12 kilometres (7.46 miles) along the western edge of Brisbane Water then across the top to the park between the Sailing Club and the Sea Scouts (Route map). There's a concrete cycle path most of the way but it's bloody hard on the feet over that distance.
Marshalling area for the Woy Woy to Gosford Fun Run. 7.40 on a cold morning on the Woy Woy waterfront, people shivering in shorts, dogs nosing around and kids asking if we were there yet.
There was a small crowd doing a warm-up in front of a tent and the serious runners were over near the start line doing their warm-ups. Most people were wandering about looking for friends and trying to get warm. It can't've been more than 3 degrees (37.4 Fahrenheit).
Lone kayaker coming up to the start of the Run. Lovely day for a Fun Run along the water. Cold but still and sunny. The cloud came over by about the 3 kilometre mark (1.86 miles, quarter of the way) but by then we were getting warm anyways.
The ferry wharf is just out of shot on the left, there were several spectators reclining on it, all wrapped in their warm jackets. The pines in the background are at the Memorial Park, on the far right is the pub near the lights, the Bay View.
Marking the start line. Not sure what they used to mark it. Looked like sand or something. This was a couple of minutes before the start.
All the eager beavers are up the front, raring to go. The bloke on the bike and the other one in the fluoro top are marshalls in charge of escorting cars through the course and following the last person to make sure they didn't keel over or something.
And they're off! SEA FM radio station fired the starter's pistol, that's their ute on the right with the starter standing in the back. There were blokes on bikes and on foot patrolling the route to make sure no-one got hit by a car. The road wasn't closed to traffic and the cars came nosing through like a vegetarian shark through a school of short-sighted fish.
The cycle path is not finished at the Woy Woy end. We had to go along the road for the first hundred metres or so. But after that we started to spread out and the cycle path began. The path runs right along the water most of the way to West Gosford. Halfway round Fagans Bay, in West Gosford, it cuts up to the Pacific Highway then round the water at the back of Garnet Adcock Park. From there we went over the Pacific Highway overpass, over the railway line, and back down to the water. The 11 kay (6.84 mile) mark was at the Gosford Wharf. That last kilometre was a bastard. My feet were really starting to hurt and I could see the finish line round the curve of the bay. So close and yet so far and all that.
Some of the walkers. Maybe a dozen sprogs the size of those two on the left walked. They must've been pretty tiresome by the end but it can't've done their health any harm.
From Woy Woy to Point Clare the path is pretty open. You can see across the water to Saratoga and Green Point and up to Longnose (Point Frederick). At The Point Clare roundabout (traffic circle) the path plunges down beside the road and goes along to TS Hawkesbury and through a pedestrian underpass tunnel thingy. From there to the Yallambee Avenue turn-off it's all trees and park and water, all park along that part of the shore. The path winds in a very pleasant manner so there's always trees in your line of vision and it was so nice it was easy to speed up.
Being a Sunday morning it was quiet. Thought I heard the steam train going up to Newcastle or whereever it goes but that was about it. A few people in their slippers were coming out of their houses to watch us come past and ask what we were doing. I was a bit peckish again by then and was tempted to snatch the bacon sarnie out of his hand.
Round Fagans Bay it's mainly mangroves on the water side and pines and gums on the land side of the path. Very pleasant. We came out at the elbow of Yallambee Avenue and were sent up to the Pacific Highway overpass. Got a nice view from it right down to Woy Woy and Lion Island (annotated version).
When we came off the overpass we were down on the Gosford foreshore. The path was right along the water again after the Wharf. A gentle curve round past the swimming pool and the Sailing Club then into the park there to the finish line. It was bloody good to go through the finish and know I'd made it all that way.
I sat and watched the rest coming through the finish line. The park was getting crowded and fragrant with the smell of snags (sausages) and onions and BBQ sauce. The queue for sangers (sandwiches) was long and full of people complaining about their feet so I had a cuppa and a bikkie (cookie).
The last three through the finish line. It was a long walk but they stuck it out. There were keep-fit runners, competition runners, brisk walkers, elderly walkers, blokes pushing prams, kids on scooters and the 89-year-old.
The first runner took 38 minutes and something seconds and the last walkers must've taken 2 and a half hours. When we started we were in two bunches, runners and walkers, by the end we were all straggled out in small groups.
Hung around for the announcements. There was a holiday on the Gold Coast coming out of the barrel after. They had to draw it five times, half the participants had cleared off by then and four guys missed out on the free holiday. They announced the first half dozen placings and listed all the sponsors and drew some minor prizes out of the barrel.
They had a computer crash and couldn't announce the team results today they'll be in the paper (Express Advocate) next week and I'll link them. A couple of blokes called Matt came first and second and there was an 89-year-old guy who apparently finishs every year. Good on him. Hope I'm still going strong at his age.
There were buses back to the start and it was good to look at the route out the bus window and know you'd walked it. It was a bloody long walk and hard on the feet and I'm bloody glad I did it. I'll be in it again next time.