The 45th staging of the City2Surf will take place this Sunday. I will be running. And when I say running, I mean jogging. And when I say jogging, I mean jog-walk-jog-shuffle-walk-shuffle-jog-walk-walk-walk-ing.
Here are 10 ways I suspect the 14km fun run (mankind’s most debatable oxymoron) might get the better of me.
#1 Pre-race anxiety
I signed up for the City2Surf months ago. It was my clever way of tricking myself into doing it. You know, sign up super early when it doesn’t feel real. Then, BAM! August is here and you’re locked in, sucker! Minor anxiety entered the fold when I received the “Three Weeks To Go” email. Major anxiety will hit when that alarm sounds on Sunday morning. Eeeeek!
#2 The squash
More than 80,000 people enter the City2Surf each year making it the largest event of its kind on the world. That’s pretty amazing. The start is scattered to avoid major collisions but that doesn’t change the fact you will begin the ‘race’ with thousands upon thousands of people. I will have to fight off countless elbows, ponytails and clover-takers (that’s close over-takers for those playing at home) to survive just to the Coke sign.
Property moguls, keep your eyes peeled. The City2Surf winds its way through some of Sydney’s most sought-after suburbs. Rushcutters Bay, Double Bay, Rose Bay, Vaucluse, just to name a few. If I’m not gasping for breath already, the multi-million dollar properties flanking my sweaty effort will certainly push me in that direction.
#4 Heartbreak Hill
You know the one. Even if you’ve never run the City2Surf, you know the one. It’s notorious. It’s treacherous. It’s the 2km stretch of New South Head Road that might just do me in. Its incline peaks at one meter uphill for every 8.5 meters forward. Ouch.
#5 Realising that wasn’t Heartbreak Hill
The City2Surf is an undulating course to say the least. Heartbreak Hill is the third decent elevation in the race and once you’ve conquered it… Guess what? You’re only at the 8km mark. For first timers, it’s not uncommon to assume you’re climbing Heartbreak Hill before you even reach the base of the infamous rise. Oh, the horror! I am a second timer. But I wouldn’t put it past me to make the same mistake. Goldfish memory.
#6 The Bondi Bend
The lesser-known cousin of Heartbreak Hill, the Bondi Bend is a sneaky little sucker. At about the 13km mark, you’ll have Bondi in your sights and what joy that vision brings. “I’ve made it!” you’ll cry. “I’m free!” you’ll sing. And you’ll pick up the pace, buoyed by the peak in crowd numbers. Alas, that is one looooooooooooooong final kilometre, especially given you just stepped it up a notch.
There is a camera at the finish line. A camera. At the finish line. Where runners are possibly the least attractive version of themselves. Post-event, the delightful photos taken of your red, sweaty, exhausted self are available online. Also known as the world wide web. Emphasis on world and wide. All that careful Instagram management for nothing!
Truth be told, if I make the finish line, I won’t be too concerned about the photo (although if I can muster a smile, I will give it a crack). I’ll be too busy basking in the personal glory and total shock of completing the country’s most iconic fun run. It’s no easy feat.
Woo hoo! I finished. Now off to my champagne brunch! In theory, I subscribe to the science behind sports nutrition, preparation and recovery. In practice… meh. I’ll ignore it. And I’ll regret it when I can’t walk on Monday.
The City2Surf is a spectacular event that showcases our city in all its glory. As a local, it’s tough to cover those 14km and not have an uber-proud moment or two. Perhaps my awe will get the better of me. Maybe I will stop and take it all in. But I’m okay with that because this is our beautiful, glistening city. How lucky are we?
Image credit: City2Surf