This past Sunday was the long awaited City 2 Surf 14 km run in Sydney.
I have been waiting for this run for ages. Literally, over a year. I was so excited to register this year and I was determined to train and run a really good time. I was aiming for a time that seemed almost out of reach; 75 Minutes.
The last race I ran was in… 2006? I think. It was the Toronto Half-marathon. I finished a couple minutes over 2 hours and I was shattered. I reallllly wanted to break 2 hours, but such is life. I was super stressed that year, starting university, working 30 hours a week and training for a half marathon. I took on way too much…
Well anyway, when the City 2 Surf came along, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to train up and set a rather ambitious goal. This race has got to be one of the biggest in the world. (But don’t quote me on that.) (No wait… you can quote me on that. I looked it up.) They had to cut off the entries a couple of weeks ago because 85,000 people had registered. And I was one of them. The race starts in the Sydney CBD and winds its way down to Bondi Beach. It’s kind of a big deal.
I didn’t actually end up training as much as I wanted to. True, I’ve been running about 6 days a week, however I haven’t ran more than 10km at a time. Usually, I would just do 5kms and call it a day. Needless to say, I’ve been a little bit anxious the last couple days because I knew my goal time was slightly out of reach. I quietly changed it to ‘I’m aiming to break 80 minutes.’
Suddenly, the day was upon us. On Sunday morning I woke at 6am, had a cup of tea, a date stuffed with peanut butter, braided my hair, laced up my shoes and we caught a bus into the City.
My stomach was a little bit in knots. I needed a bathroom about 3 times before the race even started. Just to be safe. And even then, I had to pee from kilometer 1. Oh jeeez.
Sean and I crossed the starting line together, started our watches and then we went our own ways. As in – he sprinted ahead and I sneakily followed him for about 1/2 km.
The biggest challenge of this race is what the Sydneysiders affectionately call ‘Heart Break Hill.’ Basically, it’s a 1km long hill that promises to break you before you’re even half-way through the race. Well Heartbreak my ass. I came and I conquered that mofo. I give credit to all those stairs I climb at work. And to Sydney for being a very hilly city in general. Every single run I go on has a heartbreak hill. Pft, child’s play.
Besides, the biggest challenge for me was the 85,000 people. I mean… that crowd didn’t thin out ONCE. I was constantly weaving through sweaty men and women. It was kind of annoying at first but it sort of turned into a game. I only shoulder checked a handful of people – BY ACCIDENT. And in true Canadian fashion I turned around and apologized profusely.
I didn’t look at my stopwatch at all during the race, but I felt strong and before I knew it I was at 10 km… then 11… and then I saw Bondi.
So the final result?! An unofficial time of 70 minutes and 4 seconds. DAMN YOU FOUR SECONDS! damn you.
Needless to say, I was pretty happy with these results. We’ll see what the Sydney Morning Herald says on Tuesday with my official race times according to the chip in my race bib.
After the race, Sean and I met up at a pre-determined spot, slightly out of the way, and drank some complimentary Gatorade and water.
After a brief walk around Campbell Parade and a couple more bathroom breaks, we somehow managed to grab a table at one of the best cafe’s in Bondi. Trio. It was deliciousssss. Seriously good eating. Or maybe that was the 14 kilometers of hunger talking, I can’t know for sure.
However, I burned it off before we even made it home and I was hungry again.
All in all, it was an excellent day. I’ve had that running high for over 24 hours now, and I’m itching to do another race.
November 13th in Melbourne? Sign me up… This time I’m aiming for a sub 60 minutes.
bahahaha I kid I kid…