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Date: Friday, August 17, 2007

From: Jennifer

Jennifer has waxed lyrical about a trip to Sydney!!

To Fellow Feral Joggers,

Well, what an awesome experience!

If you were thinking that maybe you should have done the City to Surf and didn’t get around to it: make it a priority for next year. The trip was relaxed, fun and the run itself was an uplifting experience.

Saturday 7am: Arrived at Bob Barker's house for a 7.15am departure. 7.25am finally just about everyone arrives when Stuart Wood has a brain explosion and a realisation that he forgot to pick up Ed. So everyone gets onto the bus and we make a little detour to pick up Ed.

OK everyone’s on the bus so let’s go… OH hang on, we hear “I forgot my wallet” says Ed so the bus turns around to head back to fetch his wallet when we get a “never mind I found it”. Once again the bus turns around and off we go with Graham Lyons at the wheel and an extra 20km’s on the speedo.

The trip was very relaxed with everyone keen to keep hydrated for tomorrow's big run especially Tony Del Gigante trying to dull the pain of his calf injury. Many pit stops were made along the way.

Once in the city David Alpen (who has been driving for a while now) was extremely pleased with the help of many navigators to assist him with directions and everyone made sure that all instructions were given well in advance. One pedestrian nearly became part of the paint work but all up a very enjoyable trip.

We arrived at our backpackers accommodation and Tracey sees management for keys and sends everyone off to their rooms with the guys going up instead of down (had to be there).

That night we decided to have a quiet dinner and when we finally got to eat (about an hour and a half later) everyone was ready for bed.

A restless night was had by most with a combination of excitement, a different bed and party goers outside making plenty of noise just added to the whole experience.

5.30am: Sunday morning. Today’s the day. How exciting. And I can’t wait to experience everything. Armed with a few supplies and my camera off I went to the City to Surf.

We scored front row (yahhhh). The two hour wait seemed to fly by as there was lots going on and a bit of live entertainment from a sexy Borat impersonator who was in need of some waxing, he was strutting his stuff and doing plenty of stretching for the big race; he was obviously was taking things seriously.

9am: Countdown has just started and the crowd is getting jumpy now, clear instructions are given to everyone and finally the horn goes off and the preferred runners are on their way. I look down at my heart rate monitor it’s jumped up to 160 bpm and David Alpen who is wearing a heart rate monitor watch picks up my heart rate and comments accordingly. Now that’s just getting into my space a little more than I am comfortable with but after a minute or two access is denied and my privacy is returned.

The second horn has just gone off for the red runners, now I am excited and there’s pushing and shoving and the blue group are getting edgy, next thing I know people from behind start running and we are off. Oh no, false alarm, security jumps in and stop us just in the nick of time… Phew that was close, now there is more pushing and shoving and people getting even more edgy. The excitement is too much when finally it’s our turn, off we go and the journey begins.

I get to the top of the first rise before descending into the tunnel and remembered to turn around and have a look at the sea of people following. WOW how amazing, I stop and take a photo. I am off again, dodging and weaving trying to get past those who were walking or just running slower than I was and, surprisingly, there were quite a few of those.

Oh good! Port-a-loos. Better make a pit stop now. Looks like I wasn’t the only one with the idea as I had a three and a half minute wait. That took longer than I had planned. Oh hang on, better stop and take another photo.

I couldn’t believe how much there was to look at, people on the sidelines waving and cheering, bands playing on the sidewalk or on roof tops. Some of the locals were on their front lawns offering lollies, scones and alcoholic refreshments and the scenery was absolutely beautiful.

As a virgin feral and it being a hot day I decided that I had better stop at every drink stop. OH for those of you who have not been to the city to surf you should go just to hear the sound of thousands of feet stomping on plastic cups on the ground (it still makes me smile) it was like music and was surprisingly beautiful.

I spotted my first sign for the day, 10km – good only 4km’s to go. Hang on I am not sure if I have done heart break hill yet or not so at the 11km mark it got the better of me and I turned to the guy running next to me and asked. He laughed and said “Yah, about 5km’s ago” a big yahoo and off I went.

Finally the home straight OK legs lets sprint to the finish line, Yahhh I made it in 87.5 minutes what a champ!!! The legs are a little shaky now but who cares. I have never enjoyed running so much. I yelled, sang, laughed, cheered and waved plus I ran a PB.

I have to say when I booked my spot for the trip it was a one off thing to try before I die. Well, let me tell you I am hooked. Tracey book me in for next year.