Athletics: Pandas, heroes help raise millions at Sydney's City2Surf

Athletics: Pandas, heroes help raise millions at Sydney's City2Surf

SYDNEY - More than 80,000 people - some in fancy dress - took to the streets of Sydney Sunday for a 14-kilometre (8.7 mile) race from the city to Bondi Beach, raising millions of dollars for charity.

Australian Olympian Craig Mottram won the City2Surf race - Sydney's biggest road-running event - in just under 42 minutes, joining a crowd peppered with celebrities alongside runners dressed as Lego superheroes and pandas, among other things.

American pop star Redfoo kicked off the race with a live performance.

Organisers said more than Aus$4 million (S$4.65 million) - one of the highest amounts collected - was raised for hundreds of Australian charities.

The race was launched in 1971 and is one of Australia's biggest fund-raising drivers. More than Aus$20 million has been collected for charities over the past four decades, organisers said.

Mottram, 34, who was taking part in the famous fun race for the first time, crossed the finish line in 41 minutes and 56 seconds.

"It was a tough course. I underestimated a bit," Mottram told the Channel Seven.

"I came up the hill and pushed in and got a gap. I regretted the 11k. I just made it." Australian Casey Wood was the first woman to finish the race, with a time of 47 minutes and 59 seconds.

"Heartbreak Hill absolutely killed but I could hang in there, so that was alright," Wood said of a steep section of the course.

Australian Paralympian Kurt Fearnley won the Elite Wheelchair category with a time of 36:09.

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