Posts Tagged ‘Running’

Sydney Bridge Run

September 20th, 2010 No comments

On the day of the Sydney Marathon there are actually four different runs going on – the full marathon, a half-marathon, a 9km bridge run and a 4km fun run. I guess it’s just as well to take advantage of all the road closures to have as many events as possible at once! πŸ™‚

I chose the 9km bridge run, along with about 16,000 others – across the harbour bridge and then through various parts of the city, ending up at the Opera House.Β It’s a fantastic way of seeing the city in a new light. It’s almost as if the city was being re-possessed by the people who live in it, rather than cars, trucks and buses that normally pound the streets without respite.

My run went surprisingly well. It was a fairly flat course, in fact ending at a slightly lower altitude than it started at, and I managed to maintain a nicely consistent pace the whole way. The result was my fastest paced run of this distance since I was in my twenties, I believe!

Here is a map of the course from the RunKeeper iPhone app.

Categories: Running Tags:

City to Surf 2010

August 16th, 2010 No comments

This year’s Sydney 14km City to Surf race was once again the largest in the world, with 80,000 registrants. It was another cool but sunny day – great running conditions, although waiting around at the start gets a bit chilly.

My results:

This was more than 2 minutes slower than last year. I can’t say I’m sure why, because my training has been quite similar in distance and intensity to last year’s, in most ways. So although I’ve been running as a hobby for more than 25 years, there are still some mysteries in the way my body behaves!

But once again it was a memorable occasion. People were extra friendly on the day, and I chatted to several complete strangers. This is the delight of a shared, special experience.

Categories: Running Tags: ,

Run 4 Fun

November 8th, 2009 No comments

I didn’t back out. I’ve done it. The Run4Fun.

My target time was 46m00s. My result:


I also with the RunKeeper iPhone app. It shows pretty much what I felt during the race ie. that I ran at a consistent pace up until about the 8th kilometer, when I started feeling tired and slowed down significantly. Hence there is probably still room for improvement, by running at a pace that I can maintain for the full distance.

Actually I’m pretty tired now. Off for a lie down!

Categories: Running Tags: ,

City to Bay

October 2nd, 2009 No comments

I’m pleased to be able to report that I did indeed visit Adelaide, and ran the 12km City to Bay race. Actually the main reason for going to Adelaide was to catch up with some special friends, but it just seemed too convenient that I could also shoehorn in this little jaunt, even if some of my friends were convinced that they were nothing more than an afterthought. Hmph! As if! πŸ˜‰

The day of the race was an excellent running day, cool but sunny, with little wind, and there was a record turnout – just under 30,000. So it was another great opportunity to enjoy being one of the crowd of like-minded, like-motivated and life-affirming participants, pushing themselves to achieve a certain degree more mastery over their physical selves, using willpower and mindpower to overcome whatever complaints their bodies might throw up during the course of the event.

I had high expectations of beating my time from 3 years ago (58m34s) for a couple of reasons. One was that I had been unwell in the week leading up to that last race, and had only decided on the morning of the race that I would definitely run it, but out of caution not push myself too hard. The other reason was that I had been doing so much running recently, and over longer distances than I had before, which should have given me the extra reserves to run that but faster. So I set my target at 57m.

I didn’t get an accurate time on the day, due to staggered starts and the difficulty in getting my watch timer started, which didn’t activate until I was well over the start line. But the official results were finally published online today. Here is my , and following is my official result.


The time of 55m24s corresponds to a pace of 4m37 per km, so is slightly faster than the 4m43s I managed during the Sydney City to Surf. But given that the Sydney race has a big hill in it and Adelaide is a very flat course, these paces are probably pretty much on a par.

So having underestimated my capability twice in a row now (ie. set myself too “easy” a target), I have no choice but to set a much faster paced target for my next race. The next likely candidate is the Run4Fun 10km event at Sydney’s Olympic Park. Given that this is a flat course, I will set my target to be tad faster than my Adelaide performance ie. 4m36 per km / 46m0s total.

Can I stand the extra extra pressure I’m putting on myself? Will my ego be diminished or inflated by my next race result? Now that I’ve made it public I can’t back down without loss of face. So surely, now, my ego will force me to train even harder… Or will I manage to forget my ego enough just to run and enjoy it without all this silly, needless pressure?

Ah yes – this is a seemingly trivial matter, but in fact reflects most precisely the causes of the entirety of problems of the human world. I will write more about the ego in another post.

