After watching my Aunt, Liz Miller, win the City2Surf (47.30) as a little girl in 1997, I’ve always looked at this event as the epitome of running in Sydney. Being able to follow in my Aunts footsteps, not once but twice, is undoubtedly one of my greatest achievements to date.
My first attempt at this iconic race was in 2010. I remember feeling very unprepared leading in, having no idea what to expect and having never raced longer than 10km. Everyone kept telling me about the horror of a Heartbreak Hill, which further added to my apprehension. To help ease my nerves, my coach and I drove over the course the day before, allowing me to visualise the race and know what twists and turns lay ahead of me on the day.
Luckily I had one of those rare ‘good’ race days, where I felt strong and in control. Crossing the line in first place and clocking the 10th fastest female time to date was a tremendous moment of elation. But too soon the moment of triumph was over, and I faced the pressure of having to defend this title. Injury ruled me out in 2011, but 2012 saw me fit and ready to go. Unfortunately in 2012 the wind and rain made conditions tough, and I remember having one of those distinct ‘bad’ race days, where I felt flat and fatigued from the gun. Nonetheless, sheer grit and determination saw me hold onto the win, which came as more of a relief this time around.
“While winning was of course my aim, what made this race so special was having all my friends and family along the course cheering me on.”
With most of my races being either overseas, or on a track or on cross-country courses in locations that are difficult to get to, having so much support is a rare occurrence. What was extra special was running past my old school, Kincoppal-Rose Bay, at the top of Heartbreak Hill. Having so many fellow Kincoppal students cheering me on at the point where I was really hurting was very uplifting and definitely gave me my second wind.
As my coach always says, pain is temporary but glory is everlasting. This most definitely applies to me in this case, as I will treasure my memories of this race for the rest of my life.
By Lara Tamsett