Well this was my first City2Surf and in some ways I was lucky, as I had been put in the Green group, so I would be starting a bit earlier than most. First off were the "invited" runners, then the Red group (I think) and then Green followed by another three or four groups. All in all 82,132 runners, making it the world's largest timed race!
The largest race I had taken part in before this was the SMH Half marathon with just over 10,000 entrants, so this was 8 times bigger! Mind boggling!
Well, I had been tapering all week for the 14k event and prepared my gear and packed a bag the night before. I went to bed at 20:00 but found it difficult to sleep. The alarm went off at 06:00 and I got up for breakfast. I was in a bit of a rush having my food, but I'm not sure why, I had two and a half hours before the race start.
Anyway, I finally got my ass in gear and got out the door. Public transport was free for race entrants all day, and as the train is about 3 mins walk from my house it wasn't a big decision to leave the car at home!
The train was pretty full at about 07:15, just with runners & walkers, pretty cool. I got there and stashed my backpack in the truck to be taken to the finish line at Bondi. After that I just went straight to the start line. It was a bit squashed, so a warm up jog was not going to happen. I was able to lift my knees to my chest as I was standing, but no more room available. Just before the start we all took off any outer warm clothes and flung them to the side, they would be collected and given to charity, which is a wonderful idea!
When our group got to start it took a couple of minutes before I could run, as there were a LOT of people in front in my group. When I did start running, I could feel the timing chip on my right runner clipping my left foot, which had been ok when walking. I thought about stopping but decided not to. Then at about 1.5k I felt my right lace come undone and looked down to see my timing chip bouncing down the hill behind me!! I raced after it, against the oncoming runners and grabbed it. Then I crouched down behind a rubbish bin and put it back on - securely! Off again and a lot happier.
There were some live bands along the course, the first being a Guns 'n' Roses cover band on a hotel balcony. They were playing "Welcome To The Jungle" as I ran by, pretty apt!
The aid stations were very well manned, with the first at about 3.5k with water and then every 3k or so, alternating between water and Gatorade. I think the Gatorade was made a bit strong as I kept getting bloated after drinking it - won't do that again. I didn't bring any water bottles or gels, as I wasn't doing a fast race and was able to take all the water I needed.The really annoying thing I found about the race was that there were a lot of runners content to push/shove/elbow and cut you off. I was running along and drinking some water when a girl apologized to me and then cut me off, pushing my arm and spilling my water all over me! She apologized in advance, so why couldn't she just NOT cut me off?!?
Anyway, I kept going and got boxed in a few times and then at the 8k mark a girl in front of me tripped on a plastic cup on the ground (the cup was from an aid station). I stopped and helped her up and she was ok, so we both started running again.
The views were excellent coming into Bondi and I stopped my Garmin as I crossed the line for a time of 80mins and a few seconds. I was kinda hoping for under 75mins, but with the crowds it was next to impossible.
I really enjoyed the race and meeting up with friends after.
Would I do it again?
Only if I got into the first starting group, otherwise NO.
As an update, here's the official stats from the race: