A boy from Darwin and another from Scotland encouraged each other to success in this year’s City to Surf race on 9 August, crossing the line at the same time to be the first of 83 runners competing from The Armidale School.
Jack Boydell, a Year 11 student from Darwin and classmate Sam Tullie from Berwickshire set off together in the ‘blue’ category which was the largest group of runners in the iconic footrace, but did not realise they were also together at the end.
“Three of us got to our starting line early so we could get a clear path, and this made a big difference as we didn’t have to run around everybody until we had caught up with the group in front,” said Sam, who took seven minutes off his time last year.
“Jack got away from me through the first tunnel but I caught up with him on Heartbreak Hill. With all the different laneways at the finish, I actually didn’t know we crossed the line with the same time until we got the results.”
Sam said he found the notorious 1.6km Heartbreak Hill more challenging this year – “because I took the race more seriously”.
“It’s such a great event, there are always people pushing you along with music and drinks and signs of encouragement – it’s an incredible atmosphere.”
Not far behind was Saxon Hughes from Glen Innes in 1:03:36 and Nicholas Makeham from Walcha, finishing in 1:04:34.
The TAS contingent of 83 included 74 boys, two staff, two fathers and a former student and friend, and was believed to be one of the largest school groups in the event. Almost 80,000 people are entered this year’s race, which goes from Hyde Park to Bondi.
The event is part of a school award called the TAS Triple Crown, for those students who complete it, the 2km Coffs Harbour Ocean Swim and the 111km overnight Hawkesbury Canoe Classic during their time at the school.