With Longevity entering its first ever team in the City2Surf this year, Longevity Exercise Physiology, Drummoyne, Edgecliff, Marrickville, Castle Hill, Randwick, Pymble, Kingsgrove, Neutral Bay, and Coburg,  thought it would be pertinent to pass on some advice from our Exercise Physiologist, Georgia, on how to best approach the event. Whether your goal is to walk, run or skip your way across the finish line, it’s always good to have some insight into what to expect.

“I was a former professional 800m runner. With the City2Surf being fifteen times longer than my typical race distance, it’s fair to say the longer event isn’t exactly my domain.

However, I have over seventeen years racing experience on the track and I’ve run the City2Surf a few times. No matter what your experience with running is or what your goals are for the race, I have some valuable tips and tricks to pass on that will help you on the day.

Of all the racing I have done, the City2Surf is one of my favourite events. It is truly a unique experience! From the course to the crowds and the atmosphere, there really is no other event out there like it!

Preparing for The City 2 Surf – The Morning of The Race

Start line:

Arrive early and dress warmly. Arrive early so you have time to do a warm-up, dump your clothes for transport to Bondi and then move to a start position. If you leave your warm-up too late you will be stuck behind the crowd! If you go early make sure you wear an old jumper so you can toss it once the gun goes. All discarded clothing is collected and distributed to charity so you’re staying warm and doing a good thing for those less fortunate!

When the gun goes, unless you are right at the front of your group just relax! It’s going to take a while to even cross the start line, so don’t waste any energy getting too excited and pushy. Wait until you cross the line, and then look for the clearest path to find a rhythm. This may be on the median strip or the pavement, but finding a clear path off the main running line is more beneficial than trying to run the shortest possible distance. If you run at a good tempo, you should see the crowd thin as you go, and you can then adjust to a more direct race line.

The first 6km:

This includes a downhill start and many undulations until the start of ‘Heartbreak Hill’. Even if your goal is to walk the City2Surf, make sure you don’t get carried away with the crowd and excitement and use all your energy before you reach halfway! There is plenty of time to make up a slow pace later in the race but if you hit the hill and you are already working close to your maximum it will make the second half of the race much less enjoyable.

It’s always better to be a bit more conservative with your pace in the early stages.

Magic Moment:

Make sure you take the time to look back when you hit the William St tunnel. The noise of the footsteps and the view of the thousands of runners is always enjoyable and relaxing. It’s one of the highlights of the run! The music coming from the Golden Sheaf Hotel also adds to the mood.

Heartbreak Hill:

The hill covers the best part of a full kilometre. Pacing is the critical element here – it’s important to relax and find a steady pace. Heartbreak Hill also has many false peaks so be patient, because it will take a while to conquer this one. But if you get your pacing right and are in good shape at the 8km mark, you have set yourself up for a great result!

Kilometres 8-11:

This section of the race caught me out on my first time at the City2Surf. I was always told its “All downhill” once you get past Heartbreak Hill, but this is not the case! The constant undulations caught me off guard! It’s important to make sure you relax through this section – you’re still more than 5km away from the finish line!

There are a lot of twists and turns through Vaucluse, but the toughest part of the race is behind you. Approaching the 11km mark, the ocean beckons. This is when you can start to get excited – you’re not far away now!

The finishing 11-14km:

If you can continue to work hard until the 12km mark, you get to enjoy the easiest part of the race. Rolling down to Bondi through the 13th kilometre is an absolute dream, and it is a fast kilometre even if you are exhausted. Remember to save a little bit of energy at the bottom of the hill once you reach Bondi, as you have to run past the finish on the promenade, and then take a U-turn to come back to the finishing shoot. It’s quite a tease, but the crowds will get you through it from that point.

Finish Line:

Members of our Longevity team will meet for breakfast after the event to soak in the atmosphere and celebrate.

It’s a fantastic achievement to complete the 14km, and to do it on such an amazing course is a privilege and a memory that you will have for life!

This is the first year we have entered a team in the City2Surf! It’s been great to see our clients rise to the challenge and prepare for the event under the guidance of our Longevity Exercise Physiologists!

However, most of our clients aren’t able to complete the 14km, and that’s ok! Not everyone needs to be able to do the City2Surf, but whatever your personal heath goals or milestones are, at Longevity Exercise Physiology, we specialise in helping you achieve them. We assist our clients through individualised exercise prescription to accomplish their health and wellness goals, that add significant meaning to their lives.

If you have a big health goal in mind, whether it’s completing the City2Surf, or something else important to you, contact Longevity Exercise Physiology today! Give us a call on 1300 964 002 to speak to one of our Exercise Physiologists and find out how we can help you work towards your fitness goals.

Written by Georgia Wassall.