On Sunday night after running a 10km Saturday at race pace and having a recovery swim to assist my joints and muscles, I received a message to let me now I would be taking the 17km long course the next night at run club (Monday).
To be honest I was scared and not very sure that I could complete 17km at a 5.45 min pace, but i’ll be damned if I was going to let it beat me. Have you noticed I’m a little bit competitive? Mostly with myself, but I think it helps in one way or another as it means I never give up.
Now back to the long course. I arrived in store at 4.50pm and there were already some keen runners waiting to sign-up. It’s restricted to 30 runners, 15 in each group so either a 5.15 or 5.45 pace. We keep the groups small as it’s easier to keep everyone together and enjoy the run better. And it’s a beautiful run. We started with the usual 10km circuit which goes from Hyde Park to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, then past the Opera House and through Circular Quay. Then we headed past the Overseas Passenger Terminal, under the Harbour Bridge looking over to Luna Park and along Hickson road. We then snaked our way up to the left and onto the Harbour Bridge. It’s so beautiful running along the bridge at night with all the lights and the cars racing past. There are lots of people and the view is spectacular.
My group stayed close together and they were so much fun to run with. A really friendly bunch who I could tell loved running just as much as me. It’s so nice to be in the company of people who share the joy of running.
As we were running over the Harbour Bridge I found that I had not yet conquered my fear of heights and without realising this my body sped up as it clearly wanted to get off the bridge ASAP. I turned around at one point and only 1 of my runners had kept up, oops! So I slowed down and apologised to the crew at the other end, they had a good chuckle at my fear of heights and we kept pacing along.
When we got back down onto Hickson Rd we caught up with some of the other groups doing 10km that had started a little bit later than us, and it was nice to hear some friendly banter about their run too. We took in all the wonderful dinner smells as we went past the restaurants on Cockle Bay and King St Wharves, and when we hit Hurricanes on the other side of Darling Harbour I thought half my crew were going to abandon me for a quick steak! But we managed to high tail it past those wonderful smells and we made our way onto the Pyrmont foot bridge and headed back up to the store.
There were so many smiles and high fives at the finish line, it really was an awesome run and I hope I get to run it again soon.