By Matt McLennan
A BONNIE Scottish lass and a very quick teen are among the runners fighting it out for top honours at this year’s King of the Mountain at Laurieton.
Rhona Maclean will use the gruelling 5km run up Laurieton’s North Brother Mountain on June 17 as training for the Hawaii Ironman later this year.
Maclean only had the idea to enter the event a couple of weeks ago, after talking about it with friends, and has only recently driven up the imposing mountain.
“I only drove up it the first time a couple of weeks back,” Maclean said.
Maclean got into serious training this week, and is tying on her running shoes again after living on “the Scottish diet” for the past few months.
“I’ve been eating and drinking a lot, which is good when you’re going to run up a hill,” she said.
The Ironman event in Hawaii is on Maclean’s radar. She qualified for the event by competing in an Ironman at Busselton, Western Australia this year.
Maclean immigrated to Australia from Glasgow about 20 years ago, but you wouldn’t have thought so, judging by her thick accent.
“I did the backpacker thing and discovered a much better way of life here,” she said.
Maclean will have her work cut out this year if she is to beat teen sensation Madi Roberts.
Roberts is entering her first Queen of the Mountain event this year, after winning the Princess event, for those younger than 16, the past two years in a row.
The feat is even more remarkable considering those two years were Roberts’ first cracks at the event.
Roberts wasn’t sure if she could repeat that success in the open age group.
“I might make it in the top three,” the St Joseph’s Regional College year 12 student said.
King of the Mountain organiser Nathan Pensini said the event has been going for more than 30 years.
Last year 99 runners took part. This year Pensini is hoping for more than 200.
“You see a lot of people training on the mountain already,” Pensini said.
“Hopefully all those people will enter.”
The starter’s gun is fired at 9am at the bottom of the mountain.
Registrations will be taken on the day.
To register visit www.portmactriclub.com or phone Nathan Pensini on 0402 068 186.