King of the Mountain back by demand

Alicia PereraPilbara News

Popular Tom Price race King of the Mountain returned to town on Sunday for the first time in three years and was enthusiastically embraced by locals keen to take on the challenge to be the first to the top of Mount Nameless Jarndunmunha.

A tradition that began in 1994 as part of Tom Price’s major annual festival but dropped away in 2014, King of the Mountain was brought back by popular demand this year by the festival organising committee.

Fifty-five competitors took part in the 2.8km race up a steep incline and there were some impressive results among the race times.

Men’s competitor Stuart McFarren was the fastest overall with a time of 23min. 41sec., closely followed by under-15 boys’ racer Rylan Scott under one minute later.

Celina Johnson was the fastest woman with a time of 28min. and Chloe Weightman proved the best in her under-15 girls’ category, clocking 29min. 48sec.

Nameless Jarndunmunha Festival organiser Kelly Geddes said the return of the “iconic winter event” had proven popular with locals.

“A lot of people have asked when it’s coming back, and taking on Nameless I thought we have to have that event back,” she said.

“There’s been huge interest in it so it will be interesting to see how many we get at the finish.”

All registration fees went towards local teenagers Jack and Larissa Dawson, the children of Lara and Mark Dawson who were killed in a tragic road incident about a month ago.

Ms Geddes said the race had emotional significance for Tom Price residents as well as offering a good physical challenge. “I guess it’s got a historical significance to a lot of people in town,” she said.

“The mountain sort of leans over the town, there’s something about an event that’s held once a year, and a lot of people who live here feel connected to the hill.

“It’s just like a landmark and there’s something about conquering it that’s exciting.”

This year’s Nameless Jarndunmunha festival will also be held on Clem Thompson Oval for the first time in years following its upgrade.

Ms Geddes said the return of King of the Mountain race and the festival’s traditional location fit in well to the nostalgic theme of this year’s celebrations.

“We’re very excited to have it as part of the festival line-up going into the event each year,” she said.

“And because the festival theme is Rewind I feel it’s quite fitting doing this event.”

The Nameless Jarndunmunha Festival will be held in Tom Price on August 11-12.

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