Thursday, August 17, 2017

Lucky in my 33rd City to Surf

Last Sunday was my 33rd time running the 14k from Sydney to Bondi with 80,000 friends and, in retrospect, produced a very happy outcome. My finish time was on the slow side at 73:39 (5:16/km pace) and I finished well back in the field in 10,013th place but I didn't get injured. That's a good result!

What worried me prior to the race was a suspect left calf (the same one that took so much time to get right last year). On Friday I'd run some excessively exuberant 250m Verheul intervals — just four of them, but in the last two I pushed beyond 'relaxed and reactive', running under 4 minutes per km pace. After warming down, my left calf 'cramped' worryingly, walking down stairs to the car. On Saturday my only exercise was walking around the C2S Expo at Darling Harbour with Dave, Jen and Isaac. No problems, but I didn't even try jogging.

On Sunday morning I ran a very short warm-up, including a couple of tentative strides at race effort. The calf felt okay, but I was by no means confident of it lasting for the race. My goal was to make the rather daunting 14k distance in one piece. I didn't even try to get a forward position in the 'Green Group' (2nd corral to start). Once under way I ran down William Street with great care, pretty much in the 'angel gear' and passed through 1k in 5:47 (didn't know my pace at the time as I never once looked at the Garmin during the race). Running with the thought that at any step the calf might cramp or tear doesn't result in relaxed and enjoyable racing.

I made it safely over the early hills and ran along the flat through Rose Bay towards 'Heartbreak Hill' — all good so far! My legs were feeling quite easy and smooth. It was strange, as I felt like I could have increased the pace quite a bit at any time, at least on the flats. Up 'heartbreak' I ran/walked easily to keep pressure off the calves. Running along Military Rd through Dover Heights I again felt like I could have sped up quite a bit. I resisted the temptation though, thinking all the time 'just get to the finish with no heroics'. And that's what happened! I took Monday off from running and resumed 'easy' Verheul intervals on Tuesday. On Saturday I'm racing a 10k flat trail race at Wagga with my next 'all out' effort being in The Canberra Times 10k in early September.

Lovely sunny day for the 47th Sydney City to Surf

A few of my 80,000 friends ready to run

Good surfing conditions at Bondi Beach


Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Well, you're a smart guy (if we ignore the previous over-exertion).

80,000 - is that the biggest race in the world?

8:53 pm  
Blogger Secret Blog for Killing Track PBs said...

33 x City2Surf, WOW. Such a great race, THE BEST fun I think. Congrats Ewen.

9:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your 33rd C2S - with many more to come. And good luck in Wagga and in the Canberra Times. Nifty Nev

9:12 am  
Blogger allrounder said...

wasn't it the 47th C2S? good work on managing the baby cow...hope you have a good run in's FkF won't be pleasant!

10:43 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Haha Bob. Half smart perhaps. Pretty sure it's the largest fully timed race in the world. I think Bay to Breakers has more entrants, but not all are timed.

Thanks SB. Yeah, it's pretty special. Very competitive too. You had a brilliant run!

Thanks Nev. Can't help myself, so a few more for sure!

Ah, yes. Started in '71. I'll fix that, thanks. Today produced the strongest gusts of wind I've ever run against in my life!

6:12 pm  
Blogger Two Fruits said...

That's great consistency to get so many C2S's done. It's a really good social weekend, out to enjoy some winter sunshine in Sydney. I ran 5 of them, don't know how you keep going. Plenty more of them in you. I wonder who has the record ?

7:59 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Steve. It's become a habit - 2nd Sunday in August is City to Surf day :-) According to the website there were 30 runners as of last year who had run every City to Surf (all male). They are slowly diminishing in numbers. I know a bloke who no longer runs, nickname was 'The Legend' who was in the club until a few years ago. Ran his first 20 in under 50 minutes.

3:18 pm  
Blogger Lize Brittin said...

Nice job, and yay to no injuries!!

9:22 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Lize!

12:25 pm  

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