Running with Mr Kangaloo
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!