Bogong climb a success
THE 40th Mt Beauty Conquestathon on Sunday saw 225 runners and walkers participate in the annual supported climb of Mt Bogong.
Participants ranged from elite trail runners to families with young children as well as some special guests including Simon Goss, who hasn’t missed a conquestathon since 1974 and Bright’s Rod Harris who won the very first event almost 50 years ago.
The first conquestathon was organ- ised by the Mt Beauty and District Business Association in 1969 before they stopped running the event and it was revived by the Upper Kiewa Valley Lions Club in 1974.
Despite numbers being slightly down Lions Club president Rod Hyde said that it had been a highly successful and exciting day.
“We even had an engagement announcement on the summit,” he said.
“For the first time we have been sponsored by the skiing and mountaineering company La Sportiva, who have agreed to cover all our out-of-pocket expenses so that all our entry money can go to good causes.
“They also provided prizes and giveaways, and we hope this sponsorship will continue for another two years at least.”
Elite runners are still trying to better Andy Kromar’s time of 1 hour 51 minutes more than ten years after setting it.
His record remains in place for another year with Sunday’s winner Ben Derrick making the distance in 2 hours 20 minutes.
He was followed by Sam Perry (2hr31min), Ian Franzke (2hr33min), Tim Slater (2hr37min) and the first woman across the line Belinda Ralph (2hr39min).
Derrick’s win was his sixth or seventh from 13 starts.
“The trails are in magnificent condition, and it’s great to have such enthusiastic volunteers running the event,” he said.
“It gets to be a very long day for the people on the checkpoints, and all the runners and walkers really appreciate it.”