MAKING PACE: Tom Holbut celebrated his 80th birthday by running in the Mid North Coast Cross Country event at Mullawarra.
MAKING PACE: Tom Holbut celebrated his 80th birthday by running in the Mid North Coast Cross Country event at Mullawarra. CONTRIBUTED

There's no way turning 80 is slowing Tom down

WHILE most octogenarians would be happy to receive breakfast in bed on their 80th birthday, Tom Holbut spent his weekend running in the Mid North Coast Cross Country event at Mullawarra.

A celebratory dinner provided by daughter Jenny came later in the day but the foundation member of Bananacoast Athletic Club won't let a little thing like advancing years get in the way of his active lifestyle.

"I started running longer distances in army National Service when we had a sports day with a five mile cross country run," Tom said.

"The three battalions had to field 12 runners each and I was called to replace a runner who broke his leg.

"It only gave one month to get ready and when I finished 24th out of 36 runners, that's how it started."

Work meant Tom didn't go back to running until he turned 40.

"I ran with Western District Joggers in Sydney and still proudly wear their running gear," he said.

"My favourite course in the Mid North Coast cross country series is Sandy Beach because there aren't many hills.

"There were a lot of fun runs about when I was in my 50s so I started half and full marathons, training 60-80km each week.

"Now I do about 30km a week."

The next City to Surf in Sydney will be Tom's 24th.

He has done the 45km Red Rock to Coffs Jetty Coast Run five times along with 25 marathons and over 100 half-marathons.



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