City2Surf at Bondi Beach: One helluva finish line

So yeah, City2Surf happened three weeks ago now, but it still looms large over the course of this winter and our time here in Sydney. It was absolutely the most perfect day for a run — clear, sunny, but cool enough to run comfortably at around 64 degrees or so. It was also insanely crowded – more than 80,000 people registered – and it took about three kilometers before I could really run at pace. Nonetheless, it was such a great time. Even going up Heartbreak Hill in Vaucluse I felt pretty good, and fortunately my creaky knees held up. It’s such a great reward to reach the top of the hill (near the Hermitage Reserve, if you’re looking on a map) and see all of Sydney Harbour unfurled beneath you.  All told, I finished the 14km race in a time of 1 hour, 14 minutes, which was just slightly ahead of my goal. I had such a great time, in fact, that next month I’m going to run in the Sydney Running Festival Bridge Run which, funnily enough, goes over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and ends up by the Opera House.  I must say, this city does scenic runs extremely well.

Before the Bridge Run, though, I’m traveling to Bali for my new company’s biennial “holiday party,” where all the Asia-Pacific region offices meet up for a conference and to catch some rays. I am beyond stoked to go to Bali, of course. What’s funny is that for Australians it’s like one of the shortest holiday jaunts you could take (a mere 6-hour flight!) and it’s even notorious for being overrun in certain seedy places with drunk & trashy Australians (like their version of Cancun or Panama City Beach or something). Of course, coming from the U.S., Bali is the ultimate exotic luxury destination given the distance and expense to travel there. I’m particularly excited because I took a vacation day and am going a day early to stay with an old friend from high school who lives there. In Bali. Like, year-round. How amazing is that? I’m so stoked to get to see the island with a semi-local.

I can’t believe that September is already upon us. Not that I’m complaining; this winter has been genuinely coldish, and I am definitely ready for the absolutely perfect weather that seems to characterize Australian spring. Plus there’s so much to look forward to; we’re hoping to go to Tasmania in October, over Christmas we’re traveling across New Zealand, and in February we’re going to China and Japan. But that’s a bit of a ways off right now. Come Wednesday, it’s Bali ho!