City2Surf Timeline

Early 1971

A Fairfax New York correspondent sends a newspaper clipping to Jack Tier, the editor of The Sun, about the annual San Francisco Bay to Breakers fun run. Jack Tier and The Sun’s promotions manager, Rod Earle, decide to start a similar event in Sydney and come up with the name The Sun City to Surf.

September 5, 1971

The inaugural The Sun City to Surf begins from George Street, in front of Sydney Town Hall. The race has 2,107 entrants (only 2% are female), and is won by American, Ken Moore.

August 12, 1973

Event moves to the second Sunday in August, and continues to be held on this day every year (except in 2000, when it was moved to July because of the Sydney Olympics).

August 1975

Having started in George St for the first two years, the starting point was moved due to the increase in numbers to Pitt St. The following year the start was moved again to Elizabeth St and then again in 1977.

August 1977

With the increase in participant numbers (7,845 entrants), the starting line of the event moves to its current position on College Street.

August 1981

Robert de Castella wins and breaks the race record. His time of 40.08 stood for 10 years.

August 17, 1985

The preferred runners system is introduced – a world first.

March 1988

The Sun ceases publication and the event becomes known as The Sun-Herald City to Surf, after Fairfax Media’s new Sunday newspaper, The Sun-Herald.

August 1988

Bicentennial Run attracts the largest field of 37,244. Lisa Martin sets the women’s record time of 45.47 which stood for 13 years.

August 11, 1991

21st birthday of the event - Steve Moneghetti wins the race for the fourth time in a row and sets the course record of 40.03 minutes. This record still stands today. 
Two start groups are introduced.

August 9, 1992

Three start groups are introduced called A, B, C, including the now popular ‘back-of-the-pack’ group.

August 10, 1997

Professional Australian runner Lee Troop wins the event.

August 15, 1999

Participant numbers exceed 50,000 for the first time reaching 50,716.

July 16, 2000

The event is held in July due to the Sydney Olympics. Kenyan Laban Chege gets back-to-back victories.

August 12, 2001

Susie Power is the first placed woman and sets the current women’s record of 45.08 minutes. 
Four Tanzanian men finish in the first four places of the event.

August 11, 2002

The City2Surf is named as the largest timed road race in the world.

August 10, 2003

One of the most exciting finishes with just 7 seconds separating 1st to 4th men’s places.
A male participant, aged 99, is the oldest person ever to compete in the race. He completes the course in 188 minutes.

August 8, 2004

Steve Moneghetti races the event whilst wired up to the commentary team for Network Ten’s coverage of the event.

August 14, 2005

The event marks its’ 35th birthday with a third straight victory for Patrick Nyangelo and a PB for women’s champion and ‘marathon mum’ Kerryn McCann.

August 13, 2006

More women register for the event than men for the first and only time in the event’s history.

August 12, 2007

A record number of 64,713 people entered the event.

August 10, 2008

A record $1.25 million raised for charity.

August 9, 2009

The City2Surf becomes the world's largest run and is voted Sydney's favourite sporting event. 

August 8, 2010

The event celebrates 40 years with more than $2.8 million being raised for over 500 charities.
A new start group, Orange (Back of the Pack) was added and the event saw a record 80,000 people enter.

August 14, 2011

85,000 people register to take part, including the event's 1.5 millionth entrant. Gold Charity entries were added which saw 20 charities each have 25 runners make fundraising the focus of their City2Surf.
More than $3.8 million is raised for over 600 charities.
2.08 tonnes of paper and 2.56 tonnes of plastic and glass was recycled.

August 12, 2012

Liam Adams was the first back-to-back winner since Dickson Marwa in 2006-2007 and the first Australian to do so since Steve Moneghetti in the early 1990's. The Gold Charity initiative grew to include 92 charities with their own start group behind Red. 
A record $4 million + has been raised for more than 650 charities. 

August 9, 2015

2015 marked the 45th year of the City2Surf.

August 14, 2016

The race was contested by a strong field with pre-race favourite Harry Summers delivering on the day, crossing the line in an impressive 41:54, ahead of Thomas Do Canto from Wollstonecraft (43:15) in second, and Matthew Cox from Moorebank (43:27) in third.

Any pressure felt pre-race to go back-to-back didn’t show in the performance of 2015 women’s winner, Cassie Fien. She claimed a consecutive City2Surf crown in a winning time of 47:29. Virginia Moloney from St Kilda with a time of 48:10, and Tarli Bird of Echuca (49:01) rounded out the top three.

Rio-bound triple Paralympic Gold Medalist Kurt Fearnley crossed the line first in a time of 33:22 and in the process broke his 2013 course record by almost a minute in the Elite Wheelchair Category. Fearnley would finish ahead of Melba’s Richard Nicholson (42:02), while Christie Dawes tuned up for her own Paralympics campaign to finish third overall in 43:10.