City2Surf 2012

City2Surf 2012 Bib Shona Stephenson

I did not expect much from my performance for the City2Surf 2012. I’ve been injured for about a month with numerous ankle sprains. The last sprain was just over a week ago. My preparation for the event was definitely disrupted. I did what I could do. Cross trained and just watched my diet to keep the weight off. I heated and massaged and rehabbed my ankle daily. I’ve gone through about 4 rolls of strapping tape in 2 weeks. Running a personal best at the City2Surf 2012 was going to be a struggle. It is the only road race I compete in every year so I just wanted to enjoy the day, have fun, catch up with mates and hurt like hell. It was going to hurt.
I did not bother with City2Surf 2012 splits. My Garmin
will keep me posted on how I was doing. I instead wrote two of my favourite quotes on my hand. “Let Her Run” and “Heart of a Champion”. Both quotes are from my favourite kids movie about the famous race horse “Secretariat”. I knew that if I was going to manage a PB, I was going to have to run my little heart out.
I told all my mates to meet me up the front right hand side. I giggled to myself when they all appeared at the front , by my side one by one. How good is that. Amongst 80,000 people I could still organsie to find my friends. It was going to be a good day.

There was no warm up. I was in the red group for the City2Surf 2012, but not a preferred runner. To be a preferred runner you have to break the 56 minutes, running sub 4 minute kilometers for the 14 kilometers. I just had to jump around on the spot to warm up my muscles. Then the count down went off and we were all off and running. I rolled off and down the first hill, dodging and weaving through the bodies, running on the right hand side trying to avoid the crowd of runners building on the left. I hooped and leaped my way to the front, and left my friends behind me. I felt great for the City2Surf 2012, fresh as can be, knowing that I definitely have not “over trained” leading up to this event. I ran up the first hill through the tunnel, and out the other side, past Rushcutters Bay and then started the first stinging climb of the day through Edgecliff. I hate this climb, with little warm up it hurts, before long I had past the train station and I was rolling down the other side of the hill. I then noticed that my watch was not working. I had no idea how fast I was running in the City2Surf 2012. Bugger. I pushed a few buttons. I tried to find out my heart rate and it only said 115BPM, this could not be right, I switched to a different screen and I then worked out that it was off for about 10 minutes. Sh#t I need tech support. I always need tech support at races. I did not know how long I’ve been running for. I then just tried to turn it on. Eventually I got it up and working and it was soon telling me my 1 kilometer splits. Cool. I was relieved when I was running under 4 minutes for each kilometer whilst doing my own tech-support.
I ran past the “Smurfs”, past Rose Bay, through Double Bay and did my best to find a big bloke to run behind to shield me from the 40 kilometer winds. The conditions were tough in the City2Surf 2012, but everyone was in the same race. I was just happy that I did not have the Flu like last year and that both my feet were not shattered like in 2010. By this point in 2010 I knew I was in trouble with my feet.
I felt good when I ran past Rose Bay and I relaxed and did my best to lengthen my stride by kicking out the back and rotating my upper body, lifting my knees and just run.
I hit the infamous City2Surf 2012 hell of Heart Break Hill, and I was soon caught by my mate Michelle Chadwick. She is such a tough runner, grinding her way to the top. We chatted to each other for a little while up Heart Break Hill, but she soon ran past. I did my best to stay with her. I used all my climbing tricks, counting out a tempo, lifting my knees, driving through my hips, fast feet up the climb. At the start of the climb people past me, by the end I was getting them all back.
I’d made it to the top and I felt good. Only two more climbs. I past the 8km mark, and again I did my best to find a human shield to protect me from the gale forced winds. I ran past the dover heights shops, and scooted around the corner, past the cemetery, turned left and found another friend and client, Ian. Ian was starting to kick it on. I did my best to stay with him. I switched from the road to the footpath hoping the cars and boats would shield me from the winds, I nabbed in front of him, cut a few corners, then hit a climb at Dover Heights, crossed the road and past the water tower. Cool I’m at the top. I spotted the 10km marker in the City2Surf 2012 and it said 41:13. (minus 30sec) Cool a sub-42 10 km. Excellent. On track for a good run. Ian got ahead of me again and I fell off the back of a pack and was soon exposed to the winds again. I pushed and pushed trying my hardest to bridge the gap but I just could not do it. I felt vomit enter my mouth. At least I know I’m trying if I’m feeling sick. Then a tall and solid bloke ran ahead of me. I jumped in behind him and let him drag me up the road. I then caught another solid bloke, and I soon was back on the group and I was protected as I could be in the thin pack. Come on only a few kms to go. It’s all down hill from here.
A girl who I’d been running close to for most of the race said. “Let’s kick this on together”.
“Let’s go, come on, it’s all down hill now.” I replied. How cool is that. Real camaraderie at the front of the City2Surf 2012 road race. I loved it.
We hooned down the descent and then I was totally shocked at the state of the surf at Bondi Beach. The winds had whipped the sea into a chaotic grey frenzy. Sh#t. I have to run down into that. Please let there be a good turn out of crowds.
I let go, stretched out, kicked out the back, use gravity and roll down the hill, whilst still handing on my toes, running into the last 1500m. Come on this is less than some of the interval sessions that you do in training. I kicked it, drove my knees through, kicked out the back, stretched out and hurt. I shut off my brain, there was no point it working now, and started to find my stride. Finally at the 13.5 kilometer mark I started to feel really good.
I was thankfully buffered by the wind from the scattered crowd along Campbell Parade. I turned the corner and took a wide run into the City2Surf 2012 finish line hoping that the southerly wind would work to my favor.I rolled down the into the finish line and spotted the time. It had just past the 56 minutes. Now ticking over into the 57’s. Run. I was flat out and I crossed the line with a time of 57:08. I was stoked. It was a personal best by almost 2 minutes.
I instantly hugged my running mate who I met whilst running. I can’t remember her name. She was stoked with her time and we soon discovered we shared a few trail running mates Rodger Hanney and Jess Baker. I then spotted another friend Gemma crossing the line. She ran the City2Surf 2012 in 61 minutes. I chatted to her for a few minutes and then spotted my cousin in law Luke. I chatted again for a little while. Luke has given me so many tips that I have really taken to heart. I then spotted another friend and other. How good was this. I just had to stand at the finish line of City2Surf 2012 and I get to chat with all my long lost mates.
I know people don’t like running the City2Surf 2012 because it is too crowded. But in the right group, it can be really enjoyable experience. I had a ball running it. The most social and relaxed City2Surf 2012 I’ve ever run. I had the most fun after the event also. My clients and I were generously invited into the O2 Networks Tent for some rest, recovery, rehydration and refueling. Thank You O2 Networks you guys are the best.

My Kit for the City2Surf 2012 was

Inov8 F-lite 195’s Thank You Barefoot Inc the F-lites are amazing to run in.
Injinji Crew Socks
Linebreaker Compression Guards
2XU Elite Compression Shorts
2XU Tri-Bra
The North Face Visor
Inov8 Bluff
Garmin 910 Watch and Heart Rate Monitor.
Great Outdoor Runners Sponsored singlet.
Great Outdoor Runners Sponsors are Barefoot Inc, Donnelly Constructions, Occasions 2 Impress and The Rite Bite.
City2Surf 2012 Bib