The City to Surf in Sydney is one of those events that many of us would have on our bucket list. Whilst the race distance of 14k is not a regular distance, C2S boasts that it is the world’s largest fun run, with 80 000 tackling the run from Sydney’s Hyde Park to the iconic Bondi Beach.
This year I was one of a handful of Striders who made the trip. The first thing is to make sure you get put into the correct starting group. If you want to run a decent time it’s worth submitting a time from another event to ensure you get the best possible start. Along with my club mate Jason Croston we secured a red start, meaning we were positioned just behind the elite and seeded runners. Jason had the distinction last year of running 1:00:01, so he had plenty to prove and the sub hour was a goal for both of us.
First tip for those thinking of making the trip next year – book your accommodation early. We stayed at the Budget Ibis near the start line. That was the only redeeming feature of the accommodation. At $250/night I’d expect more. At least I’d expect a fridge and not school camp style vinyl mattresses which can be hosed down after each use. Not to mention the shower which drained directly into a drain located on the tiled floor.
The day itself was cool and with good conditions. Our start group ensured that we crossed the line about 30 seconds after the gun. One feature of the course is that it definitely isn’t flat. It is up and down and the hill located in the middle of the run is very steep and 1.6k long. It lives up to its name of Heartbreak Hill. I had to walk twice on the way up and at the halfway mark of the run I thought I’d struggle to run under that one hour mark I’d set. However what goes up must come down and the last 3k were my quickest of the entire run. I crossed in 59:12 and Jason recorded a brilliant 57:13. Then for the good stuff. A few beers and post race boasting at the Beach Hotel before heading back to Brisbane.
Definitely an event worth doing, tougher than I expected,, and one I’d do again.