According to my calculations this was my 21st City to Surf. Yes, I started young. It’s a constant in my year, something marked in my calendar months in advance.

The City to Surf from Hyde Park to Bondi is Sydney’s best known race, the world’s largest and probably prettiest fun run. It boasts a killer hill – the eponymous heartbreak hill, and even better views across the harbour and ocean. It also is almost always the most gorgeously sunny winter day, and this year was no exception.

Over the years things have changed:
– more people: when I started in 1990 there were about 20,000, maybe fewer, this year a whopping 85,000
– more starts: now more than 6 starts based on previous times, intended pace, fundraising – can make it hard for previous runners to run with friends
– free public transport FINALLY included with entry cost, used to be totally ridiculous with 50k+ people trying to buy tickets
– cups changed this year to paper from plastic which is good but I kind of missed the glorious din of runners crushing thousands of plastic cups
– more security around the race; clear luggage bags, much stricter marshaling at start, promises to pull runners without bibs from the course
– much greater detail about times & splits – in the old days used to have to wait for the pullout in Tuesday’s Herald & scan hundreds of names to find yourself, now it’s online the evening of the race.

Things that are the same:
– very small crowds watching, compared to other big races
– the course in all its hilly picturesque glory
– enormous numbers of super helpful volunteers (thanks!)
– the amazing “Legends” who have run every race since 1971. Still running.
– boring merchandise – which is a pity because I’d love a souvenir

One thing that has definitely changed, my time.. When you’re a tiny 9 year old who didn’t train you set times that an adult training for a half marathon can smash, woo!

From 121 minutes then, to 66 minutes now- boom!