Friday, August 14, 2009


Madness (amongst other things) overtook me at the weekend. It wasn't hard to spot. I was running down the middle of the road on some of Sydney's widest boulevards at 9am. Not the act of a sane person.

The insane part was not the road but the running. I was perfectly immune from traffic. Or certainly from the kind that hurtles along at 80kmph; a bone crunching wall of metal and strengthened glass, uncompromising in the face of 80kgs of me. No, the usual lorries and SUV’s had been regulated to back-roads in favour of more pedestrian traffic. For Sunday was the appointed day of Sydney's annual City to Surf fun† run.

It shouldn't be that hard. After all, Bondi is no more than 5k from the City centre. And yet the sadists that run the event feel it is necessary to take 70,000 people around 14.4kms of coastal cliffs.

Granted the views (panoramas across the harbour, encompassing the city, water, parks and the iconic Opera House, the long sweep down to Bondi, past rolling hills and ocean) were magnificent. But who had the strength to enjoy those?†† Not your correspondent, that’s for sure. I was too busy watching the rest the competition pass me by.

No. Madness was not the only thing to overtake me. I was passed by pretty much everyone taking part in the race. I was about a kilometre in when the first cartoon character sauntered by. A dragon as I recall. There were innumerable spider-bat-super-men and I was left in the dust by at least one giant valentine. It was on the upward slope of the appropriately named heartbreak hill that a man pushing a pram jogged along nonchalantly, as though I were stationary.

But the final insult came two days later when the timings came in. I was pleased with my own time; 88:59 – 8 minutes improved over last year. Then I saw the time for my friend the uber-competitive Hideko; 88:36 – 25 seconds my better.

Time to take up cycling


† A deliberatively provocative use of the word. I have already drafted a missive to the Advertising Standards Institute of Australia.

†† Actually Mark was probably enjoying the view. Mr. Cahill finished the race in just over an hour, and there’s every chance he didn’t break a sweat. Good job Mark!


Kat said...

- and i ran it!!! don't forget me...

Darren said...

That's a good point. To add insult to injury, Mark's pretty girlfriend, Kellie, also put in an impressive time - and she was wearing a pink tutu and fairy wings!

Tenwit said...

Coincidentally, you came up in conversation last night. I mentioned that I saw your Facespace (or was it Mybook?) status update about early morning roadworks and being active and so forth. To which G replied with something humourous about relative moisture levels in Sydney before and after your jogs.

Perhaps slightly unkind, but good for getting me to snarf vermouth all over the coffee table. ;)