City to Surf entries open as legends gear up for 49th running

City to Surf entries open as legends gear up for 49th running

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The event now sells out, with more than 80,000 people expected to start at Hyde Park on August 11.

Charles Rochester, 88, played reserve grade for the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the 1950s and has remained active. He wears his City2Surf legend status like a badge of honour.

“It’s an amazing thing, the recognition you get – you know?”, he said. “We just come together once a year, for the City2Surf.”

Ted Thompson adds: “To catch up with all of them, it’s a big thrill.”

Mr Thompson says he put on a bit of weight after he stopped playing football in 1961, and took up running.

Forming the Western Districts Joggers group, they put in a team for the first City2Surf.

He was later involved in setting up two other running groups – the Mount Pritchard and Green Valley joggers.

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Mr Thompson said the groups engaged troubled youths. His impressive City2Surf streak motivated kids and teenagers in his area to focus on sports.

“It’s about inspiring younger ones, that’s what we’ve always tried to do,” he said. ”If we can keep a kid off the street, and give them guidance … it’s another good thing.

“It’s like an addiction, once you get into it. If you start training with someone, you’ll always turn up.”

Registrations for The Sun-Herald City2Surf, presented by Westpac, on August 11 are now open at www.city2surf.com.au.

Matt Bungard is a journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald.

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