FKT: Nikki Love - Perth to Sydney - 2023-07-16

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
76d 3h 43m 0s

Setting off from the stone jetty at Cottesloe Beach, Perth at 00:15am UK Time (GMT
+1) on 1st May 2023 and finishing in the ocean at Bondi Beach, Sydney at 00:58 UK
Time (GMT +1) on 16th July 2023, my recorded distance on my watch totalled
4,044km. For this adventure I was supported by my partner, Sharif Owadally, who
drove a small campervan which was our bed for the majority of the nights, as well as
containing all our food, water, and equipment.
My aim was to run as far as I could each day during daylight hours, mark the finish
line, and then restart there each day. The initial plan was to cover 60-63km per day,
but this proved to be over ambitious, certainly for the first 4 weeks, and I settled into
a 55km per day goal as the run went on.
Each day we recorded the process of starting my watch activity, starting the Spot
GEN4 tracker I carried, recording the local and UK time and me crossing the line that
marked where I finished the day before.
I had planned on wearing a light vest with water and a few snacks in it, which I
initially did, but after a few days this was causing me issues with rubbing and just
wasn’t comfortable. So, another part of the original plan changed and Sharif would
go about 3-5km ahead and wait instead of the planned 10km! Eventually, after trying
another 2 packs (I had a very old and worn one I had brought just in case, and Sharif
had brought his as well), it was decided we needed another solution. So, on day 14 I
was able to find a sports shop and bought a Solomon running belt which I wore for
the rest of the run to carry my tracker, my phone, and toilet items in. This, combined
with Sharif being only 5km ahead so that I could drink and eat at the van, worked for
the following 60 or so days!
The route was pretty simple there’s a few major highways that will get you from Perth
to Sydney! I stuck to the highway except when I found side roads or the huge water
pipeline which offered a quiet dirt service road. There were a few major directional
changes on the way and the biggest directional change, and possibly the most
significant milestone, of RunAustralia was the left turn at Norseman onto the Eyre
Highway.  This 1,640-kilometre road was our home for the next 5 weeks or so.  One
road, very straight (it includes a 90-mile stretch of straight road!), with not much in
way of things or people on it!
With very little access to resources we did have to start being mindful of our water
usage and food supplies, with up to 200 kilometres between the roadhouses. The
pains from weeks 1 and 2 were beginning to dull a bit, but the temperature during the
day was still hotter than expected, which was causing me to struggle at times. And
the flies were ever present, doing their usual work shift from 10am until 5pm.
Some people say that the area around the Eyre Highway is dull, boring, and
unattractive. I saw it otherwise, a beautiful landscape full of colour and variety. And
every morning I was treated to a stunning sunrise that I would run towards.
It's hard to describe how it feels to know that you have thousands of kilometres to
run, much of it on the same road. And how it feels to see that road stretch out in front
of you for what seems like forever. It was tough. But I kept focusing on that day and
tried not think too far ahead.

On the Eyre Highway I ran the Longest Straight Road in Australia, crossed the
Nullarbor Plain, was kept company by a dingo that ran alongside me for a good
10kms, avoided huge wedge-tailed eagles feasting on fresh roadkill, sidestepped
snakes and spiders moving about, and stepped over other roadkill including
kangaroos, dingoes, foxes, cats, wombats, echidnas, sheep, goats, owls, mice,
frogs, and the biggest pig I’ve ever seen on the side of a road, and went through at
least 5 pairs of Mizuno’s!
After the Eyre Highway we cut through the south part of the Flinders Ranges and
into the hills of east South Australia. Beautiful scenery, many windfarms, and friendly
And then it all started to change. The highway was becoming busier, towns more
populated, and I was seeing signs for Sydney! I was covering at least 55km a day
and had found a rhythm that would take me along the Hume Highway, over the Great
Dividing Range, and on to Sydney.
Running through Sydney on the last two days was a bit strange. I had gotten used to
being alone on the road and looking a bit out of place. Now, I was having to avoid
bumping into pedestrians! I was joined by a few people who had been following me
on Instagram, and arrived at Bondi Beach, where I was greeted by my sister and
I ran down to the water’s edge, with Sharif following behind me, and then it was over.
I’d run across Australia! 4,044km, 76 days, 3 hours, 43 minutes.