Running in Western Australia – Karijini National Park to Broome

Despite the increasing heat and humidity I managed to fit in a dozen runs, totalling over 70km, during my ten days travelling through Western Australia from Perth to Broome. Sunset and sunrise were the only possible times to run without getting heat stroke, and also offered the best views and light when the shadows were long, and the colours deep.

Karijini Eco Retreat
Our wonderful campsite in Karijini National Park, home for three nights. We arrived at sunset, allowing enough time to head out for a run to explore the place and venture out onto the dirt main road for a bit. The termite mounds are at their best at sunset, a deep, rich red reflecting the heavy iron ore content of the soil. The horizon at sunset was pretty colourful, with the bush fires clearly visible. I’m glad I brought my headlamp as darkness soon fell, and I had to try and refind the campsite…

The following morning was quite pleasant at 6am so I headed back out up a hill for views over the endless landscape. By 6.15am it wasn’t quite so pleasant though, with the temperature rapidly rising as the shadows shortened. I was glad of the downhill return, but the absence of shade by then made it hot work.

Thanks to the camp snorer I made an earlier start the next day, with the sun breaking through the clouds as I ran. It was about 25C overnight, and quickly warmed from there. I was starting to get used to the heat, though combined with a lack of shade and hills made for decent wake up exercise.

Second run of the day and one of the more exiting ones as a storm was brewing nearby. This combination with the setting sun made for a dramatic landscape.

Another hot night despite some rain requiring some rapid tent zipping, and my final run in Karijini National Park. Despite the cloud cover it was ridiculously hot, probably over 30C by 6.30am, with no wind. Which explains why I drank 3 litres of water every morning before 8am.

Pardoo Station
A cattle farm pretty much in the middle of nowhere, running at Pardoo Station was a challenge given the high humidity. The only route was the dirt road leading to the station, long, flat and straight. Thankfully I had something to look at to my right on the way out, and some wonderfully atmospheric lighting by the time I returned.

It was a similar story the next morning, only with the rising sun and some wonderful broken clouds creating a dramatic sky.

Broome
The last, longest and hardest run of my trip, in 30C heat and 70% humidity, with no shade. I was staying near Cable Beach so headed down at 6.30am to run along this epic beach. In the distance was the distinctively orange Gantheaume Point. It got tantalisingly closer as I ran, though as ever with long beaches it’s easy to underestimate the distances involved. After 5km I decided it wasn’t worth trying to reach (had already visited it the day before) and turned around to head back. The clouds would tease me by seeming to always remain 20m ahead of me as I roasted in the sunshine. Saw some great reflections on the wet sections of the beach but I was very glad once I finally reached shade and water.

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