For Belinda Martin, the Sutherland 2 Surf is more than just a running race. It is one of the shire’s most iconic events. And this year she will get to share the experience with someone special to her.
A full field will take part in the 46th edition of the PAYCE Sutherland 2 Surf on Sunday, the longest-running community event in the shire.
The 11-kilometre journey will take on a new perspective for the three-time winner Martin. Unlike past years she won’t be out to try and win the event, but enjoy the experience with her nine-year-old son Kobe, who will take on the Sutherland 2 Surf for the first time.
But Martin, a three-time Australian champion in the 5,000m and half marathon, might have to push herself just to keep up with Kobe, a state cross country champion.
“It has always been one of my favourite events but I think just running with Kobe will be even more enjoyable,” Martin told the Leader.
“He’s always watched me get ready in the morning and then gone down to the finish line. He’s always got caught up in the excitement and the atmosphere and wanted to do it himself.
“But I thought he was too little [in previous years]. This year I’m confident he can make the distance.”
Martin’s daughter, Imogen, is also a two-time national cross country champion and at the age of 11 already has a host of world records to her name.
Martin has not been in training for the race but her results at the World Masters Championships in Perth in October suggest that won’t be a problem. She won eight gold medals including victories in the 800m, 1500m, 5km, 10km, half marathon and cross country as well as wins in the cross country and half marathon teams events.
But more than just the competitive side, Martin said the sense of community around the race was what brought her back year after year.
“It’s such a community event. I work as a podiatrist at Gymea and I’ll run past a lot of patients and people shouting out and wishing you well,” she said.
“Also the course is amazing. It’s sort of downhill which makes it really fast. You can see the beach and I just think it’s perfect compared to other fun runs.”
See full coverage of this year’s PAYCE Sutherland 2 Surf online and in next week’s Leader.