There is no greater feeling than running along decked out in exercise gear, huffing and puffing, perspiration beading off your eyebrows and encountering someone with a pizza box in their hands. The self-righteousness is palpable.
Of course, if you were the dude with the pizza you’d be thinking the runner was absolute meathead.
I believe there are two types of people in the world: those who run and those who do not.
Fortunately I am both of those people. On Saturdays I hang out at the hot chip shop during the day and the pizza parlour by night. It’s a blissful, hedonistic existence.
Then, on Sundays I like to drive down to the Kangaroo Point cliffs on the Brisbane River and join all the other suckers looking for non-existent parking slots. It’s hilarious watching all the runners drive around like fools, ready to hit the pavement, but unable to find a place to covertly stow away their SUV.
It’s like watching flower girls and page boys trying to scrape confetti off the pavement and shove it back in the box. Oh the irony – you can run anywhere, you know?
It’s doubly hilarious for the person walking past with an aromatic pizza.
But, of course, that sucker is probably going to end up feeling a little bloated and will miss out on the legendary Runner’s High.
And you really do have to join the Running Fraternity, which, I’m afraid, does mean you’ll have to join all the other rabbits looking for parks on a Sunday, to understand the elusive High.
You’ll probably have to start using throwaway phrases such as ‘oh yeah I went for a light jog yesterday. I’m nursing an injury. My fifth metatarsal is twinging again, so I’m trying to limit myself to about 9 kilometres.’
And then you can start forking out some serious coin to wake up offensively early on a Sunday and run along the bitumen with your Running Friends.
I know all of that sounds a tad foolish, and frankly that’s because you are going to look a fool at some stage in your Running Career, but it will be worth it. The Runner’s High is better than drugs. Or so I’ve heard from some of my more rebellious Running Pals.
I joined the Fraternity a few years ago when another member recruited me to run the City to Surf in Sydney. It is a beautiful and exciting run starting in Sydney’s luscious city parks, running through the red light district, King’s Cross, and past the exclusive Rose Bay, which is breathtaking, and then along the headland to Bondi Beach.
The famous Heartbreak Hill in the middle of the run separates the city from the beach. It’s 2 kilometres you will not forget. I still recall Daft Punk dragging me up with Robot Rock. Plus, the hill is sponsored by RSVP and what is not to love about signs that tell you “you’re so hot right now,” as you’re about to collapse? Not even a dead pig is that sexy.
Residents on the track get into the spirit, too. Some will form rock bands to spur you on. Others will come outside and clap in a rather lame manner. That’s still nice.
And it’s only 14 kilometres. An easy trot, at least for a Runner.
Since my first City to Surf, my Running Career has spanned a few more fun runs, another City to Surf and a half marathon, one of my proudest achievements.
Now, when I come across a particularly difficult task, such as peeling potatoes with a left-handed peeler, I think to myself “I did that bloody half marathon, so I can peel these cheeky spuds.” Sure, I may have had to pay 90 bucks for the pleasure of waking up at 4am to run along an empty highway, but it’s that feeling of accomplishment I remember.
After the half marathon the crew I ran with joined together is a Runner’s Celebration. We indulged in an all-you-can-eat feast at Sizzler.
And that is how easy it is to slide between the dude with the pizza and the chick in lycra.