You might remember a short while ago hubby and I spent a delightful Sunday out and about in Pomona, a dinky little hinterland town, 125km north of central Brisbane and 25km inland from Noosa Heads. The name Pomona is derived from the Roman goddess of fruit trees, as this region's soil and climate is perfect for fruit growing.
Another spectacular aspect to Pomona is the majestic Mt Cooroora, soaring to an impressive four hundred and thirty-nine metres and virtually sitting smack bang in the middle of the town of Pomona.
The Pomona King of the Mountain Festival is an annual fun-filled family event, starting on Saturday 21 July and culminating on the Sunday 22 July, with the thrilling Bendigo Bank International Mountain Challenge, that has competitors running up the face of Mount Cooroora.
Mount Cooroora in all her glory! Image: Elaine de Wet
This very unusual event attracts scores of athletes from around Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Rim and the United Kingdom, all keen to test their prowess and pit their athletic abilities against one another, with an almost vertical climb up the mountain in the Pomona King of the Mountain Festival.
This gruelling race starts from the centre of Pomona township, with runners running through the streets, crowded with well-wishers and supporters, before going 'bush' towards the mountain. It certainly doesn't sound too strenuous when one realises the Pomona King of the Mountain race only covers a distance of 4.2km to the top of the mountain and back again. But…one has to bear in mind that the track up this mountain is little more than a goat track, with a few parts now having been modified with steps. In some spots, the track is only wide enough for one or two runners at a time - so being a mountain goat could be a pre-requisite.
Pomona King of the Mountain Course
The return journey down the hill requires athletes to have strength, agility, an excellent sense of balance and an immunity to fear.
The Bendigo Bank International Mountain Challenge has seven categories: Men's Open; Women's Open; Men's Veteran; Women's Veteran; Masters and Junior Boys and Junior Girls. The outright winners men and women of the King Of The Mountain Race are invited and sponsored to compete in the "sister race" – the Kawerau King of the Mountain in New Zealand.
The Mountain Challenge event is sponsored by the Bendigo Bank, a local community bank that has branches in Pomona, Cooroy and Tewantin.
3km Family Fun Run
Nominations for the very daunting Pomona King of the Mountain race were opened on the 12 May 2018 and close on the 14 July 2018, which means runners who are eager beavers, can still put in their applications. Please click here for a Race Entry Form. Me, personally, I think I'll give this one a miss this year, but am definitely planning on being a cheerleader!
The Zinc 96.1 Prince and Princess of the Mountain is run on Saturday 21 July at 2.00pm and for a mere $5 entry fee, includes a sausage sizzle. This childrens' event is aimed at 9 to 13 year olds and is a 3.4km track starting at the Cooroy Pomona Lions Den at 2 Mountain Street, and running to the base of the mountain.
Do you just love to mountain bike through spectacular nature scenes? Why not grab a bunch of friends, and with your family join the inaugural Pomona King of the Mountain Bike Ride on Sunday 22 July. This non-competitive Mountain Bike Ride is aimed at beginners, intermediate and advanced level cyclists and is designed for those of us who are keen to see another side of Pomona's exceptional surrounds.
All you need is a reliable mountain bike, closed in shoes, a helmet and some water for hydration. If you're keen as mustard to join in the fun of the Pomona King of the Mountain Bike Ride, download your entry form here.
The Pomona King of the Mountain Festival weekend programme (see above) includes a 3km Family Fun Run, Heritage Markets, the Primary School Relay, and the Tug o' War (for Primary school children) and a Tug o' War (for local businesses and sports clubs). Entertainment will include live bands performing on the Pomona IGA stage - entertainment still to be confirmed - buskers, amusement rides, sideshow alley plus a laid-back food court area. In other words, a fun day for the whole family, whether you are running, cycling, or cheerleading!
Cheerleading from the sidelines is the name of my game!