From sick bed to Gift win

COLLAROY sprinter Dean Scarff says he is hopeful of racking up more wins on the professional running circuit after taking out this year’s Queanbeyan Gift.

It was the Perth native’s first major Gift victory having only taken up pro running last year.

Scarff will now turn his attention to upcoming Gifts in Cowra and Lithgow as he looks to build on last Saturday’s breakthrough victory.

“I think it’ll be hard to defend Queanbeyan next year, I’m obviously going to be off a harsher mark but I’d love to do more of the pro running events,” Scarff said. “It’s a bit of fun and the carnivals are always fun to go to, especially because you get to travel to so many different places around NSW.

The 25-year-old enjoyed a far from ideal preparation in the lead-up to Saturday’s race after battling illness prior to the event – Australia’s third richest men’s footrace.

 “I knew I was running well coming in but at the same time, I was sick all week so I wasn’t really sure how I was going to go,” Scarff said.

“I drove down from Sydney [the night before] coughing the whole way and then spent the whole night coughing as well.

“I knew it shouldn’t affect my speed, it was mainly affecting my recovery between races just because it was hard to breathe. I was just trying to do as little as possible and not doing any warming up that I didn’t need to.”

Scarff’s win follows on from his bronze medal winning performance in the men’s beach sprint at the World Lifesaving Championships in Adelaide earlier this month.

In the day’s other races, five-time Australian 100m champion Josh Ross took out the men’s backmarkers  handicap (100m) from scratch in a time of 10.58s while Nathan McNab of Banks won the Queanbeyan Age sprint (70m).

The Novice Handicap over 120m was claimed by Coogee runner Montana Walters, Brian Wright was victorious in the Veterans Handicap also over 120m while Jarrat Wood won the Biscotti Handicap (300m).

It was a successful day meanwhile for Ourimbah’s Jon Glasson who took out the Caltex Handicap (600m) and the Airport International Motel Mile. 

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