I was speaking to Don King earlier, about the possibility of staging a city-to-surf event in Newcastle. It would be unique, insofar as the distance from our general post office (the original and symbolic one) is little more than a long jumper’s run-up.
I was thinking of a running race. It was Don who suggested it could be a bike race. The course is quite simple. The thousand or so starters would await the gun on Hunter Street in front of the old post office, be funneled slightly as they cross Watt Street (Sprocket Cafe/Wespac, etc.), then have a chance to gather speed across Pacific park before making a tight right at Tyrrell House, then a left/dip/funnel through the under-road tunnel, a left, a right (second funnel/tunnel combo through the Newcastle Beach Kiosk) before hitting a temporary jump ramp allowing for a unique finish itinerary whereby the winner would be the first to unclip mid air and touch their feet in the sand. Don saw it as something between Spain’s running of the Bulls, Evil Knievel’s failed attempt to jump the Grand Canyon, and The David Jones post Christmas sales. I’m seeing Mario Cipollini, Big Mig, and of course Lance there for plenty of photo ops at the start line and, god forbid, the ambulance later.
By running the idea by me, I think Don may have been fishing for some reactions from you all, our regular readers. Obviously, the benefits to Newcastle in terms of tourism and global exposure of our unique beach-side lifestyle would be immense. But can anyone see any possible thorns here? Better to anticipate objections than be blind sided later.