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Back to Western Australia


The Basics

Perth is the capital city of the west. Set on banks of the Swan river and the west coast Perth offers a wide variety of running opportunities.

Key Races

Places to run

Perth sits just across the Indian Ocean from South Africa - home of the Comrades Marathon. From early January a number of expatriate South Africans together with some converted Aussies start the training program that prepares them for the June 16th Ultra Marathon. They have discovered some of Perth's most magic runs in their endeavour to make running a long time more interesting:

  • Starting from the Helena Valley Primary School proceed down the bitumen beside the Helena River. After around 2 km the bitumen ends and the run jigs left and then right to cross the Helena River for the first time (in January it is no more than a strip of sand). Follow the gravel track for a couple more kilometres and you come to the lower dam and pump station. From here on follow your nose. As long as you stay on the gravel track you will arrive somewhere and that somewhere should be Jacoby Park at Mundaring. This is 16.1km out and 16.1km back - unless you get lost. There are some variations on this including one that includes a 1 in 4 climb for around 3 km and another that goes on from Jacoby and on to Mundaring before running down the Railway Reserve described below. For info or to join the Comrades Training Group call Phil Webb on 0413327287
  • On the other side of the Great Eastern Highway starting from the top of Morrison Road is the old Railway Reserve track. This is used for the WAMC 40 miler run. From Morrison Road up to Mt Helena and back is 32km - 16km up hill at around a 1% grade followed by 16km downhill. Do it twice and you have 64km (40miles). From Morrison Road the track actually curves down towards Perth and crosses under the Great Eastern Highway with the railway. Runners can then follow the Railway reserve on the otherside up through Greenmount, Darlington (great Bakery), Glen Forrest and Mundaring. At Mundaring the track again crosses the Great Eastern Highway and after about 6 km brings the runner back to Mt Helena. The total loop is around 42km. The Department of Transport have a good little map of this track. Note; government departments like to change their name and change their website URL addresses on a regular basis so links maybe broken.

The Kep Track starts at Mundaring Weir and goes all the way to Northam, and shares some of the above trails for the section from Mundaring to Mt Helena and Chidlow. A new race the Kep Ultra began in 2009 see;

Other features of the Perth hills include the Munda Biddi mountainbiking trail which starts in Mundaring, and also the Bibbulumun Track, which is a hiking trail going all the way to Albany, several hundred kilometres in the south.

The 6-inch 45km run has been an annual run since 2005, and attracted 20 finishers from various countries in the world in 2008.

Running Tracks

Probably one of the most beaten running tracks in Perth is the track that runs around the river along the Perth foreshore, across the Narrows, along the South Perth and Victoria Park river frontages, back across the Causeway and back towards the Narrows. This is all dual use footpath (although a lot of cyclists seem to misunderstand what dual use actually means). This course is known as "The Bridges" by Perth runners due to the well attended annual 10km race held there in April. Beautiful views of the city across the Swan River, and also the early stages of the Perth Marathon in July are also found here.

The Perth Marathon starts and finishes near Burswood Casino on the Swan River. Near here see if you can find the plaque on the river bank to remember Perth long distance swimmer Shelley Taylor-Smith, who dominated many swims around the world in the 1990's. Its about 250m from where the Perth Marathon finishes.

If the weather gets too hot for the unshaded river bank then retreat up into Kings Park. Here there is a six or seven kilometre loop around the boundary of the path with many winding bush tracks inside. The steep climb of Jacobs Ladder stairs from Mounts Bay Road near the Narrows Bridge up to Kings Park is also frequented by many runners.

The second biggest race in Australia is the Perth City to Surf. This race attracts over 20,000 runners, and the 12km starts late August from St Georges Terrace in the Perth CBD. The 12km starts with a solid climb up to Kings Park and meanders along suburban streets to Perry Lakes, before a delightful Indian Ocean view from Oceanic Drive appears, on a steep downhill through the last 1km to finish near City Beach. There is also a 4km walk event starting at Perry Lakes. In 2007 a Half-Marathon event was added, and a full Marathon event was then added in 2009.

Perry Lakes Stadium near Underwood and Brockway Drives in the suburb of Floreat, was the site of the 1962 Empire Games (which became the Commonwealth Games), but was replaced in 2009 by AK Reserve.

TRACK NUMERO UNO; A new era: AK Reserve; In May 2009 a new $73 million state of the art, world class facility was opened at AK reserve on the other side of Stephenson Ave to Perry Lakes, and next door to the world class Challenge Stadium, and WAIS ( headquarters. AK Reserve is the home of and is the venue for the 2010 Australian Athletics Championships, and the 2010 Australian Masters Championships.

A strong Masters Athletics club operates in WA. See

TRACK NUMBER TWO; Ern Clark athletics centre (known by many locals as Coker Park) is in Wharf St, Cannington, near the Westfield Carousel Shopping Centre, and in 2007 was the only other synthetic 400m track in Perth other than Perry Lakes.

GRASS 400m TRACKS; University of Western Australia students are able to train on the first class 400m grass track at McGillvray Oval behind Challenge Stadium, and a short walk to AK Reserve, venue of the 2010 Australian T& F Championships, and also the 2010 Australian Masters T & F Championships. There is also a 1km loop line marked around 3 ovals here next to McGillvray Oval as well.

Reasonable grass 400m tracks are to be found in the summer months (October to March) at Arena Joondalup, Belmont (Gerry Archer Athletic track), Noranda, Langford, Booragoon, Kingsway, Munster, Mandurah and anywhere a good little athletics centre operates. See

Lake Monger is another place that attracts a lot of runners, and features a small 10km race usually in late June. See the WA Marathon Club calender for details. In spring you may also see the baby black swans at Lake Monger, which give the Swan River its name.

A lot of runners and cyclists frequent the sunset coast tourist drive cyclepaths between City Beach as far north as Hillarys Boat Harbour or even further north. This area includes some of the better surf spots in Perth including Scarborough and Trigg Island Beach. Further south towards Fremantle around Cottesloe Beach is another favourite spot for runners and triathletes.

Running Clubs & Groups

Places to buy Running gear incl. shoes

1. Runners' World - Bob and Jan Braid. The undisputed goto place for all runners in Western Australia for decades. 5 Fitzgerald St, Northbridge. (east of railway line in Perth CBD.) Phone 08 9227 7281.

2. The Running Centre was created in 2009. Physiotherapist and world class Duathlete Raf Baugh and his team of high achievers, operate this incredible runners paradise. In 2010 they brought Steve Moneghetti and Craig Mottram to Perth. The Moneghetti running camp they organised, was an amazing development. Browse their website now to get an idea why this place and its staff are one of the most exciting things to happen in WA for decades.

3. Total Triathlon New shop opened in 2006. Claims to be Australia’s premier swim, bike, run and triathlon specialists.

Email: Address: 273 Stirling Highway, Claremont WA 6010 (Next to Shell Service Station) Telephone: (08) 9384 8000 Fax: (08) 9384 8899

As you walk into this wonderful shop you are greated by massive posters of elite triathletes doing what they do best!

Medical & Doctors

SportsMed at the St John of God Hospitals in Subiaco and Murdoch.

Physiotherapy solutions Justin Barich.

The Body Station Physiotherapy Raf Baugh.

Sports Podiatry; Some recommendations on Cool Running threads for;

Emma Cross Excel Sports group 190 Main St, OSborne Park (08) 9345 4221

Darryn Sargant Peak Podiatry 211 Nicholson Rd Subiaco 9388 9999

Lifecare in WA;

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