Sunday, March 10, 2013
At 7.30am I looked at the clock. Too early. Sleepy. It’s Sunday morning.
At 9.30am I looked at the clock … sigh … I’d better get up and do my run. Of course it was already waaaay too late by then. Sydney was heating up – it would eventually reach 28C with 60% humidity.
On with the shoes, a gulped breakfast, Garmin set and out the door. I ran in the shade to start with, along city streets, before thinking to myself: wouldn’t it be cool to run across the Harbour Bridge?
I saw steps up – I ran up them. Mostly. My legs were jelly by the time I got to the top. I was in (or near?) The Rocks but I still couldn’t see the bridge. I knew I was close though. The tall buildings were behind me now so there was no shade. So I ran on with the sun baking down passing cafes full of people chugging lattes.
I spied signs to the bridge! More steps, one wrong turn and then I was on it. Distance so far: 4km. Exhaustion: complete. I ran to the first pillar, sweat and sunscreen stinging my eyes and the asphalt of the sun-baked bridge cooking my legs. At the first pillar I had to turn back and walk but noticed I was now facing downhill – joy!
Deciding my legs were ok after all, I jogged back off the bridge, down the steps and onto the road. Next destination: Opera House.
I struggled to find my way out of The Rocks. I ran past a market – all incense, beads and bags. I ran past more cafes and could smell pancakes. Torture. Down another flight of steps then I finally onto the Overseas Passenger Terminal. It was now perhaps 10.30am and the place was getting crowded with tourists.
It was all harsh concrete and a maze of tourists, cameras, children, prams and other runners as I dodged my way around Circular Quay to a welcome stretch of shade. It was short lived – maybe 250m before I was back out in the screaming sun by the steps to the Opera House.
Unbelievably there were more steps in my path! It was a temporary bridge over construction work – then no shade, meandering tourists, baking heat, still no shade and a thick hot breeze from the harbor. I ran along the path between the water of the harbor and the grass of the Gardens.
I had now done about 7km and had planned to run right around Mrs Macquarie’s Chair but I was too hot and too thirsty and too exhausted.
I walked a shortcut through the park to the road then walked some more: maybe as long as 5 minutes before I had the strength to run again. I got another short break at a crossing before heading through the cool shade of the avenue in Hyde Park. Finally, desperate, I ran an as-the-crow-flies, jay-walking straight line back the hotel.
Distance: 9km. Time: 1hr. Lesson: learned.