Friday, 19 August 2016

City to Surf

Every year we all line up on William St yet again wondering where the heck that last year just went but also hopeful of a positive 14km experience to come. It's an interesting 10-20mins. As a seeded (and preferred) runner, we used to enjoy the last minute line up that would see us actually staying warm and ready for the start. Now days we are unfortunately herded in over 20mins prior to the start and all the warming up in the world goes straight out the window as we stand in the cool morning air listening to a police woman belt out the anthem.

Granted, she can sing but she could do it whilst we exercise our customary right to show-off infront of the masses as we sprint from side to side pretending we will be the winner. The eventual winner, Harry Summers was granted this allowance last Sunday which I was happy to see. To go from nothing to 41:54 is not ideal. But he was able to step in alongside me with minutes to spare. I simply told him "today's the day mate, get it done", and boy did he.

But the City to Surf is our iconic sporting emblem open to absolutely everyone. The organisation gets it right, the media aspect seems to have dropped off but the vibe is still there. This was my 31st race and it seemed like yesterday as I looked at the red pack all lined up, that I used to arrive on the start line at 7:15-30am as they were closing the road for the 10am start. For 2.5hrs as a 13-17yr old,  I would sit on a crate or newspaper getting to know people around me (a lot of characters) and as such being able to jump out and warm up then back in.

Reidy grabbed me for some C2S insights                   Bec, Simon and Greta

I love everything about the City to Surf apart from the running aspect. Don't take this the wrong way but it really is a hard course that unless you have trained your arse off for months as if it were a marathon you were doing, does catch you out somewhere along the way. It's kind of fun in a brutal kind of way really. Lactic at the bottom of the first hill (200m in), stuffed by 1km (middle of the Kings Cross tunnel), blown by the top of Edgecliff, recovered by Rose Bay and pretty much struggling the rest of the way.

My race was mixed. I have been sick as you all know. I am better now and I proved this the Sunday prior by racing a little too hard at the CP 50km teams event. But that also gave me the confidence to have a crack at this year's C2S. And I did. 16:10 at the 5km mark set us up for a great time. I was with Robin Vonk whom I coach and haven't beaten for 3-4 races. We were passing Barts at the time who was struck down with an infection that week (still counts as a win BTW mate) and trailing Nick Roberts, then Quentin just ahead of him and Tom a little further ahead. Tom especially launched out of the barrier and never looked backed.

Heartbreak hill came and after telling all our Rejoov Runners to hang onto anyone you can and climb it, I had to practice what I preached so digging in, I tacked onto Nick's group (also consisted of Kev Robertson, Chadi and a few others). It worked. Although I was stuffed, I made it up in ok time (5:54 king of the mountain). The next few kms were about consolidation but the damage was done over last year's time as we went through 10km in 33:50 (35secs down on 2015).

Then another guy started to pass me and I had a second win so I lifted and managed to break Robin. We even started catching a few ahead such as Robbie Neil. Lingering behind was my current rival Neil Pearson who was struggling to hang onto a fast finishing Hoey. We hit 13km and I was well clear and ready to get this done. The new course sees the course turning back on itself at 13.5km and racing back down to Nth Bondi before a right hand turn and a short sprint finish. I could see Hoey coming so I surged again. Exactly why I like this finish better.

And finally I finished in 28th place in 46:40 which was 34secs down on last year. All in all - happy. Knocked off Robin, Hoey and Neil so all good there and kept my seeded start.

Rejoov had a huge presence at the event. Over 60 people were there to try and break that 60min, 70min and beyond barrier with a lot of success stories to complement the hard luck ones. Special mentions go to a few of those we coach (too many to name everyone sorry):

- Bruce Lambert for smashing his PB and breaking 50mins for the first time: 49:30
- Himanshu Dua (ICG sponsor of Rejoov) for a 40secs PB
- Elle Goldrick & Beck Munro for huge PBs to score a low 55min time each. Awesome.
- Simon Rabglati for a massive PB 51:40
- Our mate Toni who was a late inclusion to walk/jog the event. She had never done anything like this before but finished in 1:59 which was fantastic.

And the list really does go on. We teamed up with the Love Mercy guys to host a post race get together at our marquee in the run club area right alongside the finish shute. What a great couple of hours as we drank champagne, feasted on bakery treats and chatted with the Striders, JORG (including the winner Harry) and ourselves.

 Watching Ben race the Olympic 10 000m

Then it was off to the Allens beachside tent (Tom Highnam hosted) where we drank beers and chatted more about who succeeded and who failed. The discussion was a little more raw at this tent.

So this makes 22 years in a row with a sub 50min result. This is a streak worth pursuing over the next decade. Well done to everyone who ran well or just ran for fun.

The week that was mileage wise wasn't that memorable but hey, who cares. All about the C2S.

Mon: 7km easy
Tue: 5km easy
Wed: 10km easy
Thur: 10km with 6 x 1min on/offs
Fri: 5km easy
Sat: 6km easy back from Bondi after setting everything up
Sun: 18km total
Total: 61km

1 comment:

  1. Well done Chris. I don't agree with the seeded and preferred needing to be in the start 30 mins before either. Why push for that start then? Also the bad drop now closes at 7am when the race starts at 7:55. Stupid.