6 good reasons to start in sydney

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A 19th century engraving showing Australian &q...
Bridges Needed for 'Closing the Gap'

Good friends of mine asked why I hadn’t planned to start running in Sydney. Their argument was compelling and so I changed my plans to begin my journey here and then travel to New York. Here are the six main reasons that changed my mind:

  1. It reflects the originating point of the 10 City Bridge Run
  2. Many people have contributed to the birth of this project from Sydney in all sorts of ways, including the Global Launch event the previous week
  3. Australia is an important country from within the G20
  4. Before talking about poverty elsewhere, we should first note what happens in our own backyard
  5. The bridge metaphor is powerful in demonstrating the need to “close the gap”
  6. I can observe the United Nations conference on the Millennium Development Goals (20-22 September) from Sydney and get a sense of what impact, if any, it has for Australia

“Closing the Gap” is a phrase that has been used in relation to the comparative disadvantage between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. For example, average life expectancy differs by 17 years. Why?!

The metaphor of the bridge is a powerful way of communicating that to ‘close this gap’ it takes effort on the part of all of us, not just policy from governments and money from corporate organisations or philanthropic institutions.

Granted, the situation of extreme poverty is different from that of Indigenous disadvantage in Australia. Is it possible to see similarities in the root causes?

The question to address now is: where to run?

24 km Sydney Harbour Run 2009

Sydney provides plenty of choice, and there are two courses which I favour. Let me know which you prefer, or of another if you can think of one:

  • Sydney Harbour Bridge Run, covering 24 km and crossing 7 bridges. A spectacular run along many of the best kept secrets of Sydney. This is the same course as I ran last year for the 9 City Bridge Run.
  • The Spit Bridge to La Perouse, covering a longer distance than 24 km and crossing two prominent bridges. I like this option suggested many months ago by Peter Lain. It is slightly longer, but gives a good voice to the bridge metaphor by finishing in La Perouse where Captain Cook first landed in Sydney

Welcome your feedback! Interested in a creative and challenging run that shows the character of the city, an historical perspective as well as a contemporary context of the issue.


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