My father and I went in the first (15km) Sydney City2Surf back in 1971 and we completed 26 consecutive runs together before his death in 1996. I’ve continued to do the run every year since (It has now been shortened to 14km).
There are 37 ‘City2Surf Legends’ who have now completed 42 consecutive City2Surf fun runs.
I hold the dubious honour of being the youngest of this group, having done the first event at the age of 10. Some of the guys are getting a little ancient now and there is always a lot of talk of death and injury amongst the group.
As the youngest, I get ribbed about my chances of holding the record for most consecutive runs; it is presumed that everyone else will gradually die off.
The reality of course may be quite different, but the interesting thing about this group is that everyone presumes that everyone else will front up every year to test their resolve and their endurance.. until we gradually die of old age!
What is it about these 37 individuals that pushes them to train through the winter and then turn up to do this run year after year?
It takes a certain level of dedication and of endurance of a different kind. This is not a marathon level of endurance, but more an endurance of resolve. I believe it is predominantly a test for the mind. Turning up to compete in a regular event like this is not about winning against other people, it is about winning against yourself.
As a young teenager, I remember being told by a teacher that I would never be successful at anything because, in his opinion, I never stuck at anything. Love to see that guy again now!
In a way, perhaps I wanted to prove them wrong? But for me, going in the City2Surf every year is a way for me to stay on track, and get a measure of my state of mental and physical health.
Update April 2013
My City2Surf Training Program is now an eBook
‘How to Break Your Fitness Slump and Comfortably Finish a Fun Run’
My full City2Surf training program is now available as an eBook from all leading online bookstores and contains a link to download the training schedule as an iCal file, so you can import it into your calendar.
Also, feel free to join my free Facebook training group the City2Surf 100 day Challenge.