Sydney City to Surf, a fun run for all

Sydney Travel Blog

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The path the runners take.
The City to Surf is an annual race run every August from the city of Sydney to the surf of Bondi Beach. The starting gun sounds three times; the first for group A, the elite runners, the second time for group B, the not quite elite and first time runners, and the third time the gun goes off is for the back of the pack. The back of the pack is for the not so serious runners, families, walkers, Gorillas, superheros and the like. The elite group start the race from the top of William Street, running straight down William Street and East to Bondi Beach. Group B start on Park Street, on the south side of William St and the back of the pack on Park Street on the north side of William St.

In 2007, there were 53,113 official finishers, a vast difference to where the race began in 1971 with only 2000 entrants.

Looking down William Street.
The participants collectively raised more than AUD1.04 million dollars for charity. What an outstanding effort.

The race begins bright and early on a Winter Sunday morning, with the runners to be in their official starting groups by 8:30am. Most runners will wear warm clothes to the starting line and toss the clothes away just before the race begins. As a spectator, there were many times I had to duck flying sweat shirts and tracky daks all of which are collected after the runners have headed down William St and given to charities. The beginning of the race is quite a spectacle, with the thousands of runners lined up, clothes flying through the air, landing to dangle off trees and power lines. Then when the gun sounds and the runners are off, there is an endless stream of people for 20 minutes or more until the back of the back of the pack are away and.

One of the many clothes trees.
.. strolling, as the field is too crowded and slow at this stage for anyone to do much running.

The fastest this year was Tanzanian, Dickson Marwa (41:10), and the slowest person took over 5 hours to complete the race.

The finish line looks like complete chaos, with thousands of competitors and even more spectators. However all the times I was at the finish line waiting for a runner, I always managed to find them. It still amazes me.

If you are a fun runner, or even a Sunday dawdler, this is a fantastic event. Don’t worry about not completing the event, plenty of people stop for a coldie at one of the watering holes along the way and just don’t get around to finishing the race. Me, I never got around to starting one, I was moral support for many years, waving someone off at the start and cheering him over the finish line.

One day...

tiffharg says:
My friend and I just started running and we are going to be doing a bunch of races... this one sounds so fun!!! How many miles is it? :)
Posted on: May 31, 2008
wesnmacke says:
Wow! That's great!! Fun, excitement, craziness, money to a great cause...an all around good time! :)
Posted on: May 07, 2008
cygnus16 says:
What was the distance of this run? I've run 18 marathons, but never in competition.
Posted on: Mar 06, 2008
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The path the runners take.
The path the runners take.
Looking down William Street.
Looking down William Street.
One of the many clothes trees.
One of the many clothes trees.
Group B before the start of the ra…
Group B before the start of the r…
Group B facing William Street, the…
Group B facing William Street, th…
You can see ‘The Back of the Pac…
You can see ‘The Back of the Pa…
Looking down William Street, the c…
Looking down William Street, the …
The last of the competitors are on…
The last of the competitors are o…
The Finish Line - Bondi Beach
The Finish Line - Bondi Beach
Shane almost at the finish line, o…
Shane almost at the finish line, …
Sydney
photo by: Sunflower300