Dad Down Under runs the Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10K

Matt a blogger from Dad Down Under took part in the Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10K race on Sunday 14th July. Finishing with an amazing time of 42:09 minutes, find out about Matt’s experience of the race and read some inspiring motivations from other competitors he met on the day.

It hasn’t been easy keeping up with Max this week, my legs have felt a little stiff after taking part in the Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10k. It was the first organised run that I have taken part in for about 6 years and it rekindled my love for them. I crawled out of bed at 6:15 am and took my place nervously amongst the other 3237 competitors at the start line. We were all overshadowed by the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and the rising sun, as far as race settings go this one is right up there.

The course itself was nice and flat without anything that resembled a hill which is just the way I like things. I was delighted to finish the race in 42:09 mins with 311th position overall. Instead of collapsing in a heap as my legs were requesting I took my place at the finish line to clap in the other runners. Its only when you watch other people finishing that you realise how much emotion is invested in a race like this; pride, achievement, elation, relief were all clear and visible.

All 3237 unique individuals were united by the fact that they had found a motivation to run that day. That is what running is all about, finding a single motivation that will ensure you keep putting your runners on and stepping outside the front door even when the little voice in your head says “don’t do it”. I picked out some runners and asked them what their motivation was for running that day.

I spoke to a jolly old man who was very quick to point out that he was old enough to be my Grandad, for him running in this event was about staying young, not letting age get the better of him and proving to himself and his wife that “he’s still got it”.

I spoke to three giggling girlfriends who motivated each other through all the training and the event itself. They had never run any sort of organised event and with each other’s support they got through it, enjoyed it and now had “caught the bug”.

I spoke to a lovely lady who was gently dabbing away tears of joy at the finish line. Her motivation for running that day was to continue striding towards her weight loss goal, she had lost 16kg in the past year and felt that events like these force her to train even when it’s cold and she would rather get comfy on the sofa.

I spoke to a Mum who ran the entire course with her little baby girl in a stroller, an idea I toyed with for all of 10 seconds before dismissing it as lunacy. She was running the event because it was something just for her. She had given all of herself to her little girl and this was something to make her feel good about herself.

I spoke to a young man who effortlessly oozed health and fitness from every pore. He told me that he runs countless events each year, he trains for 20 hours every week and for him the event is all about that elusive personal best. He had participated the year before and will keep coming back because it’s such a fast 10km track and yes he did achieve a personal best that day.

I spoke to a 15 year old boy who was running the event with his Dad and said without flinching that his motivation was to make his Dad proud. I looked up at his Dad and judging by the look on his face I think the boy achieved his goal. I started running as a 10 year old for the exact same reason, stitches, cold weather and sore legs were all ignored because the prize was so great.

My motivation for running that day was that I wanted to see if I could still do ‘it’, if I could still run fast. I used to love running but unfortunately my knees protest. After about 7km I had a lot of pain in my knee but didn’t want Max to see me walk across the line. I spotted him in the crowd as I approached the finish line and he broke out in smile and rapturous applause. If this is the last event I run in I will hang up my runners a happy man.

Are you a runner? What is your motivation to run?

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