One of the great things about being in a place like Wellington is that you are not too far away from a trail and can easily escape from just pounding the pavement. As a runner it’s important to add some variety to your runs and trail running is definitely one of the best options available.
Running on trails is actually highly recommended for all runners because of a number of reasons:
- It allows different parts of your leg muscles to be activated
- Slows you down and is easy on the legs (going up anyways)
- Builds leg power and strength
- Potentially leads to lower injury risk
- Gives variety and gets you to explore new places and enjoy your run more!
Read this article from Runners World on why Trail running is good for every runner.
Anyways I’m pretty hooked on trails and about 60% of my runs I try and incorporate a trail run when I can.
So one of my favorite trail loop is the Polhill track. The track starts in Aro Valley and goes up to Brooklyn and is a gradual climb over about 4-5ks from the trail start. The loop I do starts at Ferg’s kayaks on the waterfront and follows the waterfront towards Taranaki street and then cross over to Aro street and run up to the start of the track (There is a big sign on your left going up Aro saying “Polhill Reserve”.
From the start you gradually go up (it’s a gentle incline so don’t think it’s a big hill) towards Ashton Fichett drive in Brooklyn or towards Karepa Street. I usually go towards Highbury Road then continue onto Kelburn and then back down via the Botanic gardens to Fergs. Total distance about 12ks and it takes about 60-70mins to complete the loop depending on your ‘easy’ pace. The total elevation gain is about 262meters.
Halfway through you get this awesome view of Wellington!
There you have it – I usually run this loop on one of my easy days Wednesday or Thursday – so if anyone wants to come along get in touch via @74running
Happy Trails until the next trail!