I have been with Striders now for about 5 years and for as long as I can remember Jen has always been there. An inspiration to many with her dedication to training and will to never give up. Its dark, 9 degrees and we are all in jumpers, shivering in the cold, and there is Jen in her shorts and t-shirt heading out to warm up and be ready to go. I must say it so was lovely this morning for Jen to come and say to me “I have something for you, I’ll give it to you now because I don’t want to hold you up later”. After City 2 Surf I sent her a message and asked if she would mind writing me a few words about the event and her experiences and this is the good part….. this morning she handed me a race report “the old fashioned way”! In perfect pen, on paper and held together with a paper clip. Not sure why this has fascinated me but I guess we all just get used to life being so electronic these days with Facebook, emails and mobile phone apps that it just surprised me. Anyway, thanks for sharing Jen and I loved reading and typing it up for you! (RB)
Why have I run in the City 2 Surf 6 times? Well, I have a daughter living in Sydney and it has become a good weekend to catch-up, wine and dine, see a show and of course have a run. This fun run has fascinated me because of the number of participants and the logistics required to move such large numbers including spectators. The start is well orchestrated and as I run in the blue group, a late start of 8:30am is unusual if you are from Brisbane. The weather is usually comfortable to cool and the spectacle of thousands of jumpers being thrown before the race doesn’t happen in Queensland. These are collected for charity.
Transport is free and buses run every 10 minutes so getting to the start is easy. Getting home is more effort because everyone is channelled towards buses that head to Bondi Junction and then bus/train to where-ever you need to go. We have learned to move with the crowd, pick up a coffee and walk the hill to Bondi Junction rather than standing in the bus lines which snake up the hill from the beach, though these lines do run efficiently with the help of marshals. The highlight for some is Heartbreak Hill which is timed. After 6 times it doesn’t seem too bad (as compared to Clear Mountain) as in my group you are only as fast as the crowd. However I am now noticing just how hilly the whole course is except for the last 3km.
There is plenty of entertainment along the way. The Brazilian dancers in brief feathered costumes always get a few photos and of course the Army and Police bands create a great atmosphere. Running down to Bondi Beach brings into sight all the Corporate tents and makes you wish you belonged to one of these.
I suggest that if you decide to do City 2 Surf you should do it twice. The first would be to get a time but the second should be further back in the field to experience the full spectacle of numbers. Stop half way up Heartbreak Hill and look back at the numbers behind you and as you come down into Bondi, stop and take in these numbers again. I still find it breathtaking. I do like to look at some statistics to see where I fit into the whole scheme of things. My number crossing the finish line was 46,000 out of 65,477 total finishers. I was number 20,659 out of 33,599 female finishers and I was number 334 out of 1054 females in the 60 – 69 age group.
But what about this….. 168 women in the 70-79 age group ran, 19 women in the 80+ age group ran and the first woman in this age group did 1:26:29 with an average pace of 5:57 min/km. If you’re into statistics, this race is a great sample size and I still can’t believe that many Striders don’t know much about it.
See you there next year?