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City2Surf 2011: Glad i’m keeping my red Bib!


After doing the City to Surf for 3 years, I am having a mix emotions on this event.

Whinges …
First, I don’t like running with massive crowds, and I mean massive as this is the biggest road race in the world!  Why don’t I like it? I’m scared of getting tripped, trampled and will cause stampede – safety.

Second, the gain from the registration of paying Fairfax is a bit questionable.  It does not go to any charity at all, given 60AUD x 80,000 registrants!  Okey part of it goes to the traffic and roads, public liability and insurance (although – you as a participant you sign a waiver that says the organizers are not liable for whatever injury or death during the event towards the participant).  Do they donate money to the school from where the school kid volunteers are from? Do they feed the volunteers aside from the free volunteer shirt they get? who knows.  Also,  since last year, Fairfax never send any medal or trophy or any recognition to the team  winners or age category top 3 at least.

Third, from last year’s experience the disorganization of the bags.

And lastly, the toilet queue when you get to the end, imagine 80K + supporters + audience all in Bondi?

and yeys!
Hmm anyway, sorry about the whinge! But I do like City 2 Surf, ,well because it THE biggest foot races in the world.  I like meeting the Woodstock friends at the end and having a chat how the race went, and the beers, drinks and food at the end.

So because of the latter,  Tez and I decided to register.  Got the race pack 3 weeks before the race, and no chips this time.  Glad they moved to the bib-transmitter-kind-of-timing.  Unlike the last two years that my C2S training was not good enough, that the first C2S stil stands as my best time, I promised to do better this year, well at least try to do my best!

The team – Aside from that wishing that the Woodstock women team where I usually am placed get into top three.  However at the very last week, Brendan, the club Team Coordinator, ,moved me to the Mixed Elite team.  Our past quickest female flag carriers, Bronwyn flew to South America, Thalia is not a current Woodstock memeber and just gave birth, Lynn not a current member.  I know there are i say three female runners than me, but Brendan did choose me.  Honored BUT pressured.  Never in my Woodstock life have I been a part of the quickest team.  I did not want to put the team down either.  The team won 2nd last year too which is one of Woodstock’s fame.

Good Woodies – Anyway, as the race day approached, Joe volunteered bringing warm and change of clothes to Bondi the day before the race and park his mini bus.  Angela as well volunteered lift home back doing the same, leaving her car parked in Bondi overnight as public Transpo is a bit difficult after the race, unless you do not mind queuing and taking forever to get home.  SO got Tez and my clothes taken by Joe.  Since we moved,the main Victoria road is not in our doorstep anymore, making it difficult for Taxi and buses.  The Ferry only starts by 8:10 during Sundays.  And having experienced the bus for the last 3 years, it always has been full and they never stop to pick up anymore if they are.  We were lucky last year, a private car owner (good smaritan!) offered us a ride with two other runners.  So this time, as the race for the red bib starts at 8:30 we need to be really early.  The best option we agreed is drive the car to my workplace, where I was able to secure a pass, then take the bus that goes around the Casino, as this bus is more frequent and never gets full.  Works out the best.  We will wear warm clothes that we won’t feel bad giving away to charity and so saves us from queing up at the end to get warm clothes and rushing to the baggage trucks.  We can just chuck the clothes just minutes before the start enough to keep us warm.

Race Day – We woke up early, did race rituals, got everything we need and drove to my workplace.  Got the bus and arrived CBD 40 minutes before the start.  Plenty of  time to kill.  So the usual, pee break avoid the C2S queue and portaloos.  And just where the bus stop, a hotel! And so we docked for the pee break, no queues, and clean ;-).  Then walked to the start.  The morning has been drizzly and heard that never has been in the C2S history that it rained during the race day.  Hoping it wont be as wet as Canberra, however, It did rain during Mcleay river and I did a good time there.  Still I do not like wet sloshy shoes.

Start area – We saw Angela and Emma at the start.  We positioned ourselves just in the middle of the pack.  The color coding next next year is tentatively announced will be adjusted due to the volume of participants.  They have changed cutoff for the red bib (red writting white background) – 5 minutes quicker than the past few years that means, under 70 minutes!  Gee I barely can even break 71, so I was thinking there is no way I will be a red bib next year.  Back to the green  I told Tez.

