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Record line-up expected

Runners head back to the surf clubhouse in the early stages of the 2010 Australia Day Fun Run.
Runners head back to the surf clubhouse in the early stages of the 2010 Australia Day Fun Run.

HEATWAVE conditions and oppressive humidity in the past two years are the reasons for the earlier than usual start of today’s Coffs Coast Australia Day Fun Run from Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club.

Registrations begin from 7am and following the 8.15am briefing, the runs over 2km, 5km and 10km will tackle the sand, grass and road course around Park and Jetty beaches.

The long course events will start first with 10km contenders going over the same 5km course twice.

The 2km dash will wind up proceedings.

Surf Club president Terry Maher expects more than 250 runners to face the starter’s gun.

“There will be more than $2000 worth of memberships to the new Genises Fitness Club as well as cash prizes for the winners and placegetters of each distance,” he said.

“MBF will be giving away vouchers to participants on the day.

“We’re pretty pleased with the way the event has been accepted since we kicked it off a couple of years ago and it seems to be settled in as a really popular part of the annual sporting calendar.”

Entry to the runs will be $5 for the 2km course and $10 for the 5km and 10km, with proceeds helping the surf club with beach-patrolling duties.

Two athletes already ‘own’ the event with Joel Harrigan (male) and Melissa Bulloch (female) winning the 2009-10 stagings of the 10km run.

Should they both start today and again be victorious, the prestige of the event will be increased despite its short lifespan.

While time was not noted for the first running, Harrigan set the ‘unofficial record’ last year with 40 minutes 20 seconds on a full-blown summer morning.

Defending 5km champions are brother-and-sister act Richard and Nicole Pearson with Greg Robson and Romney Seemann the 2km titleholders.

The surf clubhouse will be open for breakfast in the morning.