A Runners Haven in the Hills

SRB_3266Who would have thought that a luxury resort could also be the ideal place for a trail running weekend away? For some reason, mountain bikers have long been well aware of the benefits of paying a visit to an alpine resort during the summer months. Yet for many a runner, the numerous mountain tracks and cheap accommodation rates have gone by unnoticed. Not anymore! Thanks to the intrepid thinking of Scott O’neile, running enthusiast and general manager of The Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa, there’s a place in the NSW high country that prides itself on taking care of runners.

SRB_3239We spent a weekend here along with 30 enthusiastic runners, all preparing for events like The North Face 100 and The Buffalo Stampede. Hosting this training camp were ultra marathon royalty in Brendan Davies and Hanny Alston. Their knowledge and experience in trail running makes them the ideal coaches to quite literally run everyone through various sessions and lectures on all the things you could need to know if you’re planning to tackle an event. Throughout the course of the weekend there were talks on subjects like nutrition, night running, racing strategies and recovery. Plus there were plenty of kilometres covered doing workouts, technique teaching, drills and the best run of all, the Sunday morning slog up Mt Kosci.

Over the weekend we came to discover we love Lake Crackenback Resort! This is no paid for promo, but a genuine observation. Put simply, this joint is about as good as it gets for a running enthusiast that likes a touch of luxury on their running holidays. Sitting on the edge of the Kosciuszko National Park and surrounded by the spectacular Snowy Mountains, the resort is hidden away from the noise and chaos of the outside world and somewhat of an oasis. For most of us, the Thredbo Valley is a ski destination, only visited in the winter months. But come here after the snow has melted and it takes on a whole different personality…plus costs a heap less!

What we love most about it is the access to numerous mountain trails. There are single-track routes that take you around the resort, along the Thredbo River, up and down the alpine terrain. There’s something like 25km of trails to choose from. If you want more or are keen for an epic challenge, then head to Thredbo (10 minutes drive away) or Charlotte Pass and run on one of the many walking tracks that are available, including the mountainous journey to the highest point in Australia, Mt Kosciuszko.

SRB_3264When you’re not running, there are all sorts of activities to suit anyone that loves the outdoors. Go for a paddle on the lake, grab a mountain bike, swim, play tennis or have a hit on the par three golf course. To be honest though, I’d rather explore the trails every morning and afternoon and then spend the middle of the day with my feet in the Thredbo River, watching the kangaroos grazing in the shade.