City 2 Surf 2007
Old American Guy: Excuse me. I just flew into Sydney today. Is there a race on or something?
Me: Yep. The City 2 Surf. Largest fun run in the world.
Him: Where does it go?
Me: From in the city here all the way out to Bondi Beach. It’s like more than 8 miles. And hey, you sound like me!
Him: Where are you from?
Him: Did you fly all the way here just for this race??
I wish I’d said, “Yeah, I’m the favorite to win.” But instead I said, “No, I live here. I’m just waiting now for my husband to pick up his stupid race number.”
Anyway, the Snook got his number and we took our positions in the Back of the Pack. (Last year we started in an earlier group, but the Snook had left his registration too late this year. So we were in the big group with the walkers and the strollers and the freaks in gorilla suits.) The gun went off and it probably took us twenty minutes just to get up to the starting line. We were literally in the last 500 people (out of more than 64,000) to start the race. I’ll tell you what though – running with the fatties and the babies sure makes you feel like you’re flying! We ran pretty much all the way to the tunnel at the end of Williams Street. After that, we alternated between jogging on the flat and downhill sections, and brisk walking on the hills. We passed thousands of people. In Double Bay I was thrilled to see the same 80’s hair band rockin’ out on the pub roof as they did last year. We made an effort to use the drinks stations more this year (it was a beautiful, hot sunny day) and I was checking our pace pretty frequently with the Nike+ iPod kit. Heartbreak Hill was hard, but mentally I was just so much more prepared this year. (At one point, Rodd commented that “This is where you pretty much broke down last year.” I laughed and started jogging again.) We were both hurting on our descent into Bondi, and I’d been nursing a mild stitch since the 3km mark. But we persevered. The Snook knew just how to motivate me, letting me set the pace and pointing out other racers that he knew I would hate to let beat me, like the “Peaky Striders” (a walking group of old women in bright orange shirts who kicked my butt at several events last year) and the inevitable dork in a gorilla suit. We sprinted the last bit to the finish line, raising our arms for what should (hopefully) be a pretty awesome photograph. Our revised goal for the day had been to average less than ten minutes a kilometer, and thanks to all the jogging we did, we pretty much smashed it. The iPod registered a time of 2:01:30, which works out to a pace of 8:48 per kilometer. So that’s a little slower than last year, but better than expected considering our injuries and lack of training. Getting home was the usual headache of endless queues and bus rides, and we stumbled in nearly six hours after we’d left. After a shower and a sandwich, I was off to the masseuse for some much needed relaxation… And now we’re both dealing with the inevitable aches and pains. But we did it!