25 July 2016 – Good but chilly conditions prevailed for this year’s PAYCE Sutherland2Surf fun run and walk from Sutherland to Wanda Beach, Cronulla on Sunday, 24 July 2016.
The event is in its 45th year and is one of the longest running major community fun run events in Sydney and is the lead up to the City to Surf. The event attracted a strong field of elite athletes as well as thousands of recreational runners and walkers. The wintery weather did not deter the 5,557 competitors from turning up to face the start in Sutherland, including a team from Vision Australia Caringbah with their guide dogs.
First runner home in the 11-kilometre event was 20-year-old Jack Rayner, who crossed the finishing line in a time of 32:26 minutes. The women’s section winner was Milly Clark from Abbotsford, who finished 13th outright in a fast time of 36:37 minutes.
Over the years, the Wanda Surf Life Saving Club event has attracted some big name athletes as well as emerging champions and this year was no exception.
Event winner, rising track star Jack Rayner made the long trip from Melbourne to take part in the road race, adding valuable experience to a promising sporting career that is heading towards international recognition.
Milly Clark used the event as part of a strict training regime before she leaves later in the week to represent Australia at the Rio Olympics in the women’s marathon.
Wanda Surf Life Saving Club President, Mark Sargeant said without the funds raised by the event, the club would not be able to undertake its role as volunteer surf lifesavers.
“There are significant costs to organise an event of this nature, so without the support of our many volunteer club members, lifesavers and sponsors, the PAYCE Sutherland 2 Surf would not be viable,” he said.
“Wanda Surf Life Saving Club would like to thank everyone for getting behind this great community event.”
PAYCE Managing Director, Brian Boyd said this was the third year that PAYCE had been associated with the event and the first as naming sponsor.
“I know how important the day is as a fundraiser for the club and its members to be able to continue to provide essential surf lifesaving programs on Wanda Beach,” he said.
“Congratulations to everyone who contributed to another successful PAYCE Sutherland 2 Surf, including all the competitors, and especially to the organisers and volunteers who worked tirelessly to ensure the day went smoothly.
“The PAYCE Sutherland 2 Surf is now well-established as one of the Shire’s premier sporting and community events and PAYCE is proud to be associated with such a popular and important fundraiser for the club and the other worthy charities that benefit from the day.
“A number of our staff and friends joined the event again this year and they thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere of the day.”
Former Olympic and Commonwealth Games track and field star, Jane Flemming was along to hand out many of the prizes and medallions at the finish on behalf of PAYCE.
In addition to the prizes for winners of each of the age categories and the team categories, all finishers, including the guide dogs of the Vision Australia Caringbah team, received a medallion to mark their successful completion of the 11 kilometre course.
Full results can be found on the website www.sutherland2surf.com.au.