Staggering the start times based on prior running event attendance and running times i.e. the walkers start last, the Sydney City2Surf has been a major city attraction since 1971. If this sounds like a familiar event, you’re right. It was inspired by the barking mad San Francisco’s Bay To Breakers where a good chunk of attendees also walk from the Bay Bridge to Ocean Beach, while the supersonic’s run the whole stretch. Everyone's in costume, even a few in their birthday suit!
Organized by the Amateur Athletic Association of NSW and the NSW Women’s Amateur Athletic Association, it originally attracted a mere 2,000 athletic competitors.
Over the past few years, a walloping 60,000 people have entered and in 2010, the rise to 80,000 participants broke the record, making it the largest run of its kind…worldwide.
If you think you can cut the chase, you’ll need to be training to beat Steve Moneghetti with his record 40.03 minutes in 1991. And all you lovely sporting ladies have a target of 45.08 minutes, set by Susie Power in 2001.
The ‘Back of the Pack’ (official name) is for the walkers, wheelchair participants or anyone pushing a kid in a stroller (preferably your own). This is the batch that starts last but then again, someone has to come in at the end, having a leisurely blast and cheered on by the crowd!
Starting in Sydney, the route passes through the east city, Kings Cross to Double Bay and ending at Bondi Beach. If you think this is a walk in the park (unless you’re a runner), account that you’ll need to trundle up Heartbreak Hill at the midpoint. It’s steep and ascends from Rose Bay to Vaucluse to New South Head Rock, so maybe trial it out as a test run first to avoid any upheaval surprise.
The beauty of this run is that there are so many bands and artists playing along the way, cheering crowds wear novelty costumes and the crowd roars you in support from start to finish.
If you’re in Sydney and heading to participate or cheer on the attendees, and need an affordable Sydney hotel, check out Cremorne Point Manor. This boutique beauty has just received its fourth consecutive Certificate of Excellence Award by Tripadvisor. Need more inspiration? Check out the video on the home page and see the views of the Harbour, right from this gem of a hotel. Get your running shoes on because the rooms book out fast…