Many of you would have heard of City2Surf, the world’s largest fun run which is held every year in Sydney. Ever since 2013 I have taken on the challenge of running in this event, tackling the gruelling infamous heartbreak hill, pounding the roads from Hyde Park all the way to the picturesque Bondi Beach for 14km.
In a year that has been so deeply and tumultuously affected by the global pandemic COVID, the usual City2Surf held in August was postponed. Like many other events around the globe it was rescheduled, and the 50th City2Surf spanned from 16th to 18th October, taking on a very different look – it was a virtual run.
Although very different in 2020, I still took on the challenge and it became my eighth year competing in this event.
City2Surf is such an important and emotional one for me, as it was Dainere and I who, back in 2013 decided I would run my first City2Surf to assist Dainere in her prolific, inspiring and selfless awareness and fundraising for paediatric brain tumours.
Dainere so desperately wanted to be there to cheer me across the line and give me a huge hug (she was my number one running supporter); but tragically and cruelly her young life was taken by such an insidious and cruel disease as brain cancer and she did not have this chance.
I run each year now to elevate awareness, raise funds and to honour my beloved little sister and our shared love of running and passion to bring hope to every child diagnosed with a paediatric brain tumour.
I chose a challenging 14km course and selected to run on 18th October. There was rain on the day prior and storms were predicted on Sunday, the day I was to run, but to have these challenges is absolutely nothing compared to what children diagnosed with brain tumours must endure.
I pushed myself and gave everything I had on the day and had the extraordinary support of my family and my mate, Liam. As I ran Dainere was constantly in my thoughts.
My official time and a personal best over 14km of 50:15:04, coming 9th overall and 3rd in my age group of 20-29. At the conclusion of the race, on removing my shoes, I discovered an extremely black and then painful big toe, which led to a three-week recovery.
Through running City2Surf again this year I was able to continue to raise vital awareness and raised $26.10, which in such a difficult year where fundraising has been virtually non-existent is significant: every cent, every dollar, every donation contributes to making a difference.