We waited and chatted and waved and stretched to the 5 or more choppers hovering the crowd while waiting for the start.  I always have the butterflies in my tummy during this even, as I am really scared getting into an accident, being prone to tripping or ankle twisting, I really pray hard Tez and I be safe during the run.  Then the countdown began, 8:20, the participants in Wheelchair went ahead, then the Seeded runners then the Preferred runners and then Us behind the preferred runners.

The Race – I really do not know what my strategy during C2S, I just always put safety first.  I never did walk ever in my first time I run it that I can remember, the last two there were walks- I was soft.  I told myself never to walk in the heart break hill this year at least.

I stopped and walked on water stations.  I skipped the 1st one.  I always try should I stop for a drink and decide to walk, at least try to catch the people I was running with of the same pace if not overtake if i can.  The stops always did me good.

And reached the heart break hill.  In this race you always try to anticipate knowing there will be hills, and hoping that when you get to Heart Break hill, you don’t get heart broken.  So i tried telling mysef do not walk.  Jog if I have to and harden up!  Oh boy, trying not to walk is difficult my jog probably was taking like 7min/km or slower!  Hoping I make it.  I tried distracting myself by acknowledging the audiences, and look at the band/cheerers in their outfit at the side of the road.  I never have seen any kilometer markers this year.  But as soon as we get into the HBH, I should know that this is the 7th Km of the race and  I am half way there.  After HBH there will be downhills, but I know the hills will not stop till you see the beach.  So I never tried to give all my energy to climb HBH.

Maybe by the 10th KM I was watching a man on my right while we were running uphill, I thought he was being funny and acting like he is about to faint then he did actually colapse and fainted.  Glad there were people where he fainted, I hope he is okey.  There are so many good runners, female runners passing me and running hills without effort.  Wishing i was like them!

By 12KM I was wishing I hope its over.  Although I have done half Marathon two weeks before this one, I feel the time was taking a bit longer and forever.  I’m glad i did that hill training at M7 relay!  13 Km and I was starting to get buggerred.  My legs my feet are getting so sore.  I had to stop and walk and run.  only less than a kilometer to the finish, and in my mind all I want is break my time from three years ago, I was trying to do my best and run all the way through, but my feet and legs were giving up on me, that hundred of M away I did have to brisk walk Only when I kicked myself and told myself to suck it in and pushed myself I’m just few minute or a minute away from the chute and it will be over and just endure whatever pain the legs were complaining.  So I did, continued running now at last I can see the finish chute and the mats, I was just hanging on my eyes were actually shut in pain and exhaustion.  Sprinting as whatever’s left in me, finally I reached the chute and I can’t believe my eyes to see that I crossed the mats at 69:29 minutes!! I was hoping that is the correct time!

Few hundred kilometers to the finish – thanks Marathon-photos 😉

That time will mean, I have broken my previuos quickest C2S time, and I qualify for the red bib next year! Got the happy hormones immediatey after the run and I was very pleased with my results.  Got to the Woodstock meetup venue and waited for Tez.  He dropped off just before we reached 1KM and he told me I was going too quick too soon so he told me to go ahead and see me at the finish.  As time passed, Woodstock started coming in, exchanging stories how we each went.  I was all good, but somehow the cold gloomy weather wore the Runner’s high off.  I suddenly was feeling cold, and my right foot was in stabbing sharp pain.  I was hobbling, it hurts bad.  And I was starting to get whingy and cranky, telling Tez I’m going ahead to get the warm clothes, It was a kilometer or so walk to Joe’s car.  I do not know what I did to my feet but it sure does hurt like hell, almost in tears.

we are cold ...

We did hang around at a park for nibblies, beers, wine as it is also our “farewell” to Brendan who is moving up the mountains.

Next year, I hope I keep my time if not quicker, hoping not slower.  What’s wrong with my foot? Watch out for the next blog post :).

Event: City 2 Surf 2011
Location: Sydney. Hyde Park-Bondi Beach, NSW Australia
Distance: 14 KM
Time: 1:08:19 – PB
Woodstock Mixed – Elite finished 6th out of 1009 teams. – all team members did their PB – Michael Cantley, Thien Vuong


One Comment leave one →
  1. 02/10/2011 7:27 am

    Congrats on the race time!

    Thank you:)

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