Sunday, 20 September 2009
Walk, don't run
Sydneysiders love any excuse to be outside. They also love exercise. And they are passionate about Sydney's icons - the Harbour Bridge and The Opera House. So no surprise then that today's Blackmore's Sydney Running Festival which featured a course that took in the bridge and ended at the opera house was so popular. Over 32000 entrants. What will surprise you all is that Gus and I took part....along with Gus' mum, who is here for a holiday. Of course, she now realises that life with Gus is never a holiday.....
There were several activities in the running festival - a marathon, a half marathon, a 9k run and a 4k family run / walk. We went for the family run. Well actually we were invited to join Florida Girl and her family and friends. We were all supposed to meet up at the start and complete the course together. Hmmmm - you know what they say about the best laid plans.....
So we got up early - much to the chagrin of Mrs Mostert - who was not impressed with her son's idea of a Sunday morning activity! Gus had checked the public tranpsort website the night before - we had to get the bus from near the apartment to Central Station, and then the train to Milson's Point. The whole event was starting from there. We pinned our event numbers to our chests and headed out (free public transport was provided for participants). We get to the bus stop for the 6.40am bus - only to discover that all the buses in our area had been cancelled as the marathon route ran thru Pyrmont. We head to Star City to get a cab. For the first time ever there are no cabs at Star City - just a queue of bedraggled all night revellers trying to get home. Off to the light rail station - beginning to panic that we are going to be late. By the time the tram arrives, we have accepted that we are not going to be able to join up with everyone else - especially as we receive a text telling us that Florida Girl and her family cannot make it. We board the tram and pay for our tickets - no free tranport on here as the trams are run by a private company. Now getting a tram that goes thru Star City at 7am is not for the faint hearted - it is clearly the morning after the night before for most of the passengers. There are a few others heading for the marathon - we all have our numbers on - and the contrast between the beer ridden masses and the health conscious few is quite apparent. And the smell of alcohol in the air is overwhelming. After several minutes breathing in this air - I feel quite tipsy.
Arriving at Central we head to the platform for the train to Milson's Point - and suddenly are surrounded by people all wearing running numbers. The only liquids beind drunk here are Sports Hydrators! The train fills up at each stop until we all get out at Milson's Point - leaving behind a few bemused and numberless passengers.
It is chaos as we leave the station -and the only bit of the day that is not well organised. No clear signs as to where to go we head off in one direction, only to be told we need to turn around and head elsewhere. Eventually we find the start area - just as they are closing the start for the family fun run - "You're late" barked one of the officials at us. Well we've already completed a bloody marathon just getting here I thought, as we began our official 4k walk.
At the back.
With no young children with us to justify our position in last place.
It brought back memories of school cross country when I was always at the back - only this time I didn't cheat and take a short cut.
Crossing the bridge in the centre of the 8 lane highway was a surreal and quite cool experience, and as we headed down the Cahill Expressway we took in some great views.
The whole atmosphere was great - lots of families out having fun. We reached the finish line, and joined all the other particpants in the "Recovery Area" (I so need one of these at work) We had to be de-chipped and then we collected our medals. I did think about collecting medals for the half marathon instead, but soon realised that no-one would believe me anyway.