Since it’s beginning, 42 years ago, The Sun-Herald City2Surf has been wholly owned and organised by The Sun-Herald (formerly The Sun), a Fairfax Media publication.
See below for a brief timeline detailing key moments, milestones and achievements of the event.
History tells us that the inspiration for this great event came via a note from Fairfax’s US correspondent, who sent a newspaper clipping in 1970 about the San Francisco Bay to Breakers to the editor of The Sun newspaper, Jack Tier.
From that internal memorandum The Sun City2Surf was born, albeit humbly, in 1971, with just over 2,000 entrants (only 2% of the field was female). In the years since it has been proven time and again that no other fun run in the Southern Hemisphere matches The Sun-Herald City2Surf in terms of organisation or demographics. For the first time in the event’s history women outnumbered men in the capacity field of 63,451 in 2006: it is truly a community event attracting entrants from all walks of life and all ages.
Out in front, the stars chase glory and a place in race history. The Sun-Herald City2Surf is acknowledged as Australia's premier road race and the Honour Roll reads like a who's who of Australian champions:
- Robert de Castella (1977 and 1981)
- Steve Moneghetti (four consecutive wins 1988-1991, including the course record of 40.03 in 1991)
- Andrew Lloyd (1983, 1984, 1986 and 1993)
- Lisa Ondieki (1988 and 1991)
- Heather Turland (1994 and 1996)
- Susie Power (2001 and 2002, who holds the women's record of 45.08)
- and inspirational Australian Commonwealth medallist Kerryn McCann (2005)
While line honours in the inaugural City2Surf went overseas (American Kenny Moore), it took fifteen years before the trophy went abroad again when Englishmen Hugh Jones was the victor. This is in stark contrast to recent years where the men’s division has seen a domination of overseas athletes crossing the finish line at Bondi in first place. South African John Morapedi (1995 and 1996), American Daniel Browne (1998), Kenyan Laban Chege (1999 and 2000), Tanzanian John Msuri (2001), Jussi Utrianen from Finland (2002), Patrick Lusato again from Tanzania (2003, 2004 and 2005) and In the women's field, Tasmania's Hayley McGregor took line honours in 2003 and 2004, Kerryn McCann in 2005 and Victorian Anna Thompson taking line honours in both the 2006 City2Surf and The Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon.
The true stars of The Sun-Herald City2Surf however, are the more than 1.5 million people who have entered Australia’s greatest community fitness event in its 42-year history.
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).
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.
With the increase in participant numbers (7,845 entrants), the starting line of the event moves to its current position on College Street.
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.
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.
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 Sun-Herald 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 Sun-Herald 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.