Brisbane’s annual flagship fun run the ‘Bridge to Brisbane’ has certainly come a long way from its humble beginnings when it first launched over 20 years ago as the ‘Bridge to Bay’ – an underwhelming 10k over the Gateway bridge to the Nudgee beach mudflats. Today, the Bridge to Brisbane boasts a course that provides a comprehensive tour of the city and its surrounds ensuring that the 30,000+ strong event is up there with the best fun runs in the country.
While a 6am start in patchy rain might not make all 30,000 participants jump out of bed with enthusiasm, the current drought crisis facing Australian farmers meant that the wet conditions were met with a smile.
The race starts above the Roma Street Parklands with the first kilometre being mostly downhill; while the Bridge to Brisbane course isn’t flat, the net drop provides a chance to run a good time. The first pinch starts on the Go-Between Bridge, a short incline over the Brisbane River to South Bank, the runners then get a brief glimpse of South Bank before heading over the Queen Victoria Bridge to the Brisbane CBD.
By the time you’re striding down Mary St with a view of the Story Bridge in the distance reminding you of what’s to come, you’re halfway there. While a quick time is certainly possible at the Bridge to Brisbane, a negative split is unlikely. The second half of the course includes a short-but-brutal climb on to the Story Bridge, followed by another slight hill on to River Terrace above the Kangaroo Point Cliffs treating the weary runners to one of the best views Brisbane has to offer.
The last 2km is mostly downhill, providing an opportunity to make up for any time lost on the Story Bridge. The atmosphere builds as you get closer to the finish by South Bank parklands. Spectators cheer you on as you see the ‘400M TO GO’ sign providing you with the lift you need to stretch out the legs and cross the line with that feeling that runners can’t seem to get enough of.
As far as 10ks go, Bridge to Brisbane is up there with the best, a terrific course, brilliant organisation and an opportunity to run a quick time means that this is one event you should put on your ‘Run It’ list.
Written by Jay Flashgordon