Glorious weather shines on City2Surf
A record-matching 69,225 strong pack of runners stretched from Sydney to Bondi Beach for the The Sun-Herald City2Surf.PT1M23S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2rpug 620 349 August 11, 2013
It was all in the numbers during Sunday's Sun-Herald City2Surf presented by Westpac.
A record-equalling 85,000 wannabe competitors entered the race, and 69,225 fronted up in the CBD on a balmy winter's day to the start line at Hyde Park.
Chris Brown collapses in City2Surf run due to a virus. Photo: Helen Nezdropa
Not all of them made it to the finish line - course casualties included celebrity vet Chris Brown, who collapsed near the Bondi beachfront.
A carnival atmosphere pervaded for much of the route, with runners donning panda costumes, ballet skirts and this season's favourite, the onesie.
"I lost a bet," said Sam Walters, 29, who was dressed as a lion. Andrew Reed had won a bet: his wife agreed to donate $100 to charity if he completed the race in a Pikachu suit.
And they're off: City2Surf runners head for Bondi. Photo: Ben Rushton
Every year dozens of entrants in the City2Surf need help from paramedics, often for heat exhaustion or because they have tried to enter the race without preparing properly.
The Bondi Vet, as Dr Brown is known, collapsed just two kilometres from the finish line and was unable to complete the race.
"I had a respiratory virus in the lead up to City2Surf and I haven't been feeling 100 per cent,'' he said in a statement. ''In hindsight, I shouldn't have participated in today's race but I was really looking forward to running in the Westpac Alpha team which was raising money for the Westpac rescue helicopters.''
Super heroes: A competitor dressed as Spider-Man mixes in with those in more regular attire.
Dr Brown was taken to St Vincent's Hospital but has since been released.
''I am feeling much better and I am back at home resting,'' he said.
He was among 20 people who had to receive assistance from paramedics - a figure down on previous years.
City 2 Surf: 2013
City 2 Surf: They're off. The start to the 2013 race gets underway. Photo: Dean Sewell
Including Dr Brown, seven people were transported to hospital for injuries ranging from heat exhaustion to fractured toes.
Tony Abbott looked unburdened in sinisterly short pants that showed off his thighs. He joked that Malcolm Turnbull's election posters kept him going over Heartbreak Hill. Not the first time, no doubt, that focusing on Mr Turnbull's face has kept him on the pace.
Race organisers are hoping to raise $4 million for charity in the same year the event passed a fund-raising total of $20 million since it was first held in 1971. A record-equalling 85,000 people entered but the number of official starters was 69,225 - also a record. It rained jumpers and water bottles on the sidelines as the clock ticked towards the 8am start.
Myles Hannan, 39, held two foil packages of high-energy runners' goo as he limbered up at the front of the field. To gain entry to the so-called preferred group one has to run the race in under 52 minutes.
"The secret is having some sort of structured training," he said.
The tailenders in orange bibs prepared in a more leisurely fashion at the back of the field.
Here, Powerade gave way to pre-race cans of Red Bull, frappes and Winfields – big-hearted stayers flouting the best medical advice.
Tim Rapp was among those starting their race at a packed Park Street McDonald's. He fuelled up on two hash browns and a Sausage McMuffin. "It's there to be burned," Mr Rapp said. "I haven't trained at all."
The Park Street 7/11 did a roaring trade in chewable antacids.
Jenny Pickering, 60, was running her 11th City2Surf but her first in 20 years. "I finally had time to train again," said the primary school teacher, who retired this year. Mrs Pickering was running with her 22-year-old son, who had to be carried over the line in their last race together.
Darren and Bec Smith were preparing to push their three-year-old daughter Ruby across the line for her first race. Mr Smith came dressed as Ruby's favourite cartoon character, Scooby Doo. Mrs Smith joked that she'd take her daughter's place in the pram before Bondi was in sight.
Frank Pigott, 66, had for many years started in the preferred group and clocked his personal-best time of 52 minutes "sometime in the '80s". But as he lined up for his 26th race, Mr Pigott was focused on bringing in a time close to his age.
"I just keep trying to run a better race," he said.