Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Running with Mr Kangaloo

I'm currently in recovery mode after a big weekend down in ol' Sydney town. A highlight of the trip was finally meeting Tokyo-resident blogger Steve Lacey for a couple of Aussie-style training sessions.

I left for the smoke on Saturday after completing an interval session on the sumptuous grass of Stromlo Forest Park. Speedygeoff and Ken set the pace, with myself and Katie battling for third place. 3 x 1000 metres in 3:54, 4:01 and 3:55 with a 1000m recovery jog in about 7:15. I was very happy with that; especially finishing so close to sub-20 5k runner Katie.

I finally met the famous Steve L on arrival at my mate Bruce's place in Artarmon. Steve and a car-load of kids followed us down to Cremorne Point, where I was incredibly impressed by Steve's precision reverse-parking skills. The kids went for a swim in MacCallum Pool while we drove to the start of our run in Sirius Cove. It was an iconic Sydney bush run – a 6km loop around Bradley's Head with occasional stops to admire the stunning harbour views. Nothing like this in down-town Tokyo eh Steve? Afterwards, a refreshing swim in the salt-water pool completed day one.

On Sunday morning, at the respectable hour of 7.30am, Steve ran down to meet me at the Milson's Point stairs to the Harbour Bridge. I've got to admit, his arrival at a huge rate of knots had me worried about what might be in store. Would an old decrepit wombat be able to keep up with a young frisky Japanese-trained ninja? I needn't have worried. Steve was honourably restrained in pace as I took him on a tour of Sydney city running courses, starting with the last 3km of the Sydney Marathon and it's Opera House finish. Then, up past Don Juan's Boy Charlton Pool for the William Street start of the City to Surf. A lap under the famous fig trees of Hyde Park before heading back down Macquarie Street to the Quay, through the rocks and over the coat hanger where I left Steve to run the boring bit back up to Chatswood. For me, the run totalled 15.9km at 5:36/km – very definitely in 'upper aerobic' territory, but great gut-punching stories passed the time and made for a memorable run. Thanks Steve!

On Sunday afternoon the weekend finished me off with another bush run up at Pennant Hills. I ran with Bruce, Ivan, Richard, Anne and Ian. It was a rather hilly run – 9.4km of 'fun', trying to keep up with legends Anne and Ian. I was so tired I had to walk the final hills, but Ian, being a true gentleman, dropped back and accompanied me to the finish. Once there, cheese, biscuits and strawberries were enjoyed by all, along with the coldest beers I've tasted in a long, long time. Thanks Ian!

The bush near Sydney Harbour is a great place for a run!
The bush near Sydney Harbour is a great place for a run!

A bloke with a beard in front of the coat hanger.
A bloke with a beard in front of the coat hanger.

A better looking bloke with a beard in front of the coat hanger.
A better looking bloke with a beard in front of the coat hanger.

I tried to lose Steve in Sydney, but failed dismally.
I tried to lose Steve in Sydney, but failed dismally.


Anonymous TOH said...

Sounds like a great way to have finished off 2007. All the best in '08. No doubt we will see in during the year.

8:04 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

A great end to the year for 2007 Ewen. Hope your 2008 goes better than 2007. Good luck with the ACT 10k titles. And thanks for all your advice on how to make myself a bit speedier than I was the year before. See you at Six Foot.

8:38 pm  
Anonymous strewth said...

Happy New Year Ewen! Great piccies. You sound like you had a fantastic, if exhausting time in Sydney. What a way to finish the year. Look forward to joining you on slooooow runs again!

8:43 pm  
Anonymous IHateToast said...

how could you not have cold beer in canberra?! the entire city is on an iceberg.

i think you're 10 bearded blokes short of a decent calendar.

10:36 pm  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

Happy New Year Ewen, nice coat hanger!

4:28 am  
Blogger Spark Driver said...

Great pics there Ewen. The brige ones look fantastic.

Thanks for your support of me and my blog. You have kept me motivated and inspired over the years. I wish you good health and running in your future.

8:57 am  
Blogger Phil said...

Great pics! Thanks for sharing the running tales also.

I wish you all the best in 2008.

2:53 pm  
Anonymous Steve said...

Sounds like a really good end to the year. Hope 2008 is even better than the one just gone.

12:08 am  
Blogger Dusty said...

Happy New Year!! Wishing you lots of PRs and an injury free year!

It is so beautiful there, I really would love to go to Australia!

12:38 am  
Blogger Grellan said...

Ewen, those 1000m reps are very impressive, well done. You've certainly sold Running in Sydney. All the best for 2008.

4:34 am  
Blogger jen said...

What a trip! Great job on the training. It sounds challenging but very fun. Happy New Year!! :)

6:49 am  
Blogger Tesso said...

Soooo, did you bruise your knuckles when you punched him in the belly?

Hey, great work on those 1000s by the way. I hope to return to that sort of form one day soon.

3:36 pm  
Blogger Tesso said...

Whoops! Have I wished you happy new year yet??? If not ... HAPPY NEW YEAR!

3:37 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

So many great places to run. Sounds like fun :) Happy New Year!

5:12 pm  
Blogger Horrie said...

That must have been good to catch up with Steve in Sydney. Happy New Year Ewen and look forward to seeing you soon. Probably at Explorer's Tree on March 8.

7:13 pm  
Blogger Bruce said...

The 'smoke' sounds like not a bad place to go for run. It's great you can run over the coat hanger, can't do that with ours (another thing you Aussies beat us at).

7:57 pm  
Blogger Scott said...

"My city of Sydney"

Sounds and looks as good as ever Ewen. Almost perfect, well except for that one blinking cloud above your head in the bridge photo. I suppose you didn't even notice it. Too busy dodging dog turds and herion addicts.

I hope that cloud didn't follow you around the whole harbour!

9:13 pm  
Blogger Rob said...

It sounds like you had a good time in Sydney Ewen. It was good of Steve to restrain himself; very honourable indeed.

9:38 pm  

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