I feel like it’s been awhile since I’ve run in a developed country. While running in Asia, it was ill mannered to throw on my sorties and run shirtless, so I resorted to my teen days of basketball shorts and shirts. But, like any time one descends on a new area, a new set of dress codes, social norms and ideologies apply. Running in Australia (and oddly enough, walking down the street) gives the opportunity to reintroduce the shorty shorts into the wild. Hallelujah!
Staying in the city of Melbourne, I started my run at the intersection of Toorak and Glenferrie road. The run starts at the top of a hill, and heads down for about 200 meters until the turn off toward the Capital City Trail at Kooyong Station. The trail itself runs along the train tracks, weaving in between road, buildings and secondary schools. For a small stint, the path is barely wide enough for my broad shoulders, with a chain link fence blocking the path from the railway.
After passing by St. Andrews boy’s school, and doing a small stint through neighborhoods, I was able to find the main path for the Capital City Trail. The path itself is a small, two lane pavement trail that allows bikers, runners and walkers to enjoy views of the Yarra River, as well as Melbourne City. With cyclists (not bikers) seemingly always being a nuisance, there are parts of the path that are designated for walkers and runners only.
On my run, I ended up doing about a nine mile out and back. For the duration of the run, I was able to follow the sounds of the Yarra River dragging by, while taking in the warm summer air, and constantly cruising toward the backdrop of Melbourne proper. Those on the trail are able to see the MCG, Federation Square, and the new soccer stadium outside of Richmond. At one point, on the street side of the path, there is a lovely café built like a ranch style house made of faded brown wood. Locals come here to watch the athletic-obsessed train in the midday hit, while sipping coffee, tea or an array of adult beverages.
While the path is absolutely beautiful, the scenery does stay the same. For the entire run you are starring at the city and the Yarra, while jumping between paved and dirt path. This, though, isn't a bad thing. The trail goes all the way to the city, but runners can jump off near the end and do loops around the Melbourne Botanical Garden if they see fit. Make sure to take a long stroll down the Capital City Trail to get a great glimpse at a beautiful, metropolitan city.