Categories: Running Tags: , , ,

City to Surf

August 12th, 2009 No comments

Last Sunday I ran the Sydney City to Surf race – the largest footrace in the world with over 75,000 entrants. I’d been training for it effectively for more than year, after having had a couple of years off running due to an ankle problem, and deciding that this race would be my next big running challenge, if my ankle would only improve enough. And gratifyingly, it did.

It was a fabulous experience. Being part of such a large group of ambitious, motivated people, all with the same goal, all labouring hard together, in such beautifully crisp, sunny weather and along such a beautifully scenic harbourside and beachside route was quite moving.

For much of the course the main sound was the pattering of thousands of running shoe soled feet. Most of us were focused on our run, concentrating on maintaining just the right pace, sometimes weaving a little to avoid collisions as the odd contestants accelerated, slowed or weaved a little. But for brief period as we ran through Rose Bay, I turned my head to gaze at the sparkling bay waters beside the stream of determined and focused runners. What a joy to behold!

Based on my training times, I had expected to be able to run the 14km course in around 70 minutes, but was delighted to find, on the day, that I was able to run quite a lot faster than I thought I could. Although this would have been partly due to the lengthy preparation, during which I averaged about 40km per week running, I felt that it was also due in part to the momentum of the crowd on the day. I didn’t feel that I was running faster than usual, but more than I was being drawn along, almsot as if swimming in a river.

My results:

City 2 Surf Results

I also carried my iPhone in a arm-strap, and used the RunKeeper app to track the entire run. The full results, of my run including a map of the course, graph of speed and elevation and time splits, can be found .

As is my habit, I also wore a heart rate monitor. Typically, even during hard training, my heart rate averages around 150bpm, peaking at 160 to 165bpm on the hills. But during the race, the average rate was 160bpm, peaking at 170bpm on “Heartbreak Hill” – the big rise that occurs between the 6 and 7km marks of the course. I have to admit that I did slow to a walk for 30s or so towards the top of the hill, feeling that I was at my limit. But apart from that the level of effort was constant throughout the race, and I feel as though I achieved the best result that I possibly could have done.

So where to from here? Well, Adelaide has a City to Bay race coming up in 6 weeks or so. I’m tempted to keep up the training momentum and give it a go. But if not, for any reason, then I’ll definitely be looking towards next year’s City to Surf in Sydney. It was truly an experience not to be missed! Highly recommended.

Categories: Running Tags: ,

Genetics And Running

July 26th, 2009 No comments

I’ve been a regular runner since I was in my early teens, and I can’t speak highly enough of the benefits this has brought. It clears the mind, improves the mood, gets you outdoors and in touch with nature, keeps your cardio-vascular system in good order, and keeps you slimmer, fitter and healthier than even many other types of exercise can do.

I think the main reason I started running as a recreational activity was because, having previously always thought I was pretty average at sport (if not at everything), I suddenly discovered that I was able to finish ahead of many of my classmates in school cross country runs. This was very self-affirming. I had suddenly found something I was good at, and received recognition for it. And of course then I discovered the extra enjoyment and benefits that started to come from doing it more regularly on my own.

Having said that, I am not a champion runner by any means – just averagely good, perhaps. On the (rare) occasions that I have raced I seem to place quite well in comparison with the bulk of others who enter the races, but never anywhere near the very best. In illustration, here is a record of my most recent training run – in preparation for the Sydney City to Surf run in two weeks time – faster than some, slower than others. πŸ™‚

But why was I relatively good at running in the first place? Presumably it must be my genetics. In fact my mother recalled that prior to my birth, her doctor had told her that he thought I would be good at sports, because he had detected a slow fetal heart rate. The implication there is having a cardio-vascular system which is inherently capable of higher work rates. And of course the other factor is having a suitable frame and musculature, and on that front not only are both my parents naturally slim, but they also had been good at sports, at least in their youth.

So the question I now ask myself is, if I had not had this genetic foot-up (so to speak) what chance that I would have developed a lifetime sport habit?

I suspect that without that boost to my self-esteem at an early age, I may well not have taken to sports at all, or if I did then probably in a far less enduring or beneficial way. And on this basis, I have to feel a lot of sympathy for those who find it much harder than I to keep up the discipline of regular exercise or sport.

If you are one of those who do struggle to exercise regularly, all I can do is to encourage you to ignore the genetics, to forget about comparing your sporting performance with the super genetically-endowed champions, and simply enjoy the benefits of what it bring to you – which is simply a higher quality of life, and personal enjoyment of it.

Categories: Genetics, Running Tags: ,