun, there was a lovely breeze to cool us down a little.

From the Junction, there is a little uphill on the grille, then downhill to the turnaround at Tongue Point. I must warn the very fast ones, that there is a point where if you don’t slow down enough and turn right, you’ll end up flying downhill. Just putting it out there… At Tongue Point it is worth stopping and looking around, it’s so beautiful.

Going back from Tongue Point, there is a bit of an ascent, which continues quite steeply for the ones doing the half marathon. Paul has stopped his watch here and he has restarted it on our way back, so he can measure the short course. Some of the ascent is on grille, which feels strange compared to the sand, but it has definitely traction. I’s especially weird downhill.

It’s a pleasure running on this course, with its undulating single trails, some of them all green, just like in a forest, others sandy (but compact). We saw a wallaby a couple of times, had the chance to enjoy the waft of the blooming bushes and various wild flowers. The descent towards Darby Saddle is quite a fast one with a beautiful view of Squeaky Beach on the right.

When we got to Darby Saddle, Paul shared a Picknic with me; we realised the course will not make up for 20 km, unless we add some more to it, so we decided that I run down to Fairy Cove and back, then we will see. I took off so I could get back by the time Paul reaches the Fairy Cove turn-off. I ran down to Fairy Cove—very steep!!— washed my face in a puddle, then walked back (it felt even steeper uphill). Haven’t seen Paul, so I kept running, when I heard someone yelling. I walked, then I stopped and just enjoyed the view. Still beautiful!!

When Paul caught up with me, I told him, that the Fairy Cove detour is only 550 m extra, we need to find something else, too. Paul suggested I ran down to Darby Beach, to the end where Darby River meets the ocean and back. I stepped on it so I could get back by the time Paul arrives to the car. Those last two kilometers seemed like eternity (especially because most of it was on soft sand)!! On the other hand I loved running on the beach, listening to the waves break (a swim would have been nice, too).

Clocked 20.04 km which will vary on different watches.

In summary, I would say that this course is the concentrated best of the Prom (except for the beaches, of course) runs in a short (OK, relative to the other Prom runs) distance.