I like visiting Brisbane - the river city.
On the day i turned up nice and early, cold and - shiver me timbers - shivery.
Prior to the start, runners congregated at the Southbank Piazza for the pre-race instructions.
Brisbane, the river city, is also a city of bridges. The race ran over the newly opened Go-between bridge and the popular pathway/cycleway Goodwill bridge. Runners would also have caught sight of Kurilpa bridge, the Grey Street railway bidge, and three others: William Jolley bridge, Captain Cook (southeast freeway) bridge and Victoria bridge named after a Queen. I know a lady named Victoria. Her friends call her Vicky. Queen Vicky. 'She's my friend. I believe I'll go see her again'.
I am quite familiar with this area of Brisbane. It is a regular haunt at my work delivering.
On the north bank is the CBD limits. After rocking up and down the Go-between bridge, the race course then follows the pathways built on rugged rocky banks at Coronation drive, thence on the Bicentennial bikeway below the busy thoroughfares of North quay, ducking down under and along the Riverside expressway, past the commercial and government buildings including the parliament house, through mangroves, and then on to the Queensland University Technology (QUT) campus in Gardens Point. From here the course rises slightly past a grassy and sloping outdoor events venue called ‘The Riverstage’. We then descend down into the Botanical gardens before looping out again to the riverbank through some more pleasant avicennia forest foliage, combining features of the gardens, and merging with mangrove trees on the river edge.
There is a timber boardwalk here which provides a rare natural respite in the middle of the city. It is constructed at mid-trunks height of the large stand of mangroves but wasn't part of the run route. The Brisbane botanic gardens also incorporates guided walks where you can learn about the Dirrabel people, stories about the early settlement of Brisbane, and the remains of a convict built wall. I will pass the way of these botanic gardens again.
The course then enters the north end of the Goodwill bridge under the Captain Cook bridge. The Goodwill bridge is great for taking in some of the scenic sights of Brisbane and the river. I laboured uphill to the high point of the bridge right in the centre of the river. The bridge thankfully went downwards again towards the Maritime museum back at Southbank. Plodding on i followed the marshalls directions on Lower river terrace towards the Kangaroo Point cliffs. This place is popular with rock climbers. From there we then headed back towards the start/finish line in the parklands, about 3kms along the river. It may have been closer to 2km but you know-
The finishing stretch went along the 'grand arbour' pathway. This one-kilometre long pathway is lined on both sides by magenta bougainvillea plants wrapped around twisting steel tendrils. I ran (if my jog can be described thus) past cafe decks and Streets Beach at Southbank. This unique, man-made swimming beach, overlooks the Brisbane river and CBD. This is the only beach in Australia found in the middle of a city and one of Brisbane's most popular attractions. It is a little cold this time of year but come summertime, one can laze and frolic for hours on the crystal clear lagoon, the white sand beaches, pebbled creeks and shallows surrounded by shady palms and sub-tropical trees and other such exotic plants, not to mention the beautiful Queensland girls.
But back to the business at hand - where are we? Oh yes running!
I must have gone dizzy there for a moment...
At the finish, runners had access to drinks and fresh fruits in an area next to the Piazza alongside the arbour paths.