Posts Tagged 'australia'

Passport to Race: Sydney’s City 2 Surf Fun Run

by D0nnaTr0y

Fun if you like hills.

Hills that really aren’t too bad if you can keep your eye on the prize.The prize being Sydney’s beautiful, sprawling Bondi Beach.

Starting in the center of the city in Sydney’s CBD (Central Business District) and meandering up and down through various outer districts including Edgecliff and Kings Cross before concluding on the promenade at Bondi Beach, this 14k (roughly 8.7 miles) boasts 70,000 runners, and the honor of being the world’s largest fun run. Be prepared to never break free of the pack as this run stays jam-packed the entire course.

Highlights include 4 color-coded starts, good old Gatorade at the plentiful drink stops (no gross Accelerade or Ultima on this course), heartbreak hill- a twisty-turning never-ending gradual accent between the 7th and 8th kilometer, and a breathtaking view of Bondi as you descend the final few kilometers. Be prepared for a crowded course of walkers and baby strollers, lots of hills, and no food (only water) at the finish line. And US runners beware- there are no mile markers on this course so plan your race strategy accordingly; just remember, there may be more kilometers, but they go by much quicker! Luckily this race is held in the winter, which for Sydney, means temps around 15-17 C (which is around high 50s/low 60s F) and perfect running weather. Despite running with 69,999 of your closest friends, this is a race every intercontinental runner should experience at least once!

I ran this year’s race on Sunday, August 10 with good friend Nadje and her sister S. This was my second international race and it was fun to play the compare and contrast game. The first noticeable difference occurred at bag check. Many races use elaborate systems for collecting your bags with long lines according to race number or last name initial. This bag check did require use of a special bag with your race number, but there were no volunteers to collect the bags; you literally tossed your bag onto the truck! Luckily, and much to my surprise, it was very easy to get our bag at the end of the race as distribution of the bags was much more organized than the collection.

The second most noticeable difference came while in line for the port-a-potty, or port-a-loo as they are referred to here. The line moved at the usual pace, which was surprising as there were two men going from loo to loo cleaning! And what a good job they did! This port-a-john was by far the cleanest bathroom I’ve ever seen at a race- complete with a handle to flush and running water to wash up with!

As previously mentioned, and shown above, there were four different starts.We were in the blue, which was rumored to be the back of the pack, though we went on the third gun shot; the yellow group starting on the fourth and last gunshot. There was no national anthem sung or band playing at the start, but I did get a kick out of the vast number of discarded clothing everywhere.
As we fought our way past the start line, I expected the pack to loosen up with runners edging ahead of the walkers. Sadly, this never happened. I don’t know if perhaps the blue start was code for walkers, but it may as well have been. It was a constant game of dodging in, out, around, and through the multitude of casual walkers, who were taking the idea of a “Sunday Stroll” a little too literally.
The zig-zagging aside, the rest of the race ran like any other.There were the occasional bands…

And some interesting costumes…

Let’s get a close-up of the painted dude:
The water stations were plentiful and with my favored Gatorade, though I am still puzzled as to why the race coordinators chose to use plastic cups, which broke to pieces beneath the runners’ feet causing dangerously slippery surfaces and ridiculously loud crunching noises, instead of the usual paper.

Finishing the race was, like most races, the best part of the race! But c’mon, who wouldn’t love a race that ended next to super blue water and white sandy beaches?

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July 2018
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