FKT: Keelan Birch, Daniel Stein - Solitary Islands Coastal Walk (NSW, Australia) - 2021-09-04

Route variation
Standard route
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Total time
5h 45m 0s

With all our races canned due to covid-19 Daniel Stein and I ran from the northern most beach in the Coffs Harbour LGA to the southern most. This is a signposted route by lighthouse markers.

We started at 5.25am at the first lighthouse marker which is at the start of beach access to Red Rock Beach and straight into the classic soft sand slog all the way to Arrawarra Headland. The section from Arrawarra Headland to Moonee was great as usual, we refilled 500ml and Woolgoolga and again at Moonee at the public taps. Plenty of water from public taps and toilets on this run.. Really lovely coastline. Luckily today we had favourable conditions with Moonee Creek being the highest crossing at hip high and relatively good cloud cover with a slight tailwind. There can be multiple chest high river crossings if there has been a recent storm surge. 32km so far on the "easy runnable" section.

Moonee to the Jetty always sucksss even on fresh legs. The combination of very slow soft sand beaches of Sapphire, Campbells, Hills and Korora in between hilly headlands and road is always slow work and tough It also got pretty warm from Sapphire onwards. My legs were shot from 35km and I was shuffling all the way to the Jetty to 45km, not eating much but sips of coke.

The last 12km is quite easy compact sand but I was struggling with a lack of mileage lately and legs were so cooked. However quite glad to "run" Boambee Beach and Murrays Beach, although definitely trailing Dan all the way by 20m or so (let's call it social distancing).

The finish (according to NPWS website) is the large sign at Bonville Headland which we touched at 5hrs 45mins - note our gpx file continues 100m to another lighthouse marker past the sign which is NOT the finish and not sure why it is there but we touched it anyways for completeness. Though not my best run it was a great adventure along ~20 beaches and definitely achievable for someone to come and beat this new FKT.

I would recommend loading a GPX as some of the markers can be hard to see from the beach. However once off the beach the markers are well placed. We followed the lighthouse markers exactly - there is probably 100 markers total? My girlfriend gave us each 500ml coke at 46km so that makes it a "Supported" but very easy to do unsupported.