Race Review: City to Surf Perth

Tempted to sign up for City to Surf Perth but want to know what it’s really like? Find out what one runner thought of the 12K route & be inspired to get involved!

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City to Surf Perth is an annual event in Perth that occurs in August. I have taken part for the past 2 years and will be running my third 12km race this year (2016).

As well as the 12km race, there is also a 4k race and a full/half marathon. There’s something for everyone!

This is my review of the 12km event. Hope it inspires you to give it a go!


Online registration for this event is easy. The main website, will direct you to TikTok registrations. Here you can register or log in to an existing account. You will then be able to enter as an individual participant or create/join a team.

Following online registration, an email containing your E-Ticket is immediately sent to you and you will need to print this off if you are picking up your race pack.

It is also possible to register in person at the expo. You can’t usually register on race day although this may change in the future.

Race Pack

If you go for the postal race pack option at registration, your pack will be sent to you in mid-August. For everyone else, you will need to take your E-Ticket to the Event Expo located in Perth Convention Center, on the Friday or Saturday before the event.

The race pack for this event was a standard pack containing your race bib with free safety pins. There was also some information about the courses.


Talk to anyone about City to Surf Perth and they will mention the hilly route. The course starts in the center of Perth and you hit your first large hill within a couple of minutes.

However, the reward at the top of this hill is King’s Park and a steady downhill run for a couple of kilometers.

After clearing Subiaco, the course is very up and down for the rest of the route but the scenery is relatively varied which takes your mind off it.

When you hit the top of the final hill, you will be able to feel the sea breeze and run down to the finish line!


City to Surf Perth takes place in August which is a winter month. Expect a chilly start in the morning and possible rain showers. The hills will soon warm you up though!


My experience of this event is that it is well organised and has all the main facilities that you would expect from a large race. The main facilities that stood out for me are:

  • Bag drop service – you need to drop your bags at the Event Expo prior to event day.
  • Regular water stations.
  • Toilets at the start/finish lines and at several spots on the course.
  • Electrolyte drinks and fruit at the finish line.


Your registration fee includes free public transport and all you need to do is show your bib when boarding.

The event starts in the CBD so there are a number of car parks available. Some of them even offer discounts if you are taking part in the race. You just need to be aware that there are several road closures on race day so plan your trip in to avoid these.

Since this race has a point to point course (you start at one point and and finish at another point), you may need to get back to the city from the finish line but this is easy with the free shuttle buses.


City to Surf Perth has a great atmosphere! The large number of participants (45,00 are expected this year) makes the start of the race very exciting and lively.

Uplifting music and an MC gets everyone in the mood and once you are underway, there are several spots along the way where music carries you along.

The course runs through several suburbs so there are spectators clapping and cheering almost the whole length of the course.


My highlight would definitely have to be the entertainment at the start and when running through Subiaco. The Radio station NOVA 93.7 are based in Subiaco and they usually throw a balcony party to cheer on the runners which everyone seems to enjoy!

Top Tip

Since the course is quite hilly, my top tip would be to include some hill workouts in your training for the event. Hill workouts aren’t most people’s favourite method of training but you will be grateful you did them on the day!

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