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City 2 Surf: the diary of a virgin fun runner

When it comes to leading a full and fulfilling life, stepping outside your comfort zone – whilst hard in the short term – is key. Last weekend, I stepped well and truly out of mine, and joined a plethora of enthusiastic participants as they descended on Hyde Park for the annual Sun Herald City 2 Surf.

It was a chilly morning in Sydney and whilst the clouds hung low in the sky, the rain held off. As I joined the line up of more than 85000 people I started to feel nervous: nervous that I wouldn’t complete the race; nervous that I may lose my friends along the way; even a little bit nervous that a complete stranger may have to carry me over the finish line. But then, I was only planning to walk the 14 kilometres to the finish line. Heartbreak hill included.

Despite living in Sydney all my life, I am a virgin City 2 Surf-er, you see. Well, to be completely honest I am a fun-run/marathon virgin. But my fears were put to rest. While I may not have known all my fellow runners, the atmosphere was so friendly, not only with the competitors but the spectators and their families on the sides of the roads cheering you on. And the best bit being I didn’t get carried over the finish line!

And, as I proved, you don’t just have to run. There are plenty of like minded people simply wanting to get involved. Along the way you’ll see mothers with prams, grans with prams, the walkers, the light joggers, the sprinters and of course all the guys and girls in their fancy dress get-up.

There’s also ample entertainment along the way to help keep you motivated, with tunes pumping from multiple locations and the dancing Smurfs in Rose Bay. If the tunes are not enough to keep you going, the aroma from the sausage sizzles will be, but don’t be tempted to have one until you reach Bondi as you may regret it! There are plenty of water and Gatorade pit stops along the way to keep you hydrated so you don’t have to BYO.

One of the many great traditions of the City 2 Surf is to throw your jumpers/trackpants (if you are wearing something underneath of course) on the road as you get hot. People from local charities come through and collect what has been discarded and give it all to the homeless.

Not only is the City 2 Surf Sydney’s favourite sporting event, it is the world’s largest run with over 85,000 registered participants. Since 1971 elite athletes have been rubbing shoulders with the locals to run, walk or watch the 14km race from Hyde Park in Sydney’s CBD to the finish line at iconic Bondi Beach.

Presented by Westpac, the City 2 Surf aims to raise funds for more than 600 charities and last year raked in over $3.5 million for charities across the country. All City 2 Surf entrants are encouraged to raise money for a cause close to their heart. The Podmore Foundation Runners and Packers was my charity of choice with the team raising close to $15,000.

So whether you’re married, single, young or old or even if you’ve just had a bub, the City 2 Surf is one major meeting ground and perfect for making new friends along the way. Get inspired and join in the fun in 2013. I’m going to try and run it and beat my time of 2 hours and 26 minutes.

See you there!

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About the Author

As the beauty writer for Cosmetic Surgery and Beauty Magazine, there isn't much Shallis doesn't know about makeup, skincare and how to make your hair look pretty. She's here to make sure you look and feel your best, whatever the occasion.

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