Saturday, August 18, 2007

My 24th City to Surf

Photo by the cheersquad with just over 1km to run
Lulu has just asked "where's the C2S report?" – the greatest 'fun run' in Australia was held last Sunday. It was my 24th City to Surf. I was just a boy of 23 when I ran my first in 1980. Now, I'm just a boy of 50.

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.

1981DNSKnee injury
1982DNSMotorcycle trip
1993DNSMotorcycle accident
1998DNSTrip to US/Canada


Blogger R2B said...

Great seeing you out there Ewen!

I have duely? saved your advice and i will be writing a plan that will attempt to cover it.

Cheers R2B

9:42 pm  
Blogger Stu said...

Congrats Ewen, a lot faster than 2006! :-)

11:26 pm  
Blogger IHateToast said...

splain 1993, harley boy.

11:41 pm  
Blogger Sekhmet said...

Hey Ewen, I was one of the "number of other CRS's" you cheeky bugger lol

5:39 am  
Anonymous Em said...

Great run and improvement on last year as well, you are doing something right.

Bloody long day though

8:44 am  
Blogger Gronk said...

Great to see you out there mate. That's quite a C2S record you've got there !

11:56 am  
Blogger Superflake said...

A great record of runs Ewen. I've just worked out my goal for next year 53:32.Usual bet, one Cap? I was working at Avis up near the tunnel in 88 and saw the start as it came up the hill. I probably saw the Ewen flash as it went past chasing Action. See you at Sydney, but I'm doing the full marathon for the first time.

2:14 pm  
Blogger Shane said...

That is a pretty impressive list there Ewen, Congrats on improving your time on last yaers results. Lets hope that your training gets your times down to the 62 goal for next year.

3:13 pm  
Blogger Lulu said...

Very impressive record..and a nice race report too.

3:19 pm  
Blogger Rob said...

it was great to see you Ewen. that sure is an impressive list of times there and still more to come.

3:39 pm  
Anonymous Steve said...

Congrats Ewen, looking forward to catching up with you in Melbourne.

Did I read your entry correctly, a 2.45 am start, that's night-shift.....

9:26 pm  
Blogger Bennyr said...

Well done, Ewen.

That was a tough day, and you nailed a good time.


2:21 pm  
Blogger Tesso said...

Holy crap, there are some fast times there!!!!

Pity we didn't get to catch up. See you at the MCG if not before.

2:24 pm  
Blogger miners said...

fantastic report mate, and fantastic to see you, albeit briefly, after the race. Wish I could one day post a 24-race record table like that :)

5:29 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

Nice race. It must be great to have 64000 close personal friends.

8:45 pm  
Blogger Spark Driver said...

Great race report there.

11:25 am  
Blogger Bruce said...

Nice run, thats some record over the years. It sounds pretty well organised for a fun run with starting corals and all. Thats a far cry from our anuual fun run in Akl. Round the Bays gets over 60000 runners every year also but basically apart from a few elites who get to start right on the start line, its every man (& woman) for themselves.

6:40 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations & great race report!

home fitness

11:05 pm  
Blogger Horrie said...

That's a mighty fine C2S record there Ewen. That was a huge improvement on last year. So it looks as though the training is working for you.

5:48 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

That's a great report. I'm glad you had such a nice day :) I can't believe you were up that early!! What a looong day. I'm tired just thinking about it. Phew!

9:49 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

A good solid run Ewen. Looks like you certainly enjoyed it. HADD appears to be taking you in the right direction - perhaps not at the pace you anticipated.

How do you run with 64,000 ohters and cross the start line within 10 seconds of the gun. - were there multiple starts?

8:27 am  
Blogger 2P said...

Nice work Ewen - I've only done one '83 or '84 - too many people and not enough hills for me :-)

10:46 am  

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