My 24th City to Surf
Travelling back on the bus to Canberra with the cross country club group, Trev asked if I was happy with my run. I said I was very happy. I'd run 14k from central Sydney to Bondi Beach, with 64,000 friends, over a few hills, feeling pretty good the whole way. I'd run 69:16 (although my place card said 69:37), 4 minutes quicker than last year, and fast enough to stay in the A1 group for 2008. At the beginning of the year I'd set a goal of 62 minutes, but that was never going to happen. I'm starting to see some signs that Hadd training is working, but it's a long process. Maybe next year I'll approach that 62-minute goal.
This year, race day started at 2.45am. I met a mate for the drive into Canberra to catch the bus at 4.30am. We arrived in Hyde Park, Sydney, a bit over 3 hours later. I jogged over to The Domain, our usual meeting place and warm-up spot. I bumped into legend Keith Mayhew, who has finished every City to Surf since 1971. After warming up, I joined my fellow sub-75 minute runners in the A1 coral, 30 minutes before the start, and passed the time chatting to Adam from Speedygeoff's group.
Our start was surprisingly good – losing only 5 to 10 seconds crossing the line, and being able to run quick enough to pass 3km (actually 2.86k according to Forerunner Man), in 13:38. I really enjoyed that flat section through Rose Bay, 5k in 23:56, before changing down a gear or two for the plod up Heartbreak. I caught up to Aki near the top, after following her ponytail for quite a while. She wasn't having a good day. The clock at 7k said 35:53, so something under 70 minutes was on, as the second half, with all the downhill, is about 2 minutes quicker.
I felt really good running the flat/undulating bit (10k in 50:44), and continued to do so on the downhill, and the seemingly endless run to the finish. A highlight was seeing the CR cheersquad, doing a great job, near the bottom of the hill. I spotted Jen_runs, Tiger Angel, Don Juan (having a cow of a time) and a number of other CRs. The final 300 metres down Queen Elizabeth Drive is always a buzz. I refrained from sprinting, wary of creaky calves and such.
All in all, it was a brilliant day! I love this race. Sorry I wasn't able to catch up with many people afterwards. I might see you in Sydney for the Harbour Bridge run or at the MCG for the Melbourne Half.
|1998||DNS||Trip to US/Canada|