The 2018 Canberra Walking Festival is doing something new with the half marathon this year. We have split the Saturday marathon route into two equal halves, so you will get the opportunity to chose to do either the first half or the second half of the marathon route. This then creates a dilemma for 21km walkers: which route to choose? Here are a few comments on each option to help you decide:
Early option/first half of the marathon:
- starts at 7:40am immediately after the marathon (or if you are walking with a marathoner you could start at 7:30am), so you will finish nice and early
- in addition to Lake Burley Griffin, the route goes through the Jerrabomberra Wetlands, around the Carillon (Aspen Island) and includes some of the memorials along Anzac Parade
- for those who have walked the 21km distance in previous years, you will cover new territory in 2018
- the route includes some gravel, grass and boardwalk trail sections
Later option/second half of the marathon:
- starts at 9:30am, so your will not have to get up so early (some of the faster marathon walkers may catch you up)
- the route go down Weston Park and Black Mountain Peninsula, which have not been included in recent years
- the route is more straightforward and is solely on shared use paths – if you find the paths too hard on your feet you can opt to walk on the grass or dirt verge in most areas
The overall difficulty of both options is fairly similar. The early option has 96m of climb across the route, and the late option has 151m of climb, but the extra 55m of climb is negligible over 21km.
So the choice is yours. Do you want to start early or late? If you are a repeat walker, do you want something a little different? We think that both routes are lovely, with the likelihood of spotting kangaroos on either option (at the end of the Wetlands section on the early route, and in Western Park on the late route).
This is the first year we have offered a choice for 21km walkers on Saturday, so let us know what you think. Should we continue this option in future years?
An important note: there is also a 21km option on Sunday. This is a point to point walk, and we bus you out to the start of the walk. The bus leaves the Albert Hall at 9am for all 21km walkers.
Editorial note: This option is being offered again in 2019, but the late starters will depart a little later (at 10am) to better align with the marathoners who are coming through.