Gympie South school relay team members Abbey and Jasy Obrien, Cameron Hanson, Georgia Garrels and Shiarn Benham gear up for the event.
Gympie South school relay team members Abbey and Jasy Obrien, Cameron Hanson, Georgia Garrels and Shiarn Benham gear up for the event. Renee Pilcher

Kids relay for mountain festival

ADVENTUROUS runners from around the world will get their last minutes of training in before they line up for this Sunday's Bendigo Bank International Mountain Challenge.

Along with the big-time mountain racers, smaller-footed but big-at-heart primary school relay runners from around from the region will don their footwear for the event.

In the mix for the 15th year will be students from Gympie South State School, led by PE teacher Shereene Moy.

Three boys and three girls teams will run the relay event.

While it has been too wet to get a lot of training in, Moy has faith in her young runners, all of who were selected after placing well in this year's athletics carnival 800m race.

She said the King of the Mountain primary school relay was a good day out for the students and exposed them to something different and fun.

"They're very excited," she said.

"There's no pressure. It's all just a bit of fun."

However the pressure will be on for current King of the Mountain Neil Labinsky.

The Nambour runner will be vying for his seventh consecutive win at the event, which will earn him the record for the most consecutive wins at the race.

In 2009, he broke the record set by long-time race runner Graham Barralet with a time of 22.43 minutes.

This year Barralet returns to Pomona to take on Mount Coorora at the age of 60.

Race co-ordinator Barry Stewart said Labinsky's competition would come from all over.

"There are six competitors from New Zealand, including one to watch, Shay Williamson, Stewart said.

"Shay finished second overall in 2011 and is one of the main contenders to win.

"Between Neil, Shay and Graham, this year's 34th annual Bendigo Bank International Mountain Challenge is going to be the most exciting one yet."

 

Program

Road closures:

6am to 5.30pm: Reserve St between School St and the eastern side of the railway crossing.

Memorial Ave between Church St and Station St.

Hospital St between Mountain St and Memorial Ave

8.30am to noon: School St between Mountain St and Reserve St.

12.30pm to 5pm: Mountain St between School and Church Sts.

The event starts at 8am and includes:

From 10am: Nestle Primary School Relays;

Noon: Cooroy Rag World Thong Throwing Comp;

1pm: Zinc 96.1 Mountain Dash;

3pm: Bendigo Bank International Mountain Challenge.

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