Queens Domain parkrun – Hobart (Tasmania)

Date: 24 February 2018
Distance: 5km
Time: 29:06

Who would have thought that Hobart houses one of the most impressive art galleries I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. The Mona (Museum of old and new art) – originally (and officially still) called Monanism, is a antique, modern and contemporary art museum, founded by David Walsh, a Tasmanian millionaire. From the outside the building seems to be on a single level, but once inside, a spiral staircase leads down three large levels that are built underground into the Berriedale peninsula in a labyrinthine style. In contrast to the Guggenheim Museum in New York where visitors work their way down with a spiral, at Mona visitors start at the bottom level and work their way up. Entry is free for locals, whereas overseas visitors pay $28pp.

We were meant to be on our way already but, decided semi-last minute to visit the art museum, stay another day, do the other Hobart parkrun, and the Salamanca street market, before heading north. Great plan, but unfortunately the weather decided to throw a curve ball.

At one of the few spots still available for the night in Hobart at Seven Mile Beach, we pitched our tiny tent. It seems to be a thing Melbourners do these days – hop over to Hobart for the weekend. So most places are fully booked out. After dinner and a glass, we were in bed.

During the night a few good showers made sure we would not pack away a dry tent. I would drift in and out of sleep to the sound of raindrops on the tent flysheet. By the morning, it was still raining, sometimes just a drizzle, and other times bucketing down. That made me less than keen to go out, and get one of about three sets of clothes completely soaked. Including one of only two pairs of shoes. But, what the heck, we stayed the extra day, so crawled out of the tent and off we went.

With just a banana for sustenance on the way, we drove the 20km to the botanical gardens at the Queens Domain. Walking to the start and waiting to be set off, we were already quite wet. And it just got worse from there, as the rain got more intense.

This was only the sixth running of the event, and their peak number of participants were 400. At on average of 265 participants, this parkrun is a decent size. A short out-and-back stretch at the start of about 300 metres one way, made up for the course distance shortfall. The course runs out-and-back around a wee mount, on what is called Max’s Infinity loop. Starting off in a clockwise direction, you run all the way around back to the start area, before turning around and head back in an anti-clockwise direction. The terrain is a mixture of tarmac, off-road on a thick layer of mulch (which is being tested by runners for use elsewhere), and a bit of trail over the last 600 metres. A few inclines were sure to break the monotony of a flat course. The environment was mainly bushveld with gumtrees and rock, with a view of the city a few hundred metres away. It was of course covered in a cloud of mist.

By the time we finished we were totally drenched. This was my wettest parkrun to date :).

Back at the campsite, we propped all the wet stuff into car, had a nice warm shower and started heading north. So much for staying the extra day for the Salamanca market. With pouring rain that got far worse as the day progresses, the open street market would certainly not be fun. But at least we had another parkrun under our belts!


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