By Jordan Pearson
Andy Reid will be on the mic at the 2018 Sun-Herald City2Surf presented by Westpac cheering you on as you cross the finish line in beautiful Bondi Beach. So, we thought it would be a great idea for us all to get to know him a little bit more…
Read on to find out why Reidy first got involved with City2Surf, where he sees himself in five years time and which iconic Bondi Lifeguards you can expect to catch on course.
At 19 you decided to make a change for yourself and improved your eating habits, started exercising and became a lifeguard at Bondi. What is your advice for those who want to embark on a similar journey?
Just be true to yourself. At 19 I lost all of the weight and I became a Lifeguard at 23. Don’t set your goals too high to start with and just make promises to yourself that you will definitely keep. Just dive into everything until you find something you love when it comes to exercise. Running was my go to when I first started. There’s actually a cool story behind my running and how I started. I was pretty overweight I weighed in at 100kg in my teenage years.
When I wanted to lose a lot of weight I actually volunteered at City2Surf, I was working at the aid station about ¾ of the way up Heartbreak Hill. I saw Steve Moneghetti run past and I think that may have been the year that he set the record and I was just so inspired by him and what he did and I thought running looks fun.
So, I started walking around the block, I had a block where I lived that was about 1km and then I started run-walking and when I started running a full lap of the block I started doing more and more laps. I set a goal subconsciously in my mind because my short term goal was to get around the block and them my long term goal was to run City2Surf and about three years later I ended up running City2Surf. I think I was a little over an hour and then I pretty much did City2Surf for the next 10-12 years setting goals slowly to go faster and faster and about three years ago I set a goal to go under 50 minutes and I went 49.46! And that was it running was my thing and I have loved it ever since.
Do you squish blue bottles with your feet or do they freak you out like they do us!
I do step on them with my feet and you can actually step on them with your bare feet if you have really tough feet and most of us do when we are adults, but if children step on them they usually get stung and they scream and cry for hours, so don’t let any kids near blue bottles. We could actually pick them up with the tips of our fingers because they are so well worn that they won’t sting you. I have been stung by them so many times that I don’t really mind anymore.
You have MC’d City2Surf for many years, have you ever cracked a joke and no body laughed?
Hmmm I don’t really know, I don’t really get much from the crowd when you are doing an event like City2Surf because it is so big! When you are chatting to people at the finish line they usually don’t have much left. It’s kind of a hard one.
If you were running City2Surf what would you dress up as?
That’s a funny one - I haven’t really thought of it. Well, look I’ve always loved and would have a crack at helping the guys carrying the wheel from North Bondi Surf Club. They have been trying to go under an hour for a long time and I think they got close last year at 61 so I’d probably help them out if I was running. I could definitely wear my own budgy smugglers that’s for sure.
We have Garmin on board this year and you are an ambassador for them too! What’s your favourite feature on your Garmin watch and why?
My favourite feature is the fact that I can pre-program my workouts in there, so my running programs so we do a lot of running so it’s interval like Steve Moneghetti’s one which is a very famous 90 seconds on and 90 seconds off x 2 and 1 minute on 1 minute off x 4 30 seconds on 30 seconds off x 4 15 seconds on 15 seconds off x 4. So, you can actually program that into your watch and go off on your run and start and then it almost coaches you on your wrist also using the heart rate monitor. I love being able to see my heart rate so that I am making sure I am pushing myself where I need to and going easy where I need to.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Ideally I am living in a little town up the coast, still working bringing up a bunch of kids teaching them how to run and how to surf and just living the dream. I guess living a happy healthy life. Health is the most important thing and a good part of events like City2Surf is it encourages you to be healthy and set goals and achieve them. As long as I am healthy I am happy.
If you had to give up one of the following for the rest of your life which one would it be? Swimming, cycling or running?
Oh cycling, 110%! I like cycling but I love running and I love swimming. Cycling in a heartbeat. I do a lot of cycling, it’s good fun I just think we don’t live in a society in Australia where it is very well received and for me I don’t like doing a sport where I fear for my life.
For $1000 would you eat a piece of seaweed fresh from the water at Bondi Beach?
I’d do it for free! 100%, why not?
You have been a Bondi Lifeguard for a long time now. Who is the biggest prankster in the team? What’s the funniest prank to date?
I have been a lifeguard for 16 years now which is a very long time. Probably Wippet, if he is not pranking people he is definitely making fun of them at our end of season party and he doesn’t forget much! I can tell you who the most annoying would be, Jake Nolan.
Wippet convinced kerrbox (Rod Kerr) that he was big in Japan and they were going to film him for the Japanese energy drink and he was going to get paid $10,000 so they came down to film and he was filmed bringing the jet ski up the beach and saying everyday I drink the Japanese energy drink which is Japanese for “cat piss”. They filmed it and he believed it all and in the end they told him he wasn’t big in Japan and he wasn’t getting any money!
Are some of the other Bondi Lifeguards running City2Surf ? If yes, who?
Harry will be and he will be doing it in his undies. He usually gets a bunch of the lifeguards together and they all do it in their undies, so ladies keep an eye out for them!
I can see you have been to New Zealand recently, where are you off to next?
I have a little work in Japan, I’m pretty lucky this year I have a bit on everywhere really. I’m excited, I’ve never been to Japan before.
Rapid fire questions
When you’re not at the beach where can we find you? You can find me running trails or out in the deep ocean on my paddle board.
What is your favourite quote? Go the extra mile it’s never crowded.
What’s your spirit animal? I don't know if I have one? I quite like dogs… I would like to come back as a dog as long as I have a nice owner.
What’s the funniest thing a fan has ever said to you? I rescued a Korean guy once and he was so happy I rescued him he said “you are like a Jesus, you walk on water, you saved me” and then he proceeded to hug me for about five minutes.
Three things you can't live without? My Garmin, my running shoes and board shorts.
This is your last chance to participate in the world's largest fun run for 2018!