New king of the mountain

Winners: Mark Bourne, Ben Duffus and Daniel Jones.

By Margaret Maccoll

“It’s there,” is the reason Walter Keleman, 65, gave for lining up for the 20th time to run up and down Mr Cooroora for the King of the Mountain race in Pomona on Sunday.

Thousands of spectators attended Pomona’s festival before lining the streets to watch the main event.

Now in its 40th year the race attracted 80 runners ranging in age from 15 to 78.

Runners came from Queensland, NSW, Victoria and the ACT with about 30 Sunshine Coast contenders against a contingent of about 10 from New Zealand, many of those competitors in their own country’s King of the Mountain 8km race in Kawerau.

The three favourites in the race and winners of last year’s King of the Mountain race were back to fight it out.

Ben Duffus, 26, from Brisbane, who came in second last year, led the race from the base of the mountain to the finish line, missing out on the 22min43sec record by about a minute.

Mark Bourne, last year’s winner, came in second with Daniel Jones, 27, from NZ retaining his third position.

Meg Reeves, 34, a neurological nurse from NSW was the first woman across the finish line about the 30minute mark.