By GREG WHITE
WHEN runners line up outside the RSL Club at 9 o'clock this morning for the Sawtell Fun Day fun run, all eyes will be searching for the lanky frame of Canberra distance runner Geoffrey Bruce.
"I haven't spotted him yet but I believe he's around town somewhere," Fun Day publicist Warren Hollyman said.
"The run wouldn't be the same if he wasn't taking part.
"Anybody who thinks they can beat him is welcome to try as we'll be taking nominations up until an hour before the race commences."
Since first entering the Coffs Blinds and Awnings Fun Run in 1980, Bruce has backed up every year and made the race his personal property.
He's won the event 10 times, including last year's staging in a time of 17 minutes 47.43 seconds, almost a full minute ahead of second-placegetter Jason Harrison.
Hollyman and his organising committee expect the 87th staging of the district's biggest community activity to be the best on record.
"In all those years only once has the weather been against us," he said.
"The forecast is for a hot, sunny day so I advise visitors to wear a hat and sunscreen.
"Once the fun run and street parade down First Avenue have been completed we've got a huge program of entertainment and sport lined up at the Sawtell Reserve."
Starting from 9.30 the top axemen from around the nation will try to out-splinter each other in the woodchop competiton.
Across the day, sprint racing will take centre stage on the specially-constructed 100 metres course.
There are six age divisions scheduled, leading up to the feature Ladies Bracelet for over-16 girls at 1.35pm and the annual Geoff King Motors Sawtell Sprint final at 1.45pm.
"Whether competitors are serious about winning or just want to enter for a bit of fun, we don't mind," Hollyman said. "The whole day is fantastic and we're looking to see everybody in the area come along to have a great time."