Running with 75,000 others in the world's biggest timed fun run is only one part of the experience. There is also the scenery, on-course entertainment and enthusiastic spectator support.

The Sun-Herald City2Surf is an undulating 14km run from central Sydney's Hyde Park to the pristine white sands of Bondi Beach. The course offers plenty of challenges made worthwhile by the beauty of the scenery and the finish area.

Within minutes of the start runners find themselves in the William St tunnel at Kings Cross. Still fresh, they enjoy the echoes of their own cheering and whooping.

From the city they head towards the coast at Double Bay and on to Rose Bay, up Heartbreak Hill at Vaucluse and down through Dover Heights to Bondi.

First runners hear the music, then they see it - a 70s rock band in appropriate clothing and hairstyles perform atop the roof of the Golden Sheaf Hotel. It's the start of a wide variety of live and recorded entertainment designed to encourage, amuse - and perhaps distract - runners.

Passing in front of houses and apartments, runners can wave to occupants and be encouraged by those on their front lawns enjoying the spectacle. The blue body-painted inhabitants of one house were particularly enthusiastic, waving their "City2Smurf" placards at passing runners.

Coming up to a service station, runners suddenly had their own view of the race as a huge live video wall displayed the road behind them, giving an idea of the sheer scale of a race with so many participants.

The City2Surf fun run was initially inspired by the San Francisco Bay to Breakers run in 1970.

Since the inaugural run in 1971, which attracted 2000 runners, the race has grown into Australia's largest fun run and an annual Sydney institution.
It is a community event attracting entrants from all walks of life and all ages.

Fancy dress is encouraged so nobody blinks when passed by Superman, Batman, a group of brides or many other imaginative ensembles.

Participants start in waves according to their expected finish time and race rules are strictly enforced. With so many thousands involved, it is a necessity that allows for the smooth passage of participants and an enjoyable day for all.

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