FKT: Jase Trimmer - Bondi to Manly Walk (NSW, Australia) - 2020-07-17

Route variation
Standard Out-Back
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
21h 42m 37s


This trail  is entirely on public land and for most of the length utilises existing harbourside and coastal walking track.  Many councils had operated their own trail systems around the harbour in the past, however it wasn't until 2017 when they were all knitted together officially. The Bondi to Manly Walk trail opened on 08 December 2019 and is managed by the Bondi to Manly Walk Supporters, their mission is to protect, manage and enhance the public land and natural environment on Sydney Harbour foreshore. The Bondi to Manly Walk is 80Kms in length officially.

This was a unique opportunity for an FKT project in the most beautiful harbour city in the world, along a unique, historic, scenic and challenging trail right on my doorstep.

My FKT took 2 attempts - my first attempt failed.

Attempt 1 - 30/05/20

I attempted a supported FKT on 30/05/20, however after 115km, on the return leg, my GPS watch "malfunctioned" and I lost the GPX file, without the file I couldn't prove anything and I had no back-up, a real short-sightedness on my part, after 135kms I was picked up at North Sydney by the Harbour Bridge and called it a day. The day had started well from Bondi Beach at 0600hrs, the official start point, paced by Lisa Swan and son Jamie (on bike) who would be capturing the attempt on film. After some 20Kms we were joined by Matt Denton who ran with us for a further 10Kms, so cool to have friends that believe in your dreams. Gavin Leathem then joined our group near to the Sydney Opera House, took us over the Harbour Bridge where we had a quick pit stop at the 35Kms mark. Traversing the South side of the Harbour hadn't been a breeze, the trail hugs the coastline, however at times a quick study of the map/app was required to ensure we were following the correct route, just because this is a city trail, it could possibly be more difficult as the trail signage is sparse and there are lots of turns. We were rewarded though with fantastic views of the harbour and the Saturday bustle. On the North shore the trail runs for another 45Kms and is more wild with historic, military camps. I made a couple of wrong turns but got back on track after realising the errors. Gavin and Jamie dropped off by the 65Km mark as navigating the trail with a mountain bike was proving very difficult given the steps and elevation. I met my wife and other sons at Manly Wharf, almost half way, to eat and drink. By now it was evening, dark and the unknown part of the trail was yet to come, navigating North Head, quite a wild area, by headlamp. After turning around at the 80Km point, at Manly Beach (the trail end) and running some 35K back along the trail towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge, my GPS watch failed, as I alluded to earlier, seemingly the GPX recording stopped and the file disappeared. With no way to prove my attempt I bailed at 135KM.


Attempt 2 - 17/07/20

With hindsight I was able to prepare myself much better for this next attempt, still an itch I needed to scratch. I found out a couple of days later that the two runners I had met briefly at the 70Km point on attempt 1, were actually running the out and back FKT, just like me, on the same day - how about that! Jase Cronshaw and Reyel Puyet recorded the first official out and back FKT supported in 23:25 - congratulations. Some of the landmarks that the trail navigates, public parks and historic military camps are secured and locked at night, which meant diversions have to be made. I wanted to traverse the trail as best I could and so I calculated that on attempt 2, my start time would have to be at 0200hrs on the day of departure to make it back through some of those landmarks. I now treated attempt 1 as a reconnoitre run.

My wife Carolynn and son Jamie dropped me at Bondi Beach on 17/07/20 at 0200hrs in the morning and I knew that this time there were no excuses. I had double back up for GPX files, two mini power banks and two mobile phones, one of which was running Gaiagps app with the GPX route downloaded to ensure that I did not go off track. The weather was kind during the day and I made good progress in an unsupported fashion, with no pacers all the way to Manly where Carolynn and my sons met me with hot chips and Coconut water (my go to beverage currently). I arrived in Manly, the trail end, in almost 10 hours exactly with a couple of small diversions on the way, as National Parks had trail works in progress and some small closures with detours. Traversing North Head and Middle Head during daylight hours was much more agreeable and faster with minimal navigation issues. I made good return progress on the North side of the Harbour and crossed the bridge just as the heavy drizzle set in for the evening. Frustratingly I missed the Botanical Gardens gate closure, next to the Opera House at 5pm, by 15 minutes and so had to detour around the Gardens, which actually after studying the track on Strava, was more or less the same distance. Matt Denton then met me at Rose Bay and ran the last 20Kms with me until meeting a small welcome crowd back at Bondi Beach - 21:42:37, a new Supported FKT, mission accomplished.

The trail is a delight, many of my supporters, life long Sydneysiders, had never seen some of the sights along the trail, small coffee kiosk at Chowder Bay, South Head lighthouse, a 108 year old pedestrian suspension bridge at Parsley Bay and artillery fortifications at Middle Head, to name a few. The trail navigates multi-million dollar suburbs and in contrast wild bush areas with abundant birdlife and mammals.

If anyone plans to run an FKT on this route in the future, please reach out so I can share my experiences, for something that is so close to our doorstep, this trail is still gnarly. I'll gladly give some advice on this trail.



All worked well for me, pack didn't rub, no blisters, nothing failed.

Hoka Speedgoat 4 trail shoes

COROS APEX 46MM (still approx 50% battery remaining at the end of the FKT)

SUUNTO (AMBIT 3 RUN) - as a back up to the COROS APEX

2 x Samsung Galaxy mobiles with Gaiagps app for route locating and taking pictures


2 x small powerbanks and assorted cables for recharging.

Black Diamond Spot Headlamp and spare batteries

Ultimate Direction FKT pack

Montane ultralight rain jacket


Dusty trails Froggy running cap

Injinji running socks

Naked running band

Spare running top and spare socks

Small dry bag


What did I consume?

Weather was cool which meant I didn't sweat that much, so I didn't drink heaps. Took most calories through real food. Hot food is always good at the halfway point with salt, used English Breakfast tea bought at Balmoral Beach Kiosk as a pick me up. I didn't have any nausea, didn't bonk and had sustained energy throughout, stomach was good.

1 x 600ml bottle of Tailwind

Drank water from 'bubblers' (park waterstations along the way).

2 x 600ml bottles of Coca Cola

1 x 600ml bottle of Bundaberg Ginger beer

Some confectionary

2 x bananas

Hot Chips (at Manly) - carried remainder in plastic bag to consume on return leg

Salt tablets

3 x Cliff Bars

2 x cups of tea

1 x Calypso lemon ice block