In the great history of the Chevron City to Surf for Activ, 2017 will go down as the year of the false start - and I think it was my fault.
As part of 96fm's involvement I was invited by Activ to MC the start of the 4 km course, which participants can either run, walk or roll (in the wheelchair category). So there I am on stage, doing all the official things Activ had asked me to do. There was a welcome to country by the very funny Shaun Nannup, a speech by Activ CEO, Danielle Newport and a big welcome to the Activ All Stars. These are a team of inspiring individuals living with disability who had travelled across WA to compete in all five City to Surf events – Albany, Geraldton, Karratha, Busselton and the flagship race in Perth.
This is where I think it was that I said something to set those adrenaline-filled 4km runners off early. As I welcomed the Activ All Stars to the event, I noticed how super-excited they were that I'd given them a shout out on the PA. Hungry for further approval, I called out to them again, with an enthusiastic: "are you all ready to go?!". The All Stars were of course, delighted.
Now, I don't know exactly when I noticed the thousand or so competitors from the 4km run category hurtling toward me and the starting line with pace, but it was a good minute or so after this exchange with the All Stars. An eye-witness competitor who contacted me for a giggle after the event tells me it was the combination of my enthusiastic "GO" and some rather loud ambient music being played up the back that made the runners think it was their time to shine.
Ugh!! I'd just caused a false start at the City To Surf. Possibly the first ever. I was a little mortified to say the least, but hey - as I learnt back in my theatre days, the show must go on.
So, along with the race officials, I instructed those twitchy runners back to the starting line and all the timers were reset.
We also had a big old laugh. Were you at the Chevron City to Surf for Activ? I'd love to hear your stories.\
Here are a few of my favourite snaps from the day.