2014 Kawerau King of the Mountain results!!

Date published: November 3, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Comments

The dread locked possum master cleans up on Putauaki.


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On a sun baked, ‘All Saints Day’ in Kawerau, around 400 athletes endeavoured to overcome their own behemoth challenges.

In the Radio 1XX School Relays (on a course which lapped Waterhouse St. Reserve), 30 teams – made up of 4 in a team – representing primary schools from across the Eastern Bay of Plenty, observed absolute domination from Kawerau South School.

Former Queen of the mountain, Rose Hyland (and South School teacher) prepared her young mountain runners in a way which surmounted in a clean sweep in the early activities, Kawerau South 1,2,3!

The Prince & Princess curtain raiser race had 200 young runners take to the lower foothills of Putauaki and it was the Whakatane speedster, Regan Wilson (19:57), who came out the clear Prince,  Oliver Budd (21:26) and Kevin Paulsen (21:49) both from Whakatane were 2nd and 3rd respectively with Ronan Van Niekerk (22:25) from Kawerau, closing in to finish 4th.

The Princess race had a whole different story.  The relatively unknown Tegan Fookes from Rotorua accelerated passed the early front runner Evelyn Barton and headed into the foothills to lead at the summit point.

Defending Princess Jayda Stewart began a challenge at Haulage Road with Jana Longney also in pursuit, but it was Barton which surpassed them with an impressive down hill.

Fookes fought back and took the lead on the road climb before the final descent to Firmin Field, however, it was a sprint finish into the chute from Barton (23:33) that saw her crowned Princess for the 2nd time.

It was an outstanding effort from all of the young female athletes which had Fookes (23:41) in 2nd and Longney (23:52) finish 3rd , just in front of Stewart (24:51) .

Then it was into the main event, plenty of uncertainties shrouded who would triumph in 2014, the leading pack started with Chris Morrissey, Shay Williamson and Lance Downie with plenty of Wally’s to spot all aiming to stamp down their early authority before the mighty climb.  Defending King, Sjors Corporaal seemed inconspicuous in his absence as a normal front runner.

Morrissey led to the skid, which instigated an attack from Williamson followed by Downie, this was where the race developed.

Williamson simply flew; he took an unassailable lead on the climb with Downie in chase.  Williamson’s up time was just incredible and mirrored that of the all time great Prosser, 32:45 is super fast to the summit and Williamson’s down hill was equally amazing with a 15:23.

Williamson won (48:09) and finished with beanie removed displaying flowing dreads for the exuberant crowd, leaving everyone in his wake with over 3 minutes separating him and 2nd place Downie (51:23) and 3rd place Morrissey (53:48).

Developing athlete Hayden Wilde finished 4th (and first junior) in front of defending King Corporaal.  Surprise package was Ben Miller, 47 seconds behind Corporaal.

The Queen race witnessed arguably one of Australasia’s finest trail runners in Ruby Muir establishing her place in the folklore of this race.

Muir led the women’s race from the front and posted a summit time of 42:18, with previous Kawerau Queen Kim Beckinsale (Pomona Queen) just 37 seconds behind, Leslie Saunders also from Australia was another 4 minutes off the pace.

Muir crossed the line to capture her first ever Kawerau Queen Title in 1:00:20, a worthy victory but narrowly outside the elusive SUB 60 club on what was a very hot day in Kawerau.

Special acknowledgement should also go to the outstanding local female juniors competing. Kaitlin Blackwood (6th Princess in 2013) finished 4th female overall with a credible time of 1:12:30, closely followed by Bernadette Prout, both hailing from the Whakatane Trident School of hard knocks!

Nine men made the SUB 60 club in 2014, which included another incredible performance from the Super Vet Colin Earwaker (58:52), who earns himself a trip to Pomona along with Williamson, Wilde and Muir, who will all carry the Kiwi flag at the 30th Trans Tasman International Mountain Race Challenge in Pomona, July 2015.

The organisers would like to acknowledge all the volunteers, marshals and safety services that helped in making this iconic event another amazing success.

The 60th Diamond Jubilee – Kawerau King of the Mountain Race – will take place in 2015 with dates to be listed on the official website shortly, expect a Grande event worthy to acknowledge New Zealand’s most established mountain race.

Full results can be found at www.kaweraukingofthemountain.co.nz/results and images will be available at https://www.facebook.com/KawerauKingOfTheMountain