Thursday, August 18, 2005

My 22nd Sydney City to Surf

Sunday August 14 was a typically spectacular day for the 35th running of the City to Surf. This was my 22nd, although not in a row. In 1981 I had a knee injury, in 1982 I was 'out on the highway', in 1993 my foot was badly bruised after hitting a kangaroo on my motorcycle and in 1998 I was visiting Oregon with Gordon and Maggie.

This year Gordon offered me a lift to Sydney as he had to collect some plans and discs at Girraween and also wanted to give the mother-in-law's car a run. We stayed with Bruce in Artarmon and went for a walk down to the park on Friday afternoon. Late on Saturday afternoon we caught up with Andrew Shaw in at The Rocks. Andrew is a very talented runner who was recently training in Cairns with triathlete Simon Thompson. Unfortunately a calf injury meant that Andrew would miss the City to Surf.

On Sunday morning we found a parking spot near the Domain. I introduced Gordon to 'The Legend'. Keith was in high spirits and we chatted about races, training, the form of 'Fast Kath' who was doing the Sydney Marathon and some battles with Geoff Moore in recent Canberra Times Fun Runs.

Just after 9am I jogged with Gordon over to the start and left him in the 'A2' group while I joined the 'A1' group. This is the first time since 1994 (when I ran with Dad) that I didn't try and get close to the front. I talked to Rae Palmer and a girl from South Africa who was doing her first City to Surf.

Liz Ellis fired the gun at 9.30 and we were off! I started my watch at the gun and Forerunner Man when I got to the starting line which only took 25 seconds. The new grouping system worked amazingly well. I stayed over near the right hand gutter and had a reasonably clear run although we all came to a brief stop at the far side of the Kings Cross Tunnel where three lanes had been reduced to two. My first 1.2k to the far side of the tunnel was at 5:02/km pace which wasn't too bad.

Forerunner Man said the blue line to Bondi was 14.1km

The 5km mark at O'Sullivan Road came up in 24:10, just over 2 minutes slower than last year when I ran with Tanja and started with Jim White near the front row. I caught my cousin Don at the start of Heartbreak Hill. The kilometre to the top took 5:49. The Nike Frees were feeling really good and I reached the 7k clock in 35:14. My left hammy had been feeling bothersome but now I was confident of finishing so I stretched out a bit along the top.

Finally, down that beautiful hill with the sparkling Pacific Ocean in the distance. Along Campbell Parade, around the corner and a bit of a 'sprint' to the timing clocks. 66:35 was a bit ordinary as I'd been hoping to run 62 minutes but how could I feel disappointed on such a corker of a day? After the finish I had a brief chat to Aki (74:40) and Tesso (63:30). Then I bumped into cousin Don (70:22) and eventually found Gordon (64:21).

We walked up to the buses and arrived back at the Domain with the parking meter expired by 35 minutes but no ticket! Must have been our lucky day. It sure was. It was one of those days you felt privileged to be a runner and sharing the experience with 50,000 others. What made it even more special after I arrived home was a lovely email from Luckylegs who'd had the "very best time (of my life, not of the clock!) of any of my 17 C2S!!"

See you all again in 2006!


Blogger Carolyne said...

Great report Wombat, it gives an excellent sense of the day.

6:59 am  
Blogger CJ said...

I'm finding it really interesting reading the different perspectives on the day. I agree though it was a beautiful day and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Met the legendary Lucky Legs too!

8:58 am  
Blogger Horrie said...

Glad you had a good run Ewen and Sydney turned on another good day for this great run. Lucky Legs was looking for you after the run as she was eager to see you.

7:35 pm  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

Well, I had to check that you didn't waste time walking during the race, didn't I? I think you ran remarkably well considering you still have a bit of a silly old leg!

7:46 pm  
Blogger Aki said...

Good to see you out there! Couldn't believe my chances of stumbling across you! I have no idea how you can get sub 70 on that course, and you ran it well. :)

8:38 pm  

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