After weeks of anticipation and (pathetically minimal) training, Perth City to Surf was finally here! There were options to participate in the 4 km walk, 4 km run, 12 km walk, 12 km run, half marathon, and full marathon, so everyone could definitely pick their fancy! Apparently 50,000 people registered!
V and I met Puneeta and her husband Deepinder at the starting point. For all of us, this was our first running event! Deepinder, V, and I would attempt the 12 km run, while Puneeta chose to run the half marathon! The girl is very fit and runs 10-15 km on a daily basis, so 12 km would be such a yawn. The half marathon started about half an hour earlier than the 12 km run, so Deepinder, V, and I watched from the sideline while Puneeta joined the throng of people eager to take off. The countdown was called and off they went, 21 painful km ahead of them!
At about 9:30 am, it was our turn. 12 km runners filled the street, the countdown was called, and we took off! The energy in the air was incredible!
I won’t lie, I found the 12 km course really hard. I’d only ever run 3 km at a time before, and my training plan didn’t really pan out due to circumstances and plain laziness. Mostly laziness. V could have gone ahead and completed the course in a better time, but he stayed beside me as I walked more than ran, and cheered me on. We didn’t have a shortage of support: people watched and clapped us on from the sides of the road, a group of policemen played the drum and bagpipes, a group of cheerleaders danced, people on the balcony yelled encouragement and waved posters! Not enough support that I didn’t feel the pain in my untrained legs though, damn it!
It felt like the course went on forever, and there were hellish hills and grassy patches, but we finally saw the ocean ahead of us (the finish line was at City Beach) and pushed ourselves to run to it. We did it! If my legs weren’t screaming bloody murder and my stomach weren’t rumbling, I probably would have felt a strong sense of accomplishment, but it was matter over mind this time. We collected our medals and headed straight to the BHP Billiton marquee, where we were promised hot food and foot massage! The photos below were taken after we had a period of rest, some fruits, sausages, bacon, and eggs, so we looked more like our normal selves again.
This run was a great experience, but I was definitely outside my comfort zone. Next time we attempt something like this, we’ll be less ambitious and go for a 4 km or a 5 km course. Have you done something like this before? Go out there and give it a try! I guarantee you a lot of pain and fun!