World's largest road race set world record - Sydney,Australia

You can't avoid a few jitters at the start. Forty, 50, 60,000 swarming around Hyde Park - stretching, stowing bags, looking for friends and hunting for the right starting group - makes it the busiest and most colourful place in Sydney on a Sunday morning.

And when there are a world record 80,000 entries, you just have to forget your race plans and take it all in. You're shoulder to naked shoulder with hundreds of runners - some dressed as superheroes, stormtroopers and bananas - helicopters are hovering overhead and thousands of spectators are massing along the route.

The gun sends the first wave surging down William Street where a band of Hare Krishnas chant support. Inside the Kings Cross tunnel, there's an encouraging burst of ''Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi''.
world's largest road race photo, most colourful place in Sydney Australia, world's most spectacular running events photo
          World's largest road race picture
Four kilometres in and travelling smoothly, you check your stopwatch to discover - d'oh - it's still reading 0.00. Pressure off.

Might as well enjoy the music that is part of this great community celebration of fitness and vitality. On an awning at Double Bay, a thousand decibels of Metallica's Enter Sandman pretty much clears the brain of every thought.

Then a young woman ominously says ''it starts'' and you know exactly what she means - we've reached the infamous Heartbreak Hill.

You find a pace and grind towards the top. Halfway up, a runner wearing a gold dressing gown labelled the Italian Stallion overtakes. Rocky lives!

At Watsons Bay, you suddenly realise how disrespectful children have become. A girl who looks 10 - could even be nine - is running far, far better than you.

You remind yourself the City2Surf is 80,000 individual races with 80,000 ambitions. That's runner speak for ''time to re-evaluate what's possible''.

Weaving down through North Bondi, a glimpse of the ocean is the sign to pick up the pace but, as always, the final stretch along Campbell Parade seems like a daylong march with a backpack full of bricks.

Then you reach the finish line of one of the world's most spectacular running events. With the sun bathing the beach and happy athletes everywhere, you realise the City2Surf is all about sharing an inspiring experience in a great city. Your time is irrelevant.
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