The Cape to Cape, is a 125km walking trail that runs from Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. It needs little introduction here, and walkers in particular should check out the official Cape to Cape site. This page is more of a discussion of some things of interest to runners.
Running the Cape to Cape
It is not too hard to find a good spot to start a run. Find any section and run it as an out and back. You are pretty much guaranteed a good run. My strong advice is to run the long beaches at low tide (Injidup, Boranup and Deepdene at least), and not to run during the day in summer. The Cape to Cape is nearly completely unshaded, and gets very hot in summer.
To mangle an expression, the Cape to Cape’s bite is worse than its bark. On a map it looks somewhat easy – not too much elevation, not that much beach. However on long runs – say 20km and up – its difficulty becomes apparent. The difficulty is the trail does not have much in the way of easy sections. It is all small hills, or softish sand, or slightly technical sections – nothing to calm the heart rate.
Usually – if you have a choice – running north to south is preferable as you have the wind in your face in summer, wind at your back in winter, and the sun at your back as well.
Possibly Moses Rock to Gracetown for the scenery. Deepdene Beach at low tide and swell for the general awesomeness. Cape Naturaliste to Yallingup is a reasonably fast section. Oct and Nov are great for wildflowers along the whole track.
History of Running the track
The first I know who ran the track were Dunsborough locals Michael Baldock and Andrew Cohen who ran south to north in December 2010 (I think). Time – maybe 19+hours – and it is noted they didnt run the exact track – but kept to the beach instead of looping out at Boranup for example.
In May 2016 Margaret River locals Bec Hannan and Martin Tonna ran sub 24hr (north to south), and kept to the official trail. This might be the first end to end along the trail (male and female) under 24hours.
Since then running the entire track has been a popular pastime. Here are some known times. At the time of linking local club runner Katie Lovis was the fastest female.
Cape to Cape Love Letter
I love the Cape to Cape. I am not a end to ender, but I am a weekender to weekender. To me the track is a wonderful asset to our region.
It is interesting to ponder the history of the Cape to Cape. It started – and still is to a large extent – a collection of old fishing tracks, surfing tracks, and even farm tracks. Sometimes these tracks were cut illegally (or perhaps unofficially) by farmers using their tractors to get down to their favourite fishing spots.
Almost none of the 4WD tracks remain (for 4WD use), but it is easy to see what sections were once used by vehicles. Of couse a certain amount of single track as been cut specially for the Cape to Cape, but less than you think, and only gradually from its inception around 2000.
I think it is this accidental nature of the track that gives the trail some of its charm. Its history is part of its character, and I hope this remains for the future.
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