There are many reasons Sydney is a modern, welcoming, world class city. It has beaches, services, public transport, first class restaurants, cuisines from all parts of the world and cultural and social activities of all kinds. One of these activities is the ‘City2Surf ‘ race that goes between the city (CBD) and Bondi beach. It is a fantastic activity that not only running fanatics do but also families, groups of friends and it even brings together entire companies who want to organise a social activity. This race is already famous around the globe as it is one of the biggest city races in the world, having more than 75,000 participants. The first race was run in 1971.
The Sun-Herald City2Surf presented by Westpac is 14km in distance starting from the intersection of Park and College Sts in Sydney’s CBD before heading up William St and through the tunnel at Kings Cross. The course continues along New South Head Rd through Rose Bay, then up “Heartbreak Hill” (the halfway point) and also the toughest part of the course.
The course then turns the corner at Dover Heights into Old South Head Rd, left into Military Rd and then down the hill to the finish at Australia’s most famous and spectacular Bondi Beach. The City2Surf finish line is located on Queen Elizabeth Dr at the southern end of Bondi Pavilion.
Since it’s beginning, 39 years ago, The Sun-Herald City2Surf has been wholly owned and organised by The Sun-Herald (formerly The Sun), a Fairfax Media publication.
History tells us that the inspiration for this great event came via a note from Fairfax’s US correspondent, who sent a newspaper clipping in 1970 about the San Francisco Bay to Breakers to the editor of The Sun newspaper, Jack Tier.
From that internal memorandum The Sun City2Surf was born, albeit humbly, in 1971, with just over 2,000 entrants (only 2% of the field was female). In the years since it has been proven time and again that no other fun run in the Southern Hemisphere matches The Sun-Herald City2Surf in terms of organisation or demographics. For the first time in the event’s history women outnumbered men in the capacity field of 63,451 in 2006: it is truly a community event attracting entrants from all walks of life and all ages.
Out in front, the stars chase glory and a place in race history. The Sun-Herald City2Surf is acknowledged as Australia’s premier road race and the Honour Roll reads like a who’s who of Australian champions:
- Robert de Castella (1977 and 1981)
- Steve Moneghetti (four consecutive wins 1988-1991, including the course record of 40.03 in 1991)
- Andrew Lloyd (1983, 1984, 1986 and 1993)
- Lisa Ondieki (1988 and 1991)
- Heather Turland (1994 and 1996)
- Susie Power (2001 and 2002, who holds the women’s record of 45.08)
- and inspirational Australian Commonwealth medallist Kerryn McCann (2005)
While line honours in the inaugural City2Surf went overseas (American Kenny Moore), it took fifteen years before the trophy went abroad again when Englishmen Hugh Jones was the victor. This is in stark contrast to recent years where the men’s division has seen a domination of overseas athletes crossing the finish line at Bondi in first place. South African John Morapedi (1995 and 1996), American Daniel Browne (1998), Kenyan Laban Chege (1999 and 2000), Tanzanian John Msuri (2001), Jussi Utrianen from Finland (2002), Patrick Lusato again from Tanzania (2003, 2004 and 2005) and In the women’s field, Tasmania’s Hayley McGregor took line honours in 2003 and 2004, Kerryn McCann in 2005 and Victorian Anna Thompson taking line honours in both the 2006 City2Surf and The Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon.
The true stars of The Sun-Herald City2Surf however, are the more than 1.2 million people who have entered Australia’s greatest community fitness event in its 38-year history.