The City2Surf has returned in style, with 60,000 participants running, walking, and dancing their way through the city to the sun-drenched Bondi Beach.
Those taking part revelled in the party atmosphere and celebrated every step as they were finally able to reunite with thousands of others for the 50th physical running of the City2Surf after two years of virtual races.
The City2Surf means so much to so many people but none more so than the City2Surf Legends, a group of runners who have now competed the famous 14km course 50 times – every year since the inaugural race in 1971.
Seventy-eight-year-old Jim Roberts is one of those Legends who was delighted to return to racing through the streets of Sydney for the first time since 2019.
“I’ve run it every year, plus the last two years virtually. It’s just so good to have the race back, so pleased it was on. The virtual was good, but it’s not the same. The atmosphere this year was beautiful, fantastic, better than ever. It’s so much better than the virtual running,” said Jim.
Running for charity is the beating heart of the City2Surf, with participants raising over $50 million for those in need since 2008. The 2022 event will add to that total with a goal of $4 million raised for over 300 charities.
Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation (SCHF) runner Matthew Normal today completed his ninth City2Surf, and his fourth running in a cow costume alongside friends and family to celebrate the life of his daughter who passed away from leukaemia.
“We support Sophie’s Run for my daughter who passed away a couple of years ago from leukaemia, so we raise money every single year for cancer research for the Children’s Hospital. We run in the cow suits because it was her favourite animal. This is our fourth year running it in a cow suit and we’ve been doing City2Surf for nine years,” he said. “This year I think we’re at about $4,500 but we’ve raised about $60,000 in total.”
Contributing an incredible $30,000 to this year’s charity donation total were Jayne Wasmuth, Abigail Robles, and Maggie Wang from the Westmead Institute for Medical Research. The trio were running the City2Surf for the first time.
“The atmosphere was beautiful, such a great day. We’ve never run City2Surf before, but we absolutely loved it, we’ll definitely be back,” said Jayne. “We’re running for the researchers because they are extraordinary human beings who are doing amazing things for science. We’ve raised $30,00 this year, we put it out to the community and they were right there with us.”
Thousands of runners took to the streets in fancy dress, adding a huge splash of fun and colour to the event.
Hamish Mountford and his daughter Liana Schmidt ran the 14km together dressed as The Incredibles.
“This is about my 30th City2Surf. I always take my kids on this course when they’re 12, she’s my youngest so we thought we’d dress up and make some fun of it. It’s been awesome, we’ve had lots of shout outs, so it’s been really cool,” said Hamish. “I love the atmosphere, you can’t beat it. Everyone is on the streets and roads, you’ve got the bands, it’s a knockout.”
From 12-year-old Liana to 70-year-old Marion Susan Toby, the City2Surf is an event for everyone. Marion, running her 25th City2Surf on the day of her 70th birthday, enjoyed every moment of the City2Surf’s return.
“It’s wonderful to be back, the whole way I smiled because it’s such a beautiful run. Everyone is friendly, about every 5km I’d yell out ‘it’s my birthday’ and everyone would cheer for me, it was wonderful,” she said. “Who wouldn’t do it. The atmosphere, the music, the scenery, the people, the endorphins, you can feel it in the air. There’s nothing like the City2Surf.”
The City2Surf will be back again on Sunday 13 August 2023.