Open glory: Tim Abbotts charges towards victory in the Sawtell Fun Run.
Open glory: Tim Abbotts charges towards victory in the Sawtell Fun Run. Leigh Jensen

Local wins Fun Run in record time

LOCAL all-round athlete Tim Abbotts wrote his name into the record books by winning the 91st Sawtell Fun Run on New Year's Day.

The oppressive humidity didn't faze the young runner who was part of the pack that sprinted away after the starter's gun had sounded. Abbotts then made another calculated charge near the end of the event to put his stamp on the outcome.

A total of 174 runners lined up for the feature event and they appeared to be the youngest bunch of participants of recent times. That was likely the reason for the mad charge among the leaders to the first turn at the bottom end of First Avenue.

“It felt really good at the start, despite everybody going so fast,” Abbotts said.

“Once we got out of the main street I decided to hang off a bit and get a run in behind Joel (Harrigan).

“But I was still feeling so good coming down that last hill that I thought it was the right time to kick away and that's what probably won it for me.

“Still, it was a really tough race.”

Abbotts crossed in 18 minutes two seconds, ensuring it was the third consecutive year that the race record has been lowered after Will Smith ran 18:06 last year and Wade O'Malley recorded 18:15 in 2009.

Joel Harrigan held on strongly for second with Jordan Gusman third.

Siobhan Deam was the first female runner across the line in 17th overall.

Abbotts was greeted after the race by his father Tony, one of the Coffs Coast's best known sporting coaches.

“He's getting too good for me these days,” Abbotts Senior said.

“All I can do now is put him on the road and let him go.”



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