This post was written – on the previous blog – after last year’s City 2 Surf, that gruelling 14 km run that trails from Sydney’s CBD to the iconic Bondi Beach. It was an awesome day. Next Sunday, I’m back out there…pumped to do it all over again.
Bring. It. On.
You would think that the dose of Voltaren and the pungent yet, soothing smell of Dencorub has got me on this post City2Surf buzz.
But no. It’s pure adrenalin.
And yeah, doing the race two years in a row is cool. And yeah, I’m pretty chuffed with today’s performance.
But really. Today was about meeting some totally awe-inspiring people.
And this, I have decided, is what’s getting me addicted to doing the City2Surf every year.
At the top of Heartbreak Hill…and I still somehow manage to crack a smile…
In the 41 years its been held, this morning’s rain could’ve really dampened a lot of people’s spirits.
Yet somehow – call it luck, call it serendipity – I bumped into an amazing couple on the train this morning.
In their 50′s, they were keen runners, ready and raring to go for this morning’s race.
On the train, I discovered that the wife, Lily had entered every City2Surf since 1985. She’s 51.
Her husband, in his late 50′s was a marathon runner – training with 10kms runs every day and a 20kms one once a week.
The word “keen” doesn’t cut it, does it ?
Among the crowd of 85,000, Lily and I found ourselves waiting at the start line together.
When the heavens opened and the downpour started, we still had an hour to kill before the race was to start.
Lucky for me, Lily had bought along a cheap plastic poncho and was kind enough to share some of it with me.
But it was that time underneath that plastic, where I became inspired by a total stranger.
Lily laughed as she told me about her 10km fun run last year. 400 metres into it, she fell over and unbeknownst to her at the time, had actually broken two ribs. Not only did she finish the race. She beat her personal best time.
Holy Moley !
Then, she tells me she had to have a thyroid operation earlier this year.
“They did a pretty neat job, eh ?” Casually pointing to the scar between her collar bone, under her neck.
When I asked her how she got the strength and courage to continue her running, her reply was poignant.
“Meh. What’s life but if not without challenges ?”
I won’t lie. The race was gruelling.
There was stages where I thought I was just going to pack it in.
The niggling pain in my hip was coming and going. I could feel a nasty blister coming on.
I was so fed up at the last kilometre, whilst puffing and panting, I dropped the F-Bomb.
Another runner heard me and just as I thought I had offended her, she actually gave me an encouraging smile.
“You can do it…keep going…”
“Thanks” I mumbled, feeling completely embarrassed by my outburst.
And finish it I did.
In fact, I think. I think I beat last year’s time. We’ll see.
Just as the day couldn’t get any better, I got to meet another inspiration of mine.
Tat from Muminsearch was the very first mummy blogger who I connected with almost a year ago. We have kept in touch since.
Today we finally met in person.
And I am just as in awe of her in real life as I was when I only knew her in the blogosphere.
So, yeah. I have a blister on my foot almost as big as my thumb.
I am stiff as a plank.
I am as tired as hell.
Meh. What is life if not without its challenges ?
P.S Lily, if you did end up looking me up and found your way over here to my blog…can I just say:
“I only hope to have half the courage and strength that you do, when I get to your age. And yes, I believe we met for a reason and we will meet again…”