City 2 Surf Race Report

11871866_10153529924640070_1821200140_oAnyone who knows a bit about running in Australia has heard of the City 2 Surf. Come to think of, such is the history and scale of the event, those who don’t even own a pair of joggers know of it. Every year on a cold August morning, ten’s of thousands of people toe the line at Hyde Park for the 14km journey from the heart of Sydney to Bondi Beach. It’s an iconic event that throughout the years has attracted many of the legends of the sport. From Steve Moneghetti and Lisa Ondieki to Kerryn McCann and Rob de Castella.
The 2015 edition proved to be one of the more exciting in recent history. With no clear favourite it was wide open, which assured a closely fought battle throughout. The early pace was steady, with Jonathan Peters skipping away to a 30 meter lead and a group quickly forming behind. At the pointy end of the chase bunch was previous winner Ben Moreau, last year’s runner up Brad Milosevic, as well as Stewart McSweyn, Matthew Cox and Dave Byrne. The race remained this way for the first 6 kilometers, but upon reaching the bottom of Hearytbreak Hill the filed quickly split, with Milosevic, McSweyn, Moreau and Appleby making a move for Peters and leaving the rest of the field strung out. By the top of the hill it was a group of four, with Appleby being the one dropped. From here the battle really began as  McSweyn and Milosevic went to a fro trying to break one another.
Meanwhile, in the women’s race, Cassie Fien had left her competitors for dead, establishing a 25 second lead by the bottom of Heartbreak (6km). Chasing was marathon champion Jess Trengrove and rising talent Danielle Allen. By the top of the climb Cassie had extended her lead to 34 seconds while Allen had gotten away from her more highly credentialed rival and built an 80 meter gap ahead of Trengrove.
The men’s race remained undecided until very late in the piece, with Milosevic managing to grind out a small gap before turning at the roundabout and setting sail for home and victory. McSweyn had to settle for silver while behind there was a ding-dong battle going on for third. Moreau and Peters had been duelling for the last 5km but in the end the strength of Moreau saw him forge a narrow margin to come home in third. In the women’s event, Cassie ran away a comfortable winner in a cracking time of a little over 46:30. Second place went to 20-year-old Danielle Allen, while Trengrove finished with a smile in third.

The morning after the race, I caught up with an ecstatic Brad Milosevic.

So how do you feel today?
I pulled up pretty good. I think you generally do feel good the day after a race when you’ve run well. Maybe some of the recovery beers have helped!

What does winning the race mean to you?
I’m not sure it has sunk in yet. Reading the names engraved on the trophy and knowing my name is now there is pretty cool. I received a message from former winner Paul Arthur saying “Welcome to the club” which is a nice thing to get.

Did you think you were a chance?
I knew the field wasn’t as strong as previous years and that my training partner Ben Moreau, a former winner, had been nursing an injury, so I had a bit of confidence. Placing second last year gave me a lot of motivation to go one better and I’ve focused a lot on performing well here. My training had been great and I’d had a few good lead up races to prepare, so I was ready to give it a real crack. In the end it all panned out perfectly and I managed to hang on.

What’s next on the agenda?
The national cross country champs are on in Melbourne in a couple weeks and because I didn’t run it last year, I’m really excited tohead down for that one. I love the cross country stuff! Then there’s the defence of my Sydney Running Festival Half Marathon title as a lead in for a marathon later in the year.

How will you recover from the race?
I’ll have a few easy days of running and then get back into things late in the week. With so many races lined up for later in the year I kind of need to keep training fairly solidly before having a break after the marathon in October.