Ben conquers peak challenge

Kylie Cameron and Jane Phillips of Coolum. Photos: DARRYN SMITH

PHYSICS student Ben Duffus clearly knows all about speed and motion as he makes it two wins out of two starts to claim the 2014 King of the Mountain crown with an impressive 23:47 time.
Over 10,000 people flocked to Pomona on Sunday for the annual Wimmers King of the Mountain Festival, a project of the Cooroy/Pomona Lions Club.
Visitors jostled for places to watch the start and finish of the main event of the day – the Bendigo Bank International Mountain Challenge – which saw competitors climb an almost vertical route and fly fearlessly back down the mountain side.
For the fifth straight year, Bendigo Bank (through its Cooroy Community Bank branch) sponsored the much-loved and ever-popular main race, the International Mountain Challenge.
Sunshine Coast Community Financial Services Ltd (SCCFSL) board chairman Rick Cooper said he, the board of directors, the managers and branch staff, love being involved with Community Bank branches that are becoming synonymous with supporting communities and changing the banking landscape all over Australia
“We have been fortunate to work with a lot of local visionaries and a lot of hard working volunteers, just like the Pomona Lions Club,” Rick said.
“The Pomona King of the Mountain Festival remains one of the best opportunities for our community to get together in the Noosa hinterland. Who would have thought a simple bet in a pub in 1958 would see us all there again last Sunday preparing to cheer on amazing athletes?”
Other winners of the day include veteran runner Kim Beckinsale, a PE teacher from Noosa, who took in her fourth win as the first woman to finish in a time of 31:11.
Festival chairwoman Heather Manders said that the Cooroy/Pomona Lions Club, organisers of the festival for 36 years, were delighted with the day.
“It was just great to see all our hard work come together. The Lions club puts its heart and soul into this event. We’re all volunteers and everyone puts in an incredible effort,” she said.
A full list of division winners is available at