I arrived in Auckland at about 6 o’clock this morning, which meant I had several hours of waiting before I could check into my hostel. Having already realized this on the plane, I figured I’d put my luggage in storage and then go for a good, long run. This was partially to kill time, but was also because I feel like taking a run through town is one of the quickest ways to get my bearings in a new city. So I studied my guidebook’s map of the city while on the plane to try to figure out a good path for my first New Zealand run. The book suggested Auckland Domain, being as that it’s supposedly a big hit among local runners, so this is what I opted for, especially since the park looked super close to my hostel on the map.

When I got to my hostel and double checked with the front desk about the location of the Auckland Domain, the guy looked at me funny and said I’d probably prefer to run along Quay Street. I let him give me directions, but only half listened because I’m stubborn and fully planned to go to The Domain anyway.

The good news was that The Domain was indeed close to my hostel – a little less than a mile. The bad news was that The Domain is hilly hell for runners (if it really is the runner hotspot in Auckland, then they must be masochists). I did a mile inside the park, with a good portion of that being me trying to find the quickest way out of there without having to turn around. Once I exited the park I hightailed it to Quay Street, which was quite the pleasant run, albeit very straight (Who knew the hostel guy would be right?).

I think what I liked most about running along Quay Street was that when you cross over to the waterfront side of the street you don’t have to deal with crosswalks anymore. My pace was seriously screwed today because of the constant waiting for traffic signals. Some big pluses though were that I finally got to use my iPod Shuffle and my spiffy new Nike+GPS watch, which worked magnificently. I’m looking forward to making a beeline straight for the waterfront tomorrow. Hopefully I can get a little more distance in now that I won’t be spending a good portion of my run just trying to figure out where the heck I am…