Ahhh sweet City2Surf. The race itself may be over for another year, but thankfully the glow of satisfaction that comes with competing in the world’s largest fun run is still with me – for a little while at least.
I cannot properly articulate just how much I love this race. Standing at the start line, just one among a sea of 85,000 people all focused on a common goal, is enormously special. Even dancing around on tiptoes I literally couldn’t see to the first rows of competitors – and I was in the relatively small red pack (a mere 5,000 runners strong). As you may know, this year it was extra memorable because my mum, brother and I all ran it together. Well – not together together (we’re far too competitive for that) but you know, ‘together’ in that we entered together, supported each other and limped home together after we’d finished.
Now, before I get into the race itself let’s get something important out of the way. Yes, my brother beat me. Slaughtered me. In his first City2Surf ever (in fact I’m relatively certain it was his first running race since seventh grade cross country) he did the 14km in 64mins flat. I, on the other hand, crossed the finish line in 67.12. A respectable time, but not quite the sub-67 I was after. Mumma Robinson finished in an incredible 86.42 (that’s an average pace of 6.11/km for anyone trying to do the math) – pretty darn impressive for a woman who swore to me that she’d never run.
OK, now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s reflect on the race itself. I wish I could say that it felt pleasant, but that would be a lie… although to be fair, if a race ever feels anything close to pleasant then I daresay you’re probably not pushing hard enough. There were some lowlights (the shuffle I was doing about halfway up heartbreak hill springs to mind), but I’d prefer to focus on the race highlights, so here they are:
Catching up with the crew from home – there’s a big group from Grafton that come down for the City2Surf every year and they are a huge part of what makes the race so special.
Playing tag along the course with Chrissie (a friend of mine) – every year we start together, and every year I slot into her slipstream for the first bit of the race. She always gets away on me, but this year I caught her again towards the top of the hill and we spend another km or two dragging each other along.
The view from the top of heartbreak hill – if you ever enter this race, DO NOT FORGET to glance over your shoulder at the view back towards the city from the top of the hill.
The Smurfs – every year a bunch of guys strip down and paint themselves blue then dance alongside the course in Rose Bay. It’s kinda odd and I couldn’t tell you why they do it, but it’s fun.
The kids – It’s such a community event and so many families line the streets cheering. I always feel like a bit of a celebrity as I run along high-fiving the outstretched hands of the kids watching the race.
The bands – This year there seemed to be more bands than ever along the course. There’s nothing like a little bit of live music to give you a boost right when you’re starting to shuffle. My favourite are always the brass ensembles.
The finish line – ‘nuff said.
After the race thousands and thousands of people hang around Bondi getting their drink on, but I literally couldn’t think of anything worse than tucking into a beer after a race. Instead, we got a fresh juice (and some carrot cake), caught up with friends at the Beach Road (no alcohol for me though) and then headed back into town for a relaxing afternoon.
I’d like to do a big shout out to the organisers and volunteers of the City2Surf. Pulling off an event of this size without any major hiccups is an incredible achievement. And lastly, a huge congratulations to everyone who ran, walked, pushed, pulled or crawled their way through the 2013 City2Surf. 14km is huge, and you should be incredibly proud of yourself!
See you again next year! xx