Good numbers in mountain race

A TOTAL of 28 competitors took part in the gruelling King of the Mountain foot race on Hamilton Island on Sunday.

DEAHNE Turnbull of Townsville successfully defended her Queen of the Mountain title when she defeated all except two of the male runners in an emphatic display of powerful hill running.

Turnbull stamped her authority on the event from the gun and never relented.

The only runners to beat her home were men's winner Billy Brag, also of Townsville, and second place-getter David Schloss.

Even the home-ground advantage of island resident and female runner-up, Michaella Trigg, was of little help as Turnbull won in 34:50.

Chris Osborne was the island's first male resident to finish and fifth male overall in 38:11.

As first locals to finish, he and Trigg each received a new pair of ASICS trail running shoes.

The new King of the Mountain, Brag, is just 17 and shows signs of a promising future in the sport.

He was conservative early before taking control and pulling away on the treacherous descent to take the men's title in 33:40, a minute clear of Schloss and two minutes ahead of third place-getter Gordon Wing.

Brag and Turnbull have set daunting benchmarks for future competitors.

With a new sponsor in Hamilton Island Weddings and a new course starting and finishing from Catseye Beach, interest in the race continues to grow.

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