SUNDAY'S Lake To Lagoon fun run is set to be thrust into the national spotlight with Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott a surprise starter for the event.
Abbott's office in Canberra yesterday confirmed Abbott will take part in the popular Wagga fun run as part of his visit to the city this weekend.
Abbott will arrive in Wagga tomorrow as part of Regional Express Airline's 10th anniversary celebrations and attend a dinner that night to mark the occasion.
He will stay overnight where he has been included as a surprise starter in the 9.5 kilometre Lake To Lagoon event.
Abbott had also hoped to attend Wagga and District junior grand final day at Maher Oval on Sunday but was unable to fit the Australian football into his schedule.
Lake To Lagoon organising committee chairman Rob Owers said it could be a great thrill for Abbott to take part in Wagga's special event.
"It's awesome, it should be great," Owers said yesterday.
"He's done the right thing and ran it past us and we're supportive of it.
"We'll warmly welcome him.
"As long as he doesn't make it political."
Confirmation of Abbott's presence is a huge boost for the Lake To Lagoon, which is already on track for record numbers.
Some 1316 runners and 436 riders have already registered to take part in the event.
Abbott is a keen runner and has completed numerous ironman and marathon events.
Organisers are not expecting Abbott to have the pace to win the fun run but expect him to feature in the top echelon of athletes when runners cross the line at the Civic Centre.
The run starts at 10.30am at Apex Park with riders getting under way at 10am.