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Monday, August 13, 2007

A Flock Of Seagulls

A year ago, for me, managing to run two laps of the local sports oval would have been momentous.
So the fact that I ran the 14-kilometre City To Surf yesterday is, for me, momentously momentous, and I'm feeling a little bit clever. It's bittersweet – I now have the knees of a 90-year-old woman, but the arse of a teenage boy.

Highlights, lowlights, footlights and electrolytes:

· I finished. I ran all the way. Slowly.

· Heartbreak Hill is a) a bitch; and b) now my bitch.

· Whilst waiting for the starting gun, I thoroughly observed my co-runners. My "favourites" included a mother with her two daughters. The mother, guesstimatedly four months pregnant, was wearing a midriff singlet, and had written "Baby On Board" (or similar, I didn't want to stare) in texta on her belly. Her daughters, probably aged thirteen and fifteen, had both obviously done their hair carefully, were wearing full make-up including foundation and lipstick, and one of them wore a low-cut singlet with her pubescent puppies almost completely on display. Seriously – there was visible areola.
"What are you dressing up as for the City To Surf?"
"Slut Jailbait Lolita Trash. You?"

· I discovered that I am lacking in skills such as Drinking Whilst Running. This may be a hangover from my mother forbidding me to eat or drink whilst walking around the house, but now my running gear, bum-bag and sneakers smell like sports drink. Some went in my mouth, however, and my opinion regarding sports drinks has not changed. Salt-flavoured spit. Yech. Strange and unexpected joy was to be found, however, at each drink-station and the 200 metres afterwards, as the sound of thousands of feet running over squashed plastic cups was discovered to be more than a little amusing. I may write a poem entitled "Crunchy Cups". I may not.

· I loved the bands that set themselves up along the course, from the leather-panted, fake-mulleted cock-rock cover band on the eaves of the Golden Sheaf to the grey-haired brass band in a Bondi bus stop, to the ten-year old solo bagpiper. Bless you.

· Thanks and cheers must also go to those course-side residents who thumbed their noses at water restrictions and sprayed us all with their front-yard hoses. One of my workmates pointed out that they weren't really breaking the rules, as runners aren't technically classified as "hard surfaces". Oh yeah? Feel my thighs, buddy.

· Before I started the race, I had a mild urge to wee. After I had finished running, I didn't wee for two hours. Running makes the wee go away. I don't really want to think about this too much.

· Before entering, I was partly encouraged by the fact that the City To Surf would probably be an all-day perv-fest, filled as it was with fit blokes wearing not much. I failed to factor in sweat, stink, unbelievable hairiness, face-redness and mid-winter leg-paleness. I, of course, looked glamorous and windswept the whole way. Cough.

· When I saw the finish line, I'm not ashamed to admit that I got a little emotional. I trained really, really hard for this, and in nobody's imagination am I a natural runner, so I pretended that the three or four escaping tears were just a combination of sweat and badly-aimed Gatorade.

· After making sure I was properly rehydrated with water and more Spitty Salt, and cramming some carbs into my oesophagus, I settled in at the Eastern in Bondi Junction with Nick from Whale Sushi and his mate for some proper, grown-up, amber-coloured rehydration. Nick beat my race time, but I can confidently lap him in the beer stakes. A tops bloke, and quite the smarty-pants conversationalist. An excellent way to spend an afternoon, gentlemen – I thank you.

· With regard to the above conversation, I have learnt a thorough and surprising lesson – there is no good time to discuss the topic of arse-acne.

I'm pretty sure I'll run the City To Surf again next year. But I'll have a rest first. Right, knees? Right.


TimT said...

Crunchy cups

The crunchy cups sound
Like autumn leaves underfoot
Only plasticky.

TimT said...

Hush! Can you hear it?
Beneath the plastic crunching?
The Earth-mother weeps.

TimT said...

Sunlight on styrofoam.
The cups crunch. Somewhere a soul
Withers, slowly. Crunch.

TimT said...

The senior runner:
Crunch. Crunch. Whew. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Whew.
Crunch. Whew. Whew. Whew. Whew.

Jo said...

I think I should have
Washed my bra more frequently.
Crunchy, crunchy cups.

nick cetacean said...

Crunched cups. Yearning
Still for the sweet fullness of
Orange gatorade

nick cetacean said...

Also -- twas a good afternoon. Fun was had by all. Let the bloggers conquer the earth!

Jo said...

The meek shall inherit the earth.
Once the bloggers have finished with it.

shellity said...

I still think that you're
A dead-set bloody legend
Crunchy cups or not.