Yesterday I did it, I completed my first (and not last) Sydney City 2 Surf.
Before this year I can honestly say I never even considered doing something like this, but soon after I started my fitness challenge for 2011 I knew this would be the ultimate challenge.
And not because of distance, because at 14.38km the Run for Kids was in fact that tiny bit longer, it was the challenge to be a part of a movement, a fun run that is labelled "World's Largest Run" and with 85,000 entrants I couldn't wait.
What started out with a small handful of ladies joining me on this journey, in the end it was only me. That said my Sister-in-law did join me for a weekend away.
We arrived Saturday morning allowing us to really enjoy Sydney and some kid free time before the race day.
Anyway, we woke Sunday morning to a wet and miserable day. I come from Melbourne people, I am used to four seasons in one day, but to find out this is only the second time in the 41 year history of the race that it has rained I have to admit I was pretty disappointed. Oh and the fact that I've not had to complete a race in the rain yet!
We stayed in Bondi, and therefore had to make our way to the start, this involved a bus, and traveling a good half dozen blocks by foot, and it was hammering down. I actually thought the road was going to flood! So despite the fact that
I thought I was too cool I swore I'd never be caught dead wearing a poncho I caved and nicked into the convenience store and made my purchase.
I had to be practical, It was cold, I would have to hand over my jumper very shortly and I didn't want to be drenched before the race even began. That said my feet were already wet, which eventuated in a massive blister on the arch of my foot. Not Happy Jan! (It might have been at this stage that I tweeted 'I hate you Sydney', but I didn't mean it, really).
Thankfully the rain stopped just before the race began. So I tore off my poncho and got stuck into the warm up exercises. Then before I knew it we were off.
This is me at the start, pumped.
I've been thinking about the race all weekend and what I'd write, how I'd express the emotions that I went through. There is something about these 'Big' race meets. The adrenalin that is pumping through your blood as you wait to be a part of something special.
It's like I entered that race on my own, but yet I was not alone, I was surrounded by people as far as the eye could see and they were all there, maybe for different reasons, however no words needed to be spoken, we were just there together.
About to make my way to the 'official' start line.
As you run there are people who amuse you, and there are those that truly move you. I'm always moved by the young, young kids running / walking with their parents. I just want to go up and squeeze them because even though I don't know them I am so proud of them. Then there are the older people, when you're losing stamina and you're telling yourself to keep going, then you see someone, who is clearly 20+ years your senior, you're given that extra little reminder that the only person holding you back is yourself. I applaud these people, that is inspiration right there if I've ever seen it.
Finally after approximately 1.41hrs, (waiting for my official time and hoping to hit my stretched goal of 1.40) I crossed the finish line. I was knacked, my foot was burning, my legs were super sore, but I felt amazing.
This is not a glamour shot! Clearly!
Finally, I couldn't help but compare Sydney to Melbourne the whole time I was running. Who knew Sydney was so hilly. Not me apparently! That was certainly the biggest challenge of the Sydney City 2 Surf.
But what I really loved about this race was the way the public embraced it. There was so much entertainment along the way. People holding parties on their balconies, cheering the runners on. Mr Whippy vans (what is with that?) Music stations, and I especially loved the group of people that dressed up as Smurfs and held a dance party.
So another race done and dusted. This is number four for the year. Yay to me, I'm so happy with my achievements to date. And as I sit here and think what next, look what I found.
November is officially the month of Melbourne's inaugural City 2 Sea. I will definitely be checking my calendar in the next few days. How cool will that be, to be a part of the first of what is sure to become another iconic race.
OK enough rambling on from me, this is a massive post, but it has been a massive weekend. An awesome weekend!