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Somehow almost entering a 16k and the economy are related.

15 Aug

City 2 Surf 16k "Fun Run." Fun, my ass.

It was raining when I hopped a cab at the Sydney airport. I asked the driver if it was supposed to last the full day. “Don’t know!” he replied cheerfully. “Just started, but it looks like it doesn’t plan to give up, does it?”

Fortunately, in the 45 minutes it took me to reach the city, check into my hotel, and grab a cup of coffee, the rain subsided. The sky remained  grey and threatening, but I didn’t need an umbrella. So at 7am, I set out to get my bearings.

New York may have the reputation as the city that never sleeps, but I quickly came to believe that Sydney is the city that doesn’t sleep in, because the streets were overrun by people at 7am on a Sunday. They were all dressed in running gear and moving in one  direction, so I slipped into the crowd, determined to see where the action was.

Some people were in costume, so I found myself walking in a group of human bananas, with diaper-wearing grown-ups ahead of us and a lone man painted completely gold to our rear.

Of course I started interviewing people, and I learned that I just happened to arrive during the annual City-2-Surf event — a fun run/walk from downtown Sydney to Bondi Beach. It’s one of the largest events of its type globally each year, with 85,000 participants.

This was when I realized that Aussies really are tougher, because not only do they willfully hunt crocodiles with their bare hands, but their “fun run” includes many hills and is 16 kilometers. I’m pretty sure that in the US, anything more than a 5k ceases to be described as “fun.”

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