Hil­ton tames the Pyra­mid

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Shane Ni­chols

MOSS­MAN ra­dio­g­ra­pher Jimmy Hil­ton em­bel­lished his stamp on the Great Pyra­mid Race near Gor­don­vale last week­end with his third straight win in the event.

The moun­tain king was first to the Pyra­mid peak and even­tu­ally crossed the line in 1:22:47 on Satur­day in front of race record holder Neil Labin­sky and lo­cal hope Steven Fran­cis.

It was hot and the 100strong field bat­tled a head­wind on the flat path to the foot of the climb.

Hil­ton de­clared it was his slow­est race yet – his best was 1:18 – and he was ec­static with the win over such a strong group of com­peti­tors – and in front of his fam­ily who had come up from Vic­to­ria.

It was an es­pe­cially fine win given Hil­ton had been bat­tling a flu in­fec­tion in re­cent weeks (as had other work­ers at Moss­man Hos­pi­tal). “I’m a bit bunged up still.” It af­fected his train­ing in the lead up to the event, which nor­mally con­sists of run­ning up the hills at Hil­ton’s Cas­sowary valley home and up the Bump Ttrack in Mow­bray.

Early this year Hil­ton was hit by Ross River fever which “just dragged on”, he said.

The heat was worse than in pre­vi­ous years and “I found it quite tough in the first half an hour and I think that slowed ev­ery­one else down too. It was one of the my tough­est races and I was very ec­static with the re­sult,” said the 37 year old.

The Pyra­mid is a par­tic­u­lar type of race, of course. “I don’t think it’s a run­ner’s race, to be hon­est,” Hil­ton said. “It’s a bit of ev­ery­thing.

“It’s a men­tal race, to be able to switch off when you’re hurt­ing on the way up.

“And then to be brave enough to switch off your con­scious­ness on the way down and just go as hard as you can down the goat track, hang­ing on to ev­ery sin­gle branch and tree, any­thing you can to stop your­self from fall­ing. It’s mainly rocks and gran­ite boul­ders.

“You’re leap­ing from rock to rock. They call it a down­hill freefall. Your quad­dies take a pound­ing, that’s for sure.

“And you’re dodg­ing a hun­dred run­ners on the way up.”

The de­scent takes 20 min­utes, com­pared with the hour or so in the climb. The to­tal course is 12 km and the moun­tain is 3 km up and 3 km down.

Hil­ton has his eye on a few more races in the win­ter, de­pend­ing on how his body holds up.

As for next year’s Pyra­mid, “I wouldn’t miss it, I love it. A good rush.”

Pic­ture: STE­WART MCLEAN

Three starts in the Pyra­mid Race, three wins: Jimmy Hil­ton head­ing to the fin­ish line on Satur­day.

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