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I just ran my first City to Surf

I’ve finally made good on one of those ‘personal goal’ things and done it – the City to Surf 2008.

All up, it was really fun. If I had read these words even a month ago, I’d probably slap myself in the face and tell myself “are you crazy?!”, but yeah, it was actually fun. I did zero training (one run around Iron Cove Bay through the week), so I had no pressure on myself at all.

I started in the Blue group outside the Museum, and listened to some poor bloke on a microphone trying his best to rev up a crowd of some 70,000 people – no small effort. While he was giving himself a new hernia with all his shrieking, everyone was basically striking up chats with whoever was nearby and throwing clothes at the people to the sides (no, it’s not a stripper thing, people just jettison clothing once they warm up, to leave behind for the girl guides to collect for charities).

We finally got moving around 9:20am. William St was a breeze, and people sorted themselves into general slow, medium and fast lanes, except for fat middle-aged shaved-head geezers who had to make you aware that they were Very Important, and shoved their way through anyone vaguely in their path. Old women, children, didn’t matter.

After Edgecliff, the first downhill run was well-timed, and there was a heavy metal band playing out the front pf a pub in Double Bay who put everyone in a great mood. Note to self: add some Rage Against the Machine to the jogging tracklist.

And Heartbreak Hill? I’m going to sound lame here, but to be honest it wasn’t that bad. I’d heard it was overrated, and as long as I’d reserved some fuel in the tanks for it, I should be fine – and they were right. The hardest thing was trying to get into some sort of rhythm to chug up the hill; there were just too many people, and too many middle-aged shaved-head geezers hoofing their elbows into everyone else’s sides. Honestly, having to look at sweaty neck fat blobbing up and down in front of you does not make for good inspiration.

After the Hill, it took me a while to realise I was past half-way, and could step up the pace a bit. There was a bit of a no-man’s land in there somewhere, dotted with families sitting with deck chairs by the side of the road offering anything from water, oranges to chocolate brownies… and then the beach was in sight.

It took for. EVER. to actually finish running down Campbell Parade at Bondi Beach and onto the beach and finish line itself. And not because I was knackered, but just because there were so many people.

And then it was over. My little running chip was off, I’d been offered enough water and Gatorade to sink a battleship, I had my free Sun Herald, and was waiting for the bus back to the city. All a bit of a blur really, thanks to a happy hormone high and being absolutely buggered!

Do it again? For sure. Just watch out for the middle-aged shaved-head geezers.

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