City Bridge Run
Two days before beginning the journey, I need to make another difficult decision to delay the commencement of the 10 City Bridge Run.
- Do I go now because I said I would and risk being stranded with no cash mid-journey (in the event no sponsorship is raised during the run)?
- Do I just say it is too difficult (and in effect impossible) and give up, refunding all sponsorship received?
- Do I postpone the event, risking the integrity of ‘the bridge’ framed between the September UN Conference and the G20 Summit? Postponing also introduces significant considerations around adverse weather conditions. Soon it will be winter in Korea- not ideal for running.
I started thinking about what I had been learning about the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) over the last week especially through writing my blog:
- The likelihood of failure in meeting these in their entirety
- The excuse of the global financial crisis setting back earlier achievements with the MDG prior to 2008 (this is the reason cited for failing to deliver on commitments to the United Nations by many countries)
- The worsening situation of preventable unacceptable conditions in many locations, particularly sub-Saharan Africa
If you think that a delay of starting the run by a month is bad, consider these MDG.
Of course, there is no going back in time. I can’t make it September again. That is impossible. Neither can we make it 2000 again and retread progress of the MDG.
The reality is that there are not two days to go for the 10 City Bridge Run. There are 1905 days to go until the end of 2015 when the MDG will be assessed. This is what matters.
Rather than be frustrated, I ask you to consider the opportunity presented to optimise the impact of this 10 City Bridge Run.
The 10 City Bridge Run is a creative process of inquiry. It is a challenge. It is testing ‘the impossible’. It requires a little more effort than usual.
The bridge that has been defined between the United Nations Conference (20-22 September) and the G20 Summit on 10-12 November is far from redundant. It has formed the first of many (figurative) bridges that will be crossed. The G20 Summit becomes the near bank supporting a journey that bridges countries, bridges conversations, and bridges the small actions of many.
This journey is raw, real and live.
Thoughts, concerns, questions or advice? I welcome all feedback.
Confirming the route for New York and looking to run a 20 mile (32 km) road race on sunday 17 October with The New York Flyers (“From the website that reminds you: If you can’t fix it with duct tape, then it’s truly broken . . .”). It is eight km longer than I expected to run but I think I would be helped along with everyone else on the day.
The run is called the MTP 3 Bridges 20 Miler Redux. It starts on the Upper East Side on 85th and Lexington, heads to Central Park south to 72nd St then crossing to the Hudson River. Continuing south the Chambers St, it turns east and crossing the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge. The run turns north crossing into Queens at the Pulaski Bridge, and back onto Manhattan at 59th St using the Queensboro Bridge. Returning to Central Park, the run heads north to finish where it began.
I think this will be a good route. I will be taking it easy on the run, and it will be good to have some company!
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:
- It reflects the originating point of the 10 City Bridge Run
- 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
- Australia is an important country from within the G20
- Before talking about poverty elsewhere, we should first note what happens in our own backyard
- The bridge metaphor is powerful in demonstrating the need to “close the gap”
- 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?
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.