Words by Jase Cronshaw of V&B Athletic
Whether you’re looking at the City 2 Surf as a daunting run or are in serious training to get the best results possible, everyone can benefit from some additional words of wisdom. We sat down with hardened coach Jase Cronshaw to get his take on how to conquer those 14km.
CHOOSE YOUR SHOES WISELY
Planning on wearing those fancy new pair of shoes for the first time on the day of your race? Don’t. New shoes can easily give you blisters and various other lower leg pains and can easily ruin all the hard work you’ve put in to get to the start line.
STAY WARM ON THE START LINE
Wear old clothes that you don’t mind donating to charityand then toss it once the gun goes, being sure to get it out to the sides of your start group so people don’t trip over it! Discarded clothing is collected for charity so you’re staying warm and doing a good thing for those less fortunate.
START SLOW AND KEEP IT STEADY
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and go out too hard. Unless you are right at the front of your group, just relax! Remember you have a journey ahead of you so try starting at a steady pace. Try and run the most direct line possible. This can be difficult depending on what wave you start in, but try to hug the bends, cut off the corners of wide sections and avoid wasting energy on useless metres by weaving constantly through the crowd, otherwise you could end up doing a lot more than 14km! If you run at a good tempo you should notice the crowd start to thin as you progress and you can then adjust to a more direct race line.
HEARTBREAK HILL - PAIN WITH A VIEW..
A lot of people focus on the infamous section of the race which starts approximately 6km into the course from the Rose Bay shops and then rises about 75m over the next 2km with an average grade of approx. 3-4%, otherwise known as “Heartbreak Hill”. In reality it’s not the gradient that affects most runners but the fact it’s the third climb in the race and by the time you’ve reached the top you’re past the halfway point of the course. Running is very much a mental game - if you’ve made this into a big thing in your head in the lead up, it will impact you much more significantly on the day.
The key is to pace yourself! By shortening your stride and maintaining a fast cadence or turnover of your feet, you’ll keep the intensity to a moderate level and be able maintain good momentum. Halfway up it flattens out into a steady, gentle incline. So get through the first half and then pick up your speed again when you pass the Anglican church on the left.
ABOVE ALL ELSE, HAVE FUN!
Don’t forget to look around and enjoy the atmosphere. While you’re going to push yourself a little harder on race day, it’s not supposed to be torture! The course provides some amazing views of Sydney with an amazing party feel the whole way down to Bondi. Cheering spectators, balcony parties, DJs and bands line the route and fellow participants dressed in ridiculous costumes will be cheering you on. If things get a little tough, fall into stride with someone, ask how they’re travelling and enjoy yourself!
LOOK OUT FOR:
- When you hit the William St tunnel, take the opportunity to look back, the sight is amazing. Once in the tunnel the noise of the footsteps and the calls from the thousands of runners is one of the highlights of the run.
- The band cranking out Rock Anthems on the awning of the Golden Sheaf Hotel. Last year it was TIm Rogers and You Am I!
- Look out for the blue Smurfs camped out around 4km from the start line. If you want to finish the race don’t accept the beers they might be offering you though!
- Cruising down to Bondi through kilometre 13 is an absolute dream and can be your fastest kilometre even if you are exhausted.