City to Surf Pre(r)amble

11 08 2011

It’s that time of the year again – the City to Surf is upon us (or me, and 85,000 others).

Last year I ran my first C2S in 81m 01s. I was in the “blue group” along with 5 million others and the going was a bit slow in places, especially up Heartbreak Hill when everyone slowed to a walk and I was forced to do the same a couple of times simply to avoid an accident.

In the end, I came to the conclusion that the sheer volume of people slowed me done. Sure, a whole lot of people went faster than me, but I (along with almost everyone else) could have clocked faster times with a clearer path.

And that’s what I should have this year. By virtue of a earlier, faster and smaller start group, I should have a clearer run for the most part which I’m hoping will translate into a faster time. But how fast?

Well, before I discuss that, lets look at couple of other factors…

Last year, in my last post before the race, I bemoaned the fact that I hadn’t had the best lead up. I’d had a chest infection, had been working two jobs and then suffered a minor twisted ankle which (mostly) kept me off the road for a couple of weeks prior. This year, there has been no second job, but I have had a phlegmy chesty cold and a sore hip. I haven’t had a whole lot of running over the last three or so weeks, but prior to that I’ve done a whole lot more. So the lead up has been iffy, but not awful.

Last year, before the run, my PB was around 90mins for the 15km. This year it’s about 80mins.

So with that in mind, I’ve set the following goals.

The “All things considered, I’ll take it” Goal – 80mins [2010 – 90mins]
The “I really want this one” Goal – 75mins [2010 – 85mins]
The “How awesome would it be to beat this time” Goal – 70mins [2010 – 80mins]

So if I can run 10minutes faster than anticipated last year, surely I can do the same this year?


I’ve also previously stated that my goal is to qualify for the next fastest group for 2012. The Red Group had a qualification time of 75mins when I entered this year and so my main goal was 75mins. However, according to the C2S website, the qualifying times for the front start groups have been tightened for 2012 “due to high demand. Of course they have, no one wants to spend half their time playing dodgems. So to qualify for the red group in 2012, I now have to run sub 70mins. SHIT. I’d best get my skates on. Literally.

Now assuming a 14.5km course (officially 14km, but I’m fairly certain it was advertised as 14.5km last year for the same course). So, trusting in “the man”, a 14km course requires the following average speeds.

Distance 14km Av Speed (min/km) Bottom Heartbreak Hill Top Heartbreak Hill Top Hill 2
70 min 5m 00s 26m 30s 40m 4s 51m 24s
75 mins 5m 21s 28m 23s 44m 27s 57m 3s
80 mins 5m 42s 30m 17s 47m 25s 60m 51s

So I should be setting my virtual partner for 5m/km, but I won’t be. I’ll be setting it at 4m 50s/km to allow for the questioned discrepancy in distance. If it’s closer to (or is exactly) 14km, I’ll come in ahead of goal, if it’s 14.5km, I’ll come in just over. Now the real trickis going to be getting to the top of Heartbreak Hill on time, because even if I can maintain the requisite average speed to the bottom of the hill, there is no way that I can maintain it going up Heartbreak Hill. So realistically I need to be at the bottom at the required time, push hard to the top and then hope to make up some time on the downhill.

Anyway, 70-75minutes, here I come. I hope.




2 responses

11 08 2011

Good luck mate hope it goes well. I’m looking forward to the race report.

12 08 2011
Emergency Admissions

Good luck. If you beat 70 minutes I’ll give you a (notional) chocolate frog. If 14g of theoretical chocolate isn’t sufficient motivation, I don’t know what is.

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