City2Surf: The race that brings the family and the city together
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City2Surf: The race that brings the family and the city together

Norm Pearson's bid to stay fit after his 50th birthday has turned into a full-blown family affair at this weekend's The Sun-Herald City2Surf, presented by Westpac, with seven members of their clan taking part in the event.

"I started looking after myself when I got above 50, started going to the gym a little bit and running," he said.

"Next thing you know the kids are looking at me going 'wow dad, you can run pretty good, you should go in the City2Surf'. I didn't think too much of it.

"Then I started running 10ks, 12ks in reasonable times, my son joined in and we put ourselves into the City2Surf."

From left: The Pearson Family, Shannon, Norman, Jake and Donna with the Martello  family, Marc, Nathan and Donna will run in the City2Surf.

From left: The Pearson Family, Shannon, Norman, Jake and Donna with the Martello family, Marc, Nathan and Donna will run in the City2Surf.Credit:Geoff Jones

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Norm, 54, will be participating along with wife Donna, 50, and two of their children, 24-year-old Jake and 20-year-old Shannon.

Norm and Jake are in the blue start group, hoping to complete the course in 90-120 minutes. The two have a friendly rivalry going into the event, but Norm has no doubts about who will finish first.

"Oh, definitely I will, there's no doubt about that!" he laughs.

The Pearsons are joined by Donna's sister Susan Martello, 53, her husband Mark, 54 and their son Nathan, 24, who has competed before this race.

"It's great to come together as a family. We've always wanted to do the City2Surf, our son Nathan did it last year and he had so much fun," Susan said.

"Our family is very focused on maintaining good health and fitness, not only with being active but leading a healthy lifestyle and having a healthy diet."

She said the group had also been inspired by Mark's aunty who has completed the race a number of times, even going into her 80s.

"It's brought the whole family together, it's definitely a family event and we're all really looking forward to it," said Norm.

"It's one of those well publicised, feel-good events that everyone wants to do once in their lives."

But the Pearsons and Martellos aren't planning to stop at just one, with hopes to make the fun-run an annual event.

The family are using the City2Surf to raise money for three charities; The Black Dog Institute, the RSPCA and Autism Spectrum Australia.

The City2Surf has raised over $36 million for various charities since donations were first recorded back in 2008 - with hopes that this year's final tally ends up north of $5 million.

"Just participating in something like the City2Surf gives us an opportunity to spend time together," he said.

"In the weeks and months afterwards it's still going to be a talking point."

More than 80,000 people are expected to descend upon Hyde Park on Sunday morning for the start of the race to take on the 14km course which finishes at the famous Bondi Beach.