Friday, September 27, 2013

Sydney Running Festival

September 2013

The Sydney Running Festival is the only event to remain from the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

For the last two years we've run the 9K Sydney Bridge Run, but this year we went for the Blackmore's Half Marathon.

The runs start under the Harbour Bridge and all end up at the Sydney Opera House, you really couldn't ask for a much prettier course. It was a fabulous experience, and even though I'm a back of the pack runner I still felt really supported by the crowd and fellow runners.

DH finished in a fabulous 93 min, but we discovered what the "front" of the pack runners can miss out on, compared to me who finished in 2 hr 35 min.

1. I got up and close with the wheelchair marathoners, including the fabulous Kurt Fearnley. The first time he came up on the other side was exciting, when he overtook me on the 19k mark (and the 40k mark for him), who knew I would be excited to be over taken?
2. The elite male marathoners came screaming around the 6k mark as I was plodding past the 9k mark, it was a stunning sight
3. Seeing DH at his 20.5 k mark and my 12.5 k mark really lifted me, especially since he wasn't that far off the 90 min pacer so I knew he was going to beat his target (100 min)

My only disappointment is not getting a photo at the finish, with my medal.

I highly recommend this race for the tourist and the local, we will definitely be back for our 4th year next year, who knows maybe even for the full....

Friday, September 20, 2013

Wish List: Tokyo

There are two destinations at the top of my wish list, one being Istanbul, Turkey, the other being Tokyo, Japan.

Japan is only a 9 hour flight for us, and we have thought about doing it over many long weekends from Sydney (especially since the flights to and from are overnight). Crazy, maybe, be definitely not uncommon for Australians.

There's a few appealing things about Tokyo for me:

1. Is the hustle and bustle, the bright lights

2. The cultural aspect, with the Imperial Palace and Sumo tournaments

3. The food - from Ramen, to Sushi to Yakitori to Tempura and more, so many great choices

So there's very little excuse for us not to get to Tokyo in the not to distant future. Then it will be a question of how long, where to eat and where to stay!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Wish List: Destination Runs

It's a recent thing, me actually wanting to run and me actually being able to run more than a few meters. Australia has some pretty spectacular races and we've done the Sydney Bridge Run every year for the past two years (you run over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, through the Botanical Gardens and end at the Opera House). But Australia's running events don't have the open times that US events do and that limits me in terms of the half marathon distance. However there are a number of destination runs I would love to do (and I feel are within my capability to do so!):

Hawaii - Kona Marathon

This takes you to the Hawaiian Island of Kona (the one with the Lava). Can't do the 42.2 kilometer distance, then you also have the half (21.1k), the 10k or the 5k. The advantage of this marathon is it's 8 hour cut of time,  and that its on a tropical Island. Where is where the disadvantage comes in (and probably the long cut off), the humidity.

Birdsville - Big Red Run
This one is an ultra marathon, you know one of those races where you don't just run 42.2k, but go further, in fact this one you can "choose" to run up to 250 km in six days....But it raise awareness for a great cause - Type 1 Diabetes.

New York - New Years in Central Park
I covered this one on a previous wish post, but its still at the top of my list. The 4 mile or 6.4 km course starts and midnight. They have fireworks, plenty of supporters and a champagne station, because really would it be NYE without champagne?

Antarctic - Ice Marathon
The attraction to this one because I've never run in snow and I covet the marathon distance, not extremely logical I know. Two things to tick off at once (plus who do you know who's run it?).

And that's just the short list, there are so many runs large and small, short to long distance in every corner of the what are you waiting for?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Gowings Bar and Grill, Sydney

August 2013

 Located on the first floor of the trendy QT Hotel, the Gowings Bar & Grill takes its name from the Gowings department store that occupied the space for 137 years.

The style of the restaurant is the same as the hotel, the heritage feel is there with a lot of quirky additions.

The coffee was good and strong ($4.50).

Huevos Rancheros
Soft Black Corn Tortilla, Chilli Beans, Avocado Mousse, Coriander,
Lime, Mexican Cheese, 64 Degree Biodynamic Egg $17

Blueberry Spelt Flour Pancakes
Sugar Banana, Organic Maple Syrup, Hand Made Jersey Cows Milk Butter $16

I definitely intend to come back and try lunch one day...