Posted 7/16/2012 by
On Sunday July 22, an age-old rivalry between Australia and New Zealand continues at the 2012 Pomona King of the Mountain - International Mountain Challenge. The race commences in the centre of Pomona, a relaxed country town at the foot of Mount Cooroora in the northern region of the Sunshine Coast. Runners from all over Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Rim and the United Kingdom climb a set of low hills before taking on the mountain which is little more than a goat track and is only wide enough for one or two runners in some places. The steep, almost vertical climb requires strength, agility, balance and no fear.
The history of the King of the Mountain event dates back to 1959 when a local footballer and railway porter, Bruce Samuels claimed he made the climb up Mt Cooroora in under an hour. The townsfolk refused to believe him, so a challenge was laid down, bets were placed, and Bruce proved to the whole town of Pomona that he was ready for the contest. He made the distance of 438 metres in forty minutes and earned the honour of having his name etched on the wall of the local hotel.
In 1987, Queenslander Graham Baralett set the record of 22.50 minutes which he held for 22 years until Neil Labinsky set a new record in 2009 when he completed the course in 22mins, 43 seconds.
Today, the race is the biggest event on the local calendar where the whole of Pomona comes together to welcome competitors to the gruelling event. Whether you like a challenge and wish to compete, or you are keen to watch the spectacle, there are non-stop events happening in the small town of Pomona. Over 12,000 people are attracted to the international sporting event where they can enjoy all the fun of a country fair. The event, the course, and indeed the race, has to be seen to be believed!