The City to Surf run saw over 40,000 participants this year in Perth. I did the 12km run from the City for the first time and was pretty pleased with my effort. Yes with a bit more training I could have sliced a few minutes off the time but the aim is participation and completion. Next year I can aim to beat this year’s time.

Running along there were a number of interesting things to observe. The first and most obvious is that such a large number of people get involved in the run on a Sunday morning and that there is a genuine community feel about it. Authorities often get worried when large numbers of people gather yet here was a huge gathering and no problems whatsoever.

There were people of all shapes sizes and ages. From babies being pushed in prams through to people in their 70’s.Everyone is out to do their best and enjoy the journey. Whilst there are a handful of “professional “ runners at the front the vast majority are people who are running for fitness and enjoyment.

There were a few “casualties” along the way. Not surprisingly these were more towards the end of the run. A few people had pushed themselves a bit too hard and needed to lie down at the side of the road. Some needed assistance from first aid workers.

Little things also caught my eye. A child was holding a sign which read” Go Pop” around the half way mark. A woman had brought a chair and was sitting on the grass watching the runners go by. This is a different form of entertainment no doubt.

Near the base of the second major hill (just near the half way mark) there was a pleasant surprise. A group of people from one of the sponsors was offering high fives to runners going by and had placards with encouraging words. I must say that this was really good. Knowing that a steep hill was looming and getting to that half waypoint where energy and motivation can sag a bit, this sort of encouragement gave me a lift. So a big thanks to the Westpac Bank crew in their red T-shirts.

Much is made of the cost of these events and the disruption. Yes there were many policemen on patrol at closed roads. To be honest this is a better use of their time than standing around with speed radar guns on dual carriageways catching people doing 5kph over the limit (no I have not been caught). This is actually police work which supports the community.

And yes there is some disruption to traffic. Roads are closed and people have to find alternate routes. Given the large amount of warning time in advance this is hardly an issue. Part of the proceeds from the run goes to charity too.

So the councilor who wondered why the run could not be done somewhere else will be pleased no doubt to find the world still spinning.

A large number of people had a run on a Sunday morning, getting some fresh air sunshine and exercise together with a sense of purpose and in many instances connecting with other people too. All of us have covered four pillars of DIY health in one outing. If you then add the fact that everyone was kept hydrated through the event and will sleep well tonight we are up to six.

Not bad for a Sunday morning.