This weekend, Pomona will crown a new King, Queen, Prince and Princess of its world-famous mountain. Royal associations aside, the annual King of the Mountain festival is an amazing spectacle of super-human athletes running from the middle of town, up Mount Cooroora and down again, in blisteringly fast times.
Combined with a host of other events, entertainment, live music and classic games, including tug of war between local businesses, family fun runs and district school relays, it’s a staple among the Noosa community and an all-out brilliant weekend.
The most compelling part? It is inspired by Pomona’s iconic landscape and inimitable natural setting. No expensive concrete arenas or environmentally costly sporting facilities. Like many of today’s most gripping sporting occasions, it’s simply human versus human versus nature. No onerous rules or contentious refereeing; no ball tampering scandals or video assistant referees.
And, most importantly, it’s accessible to anyone who wants to come down and watch it live (unlike most of today’s top sports which you can only find on pay-per-view services, if at all – anyone in Australia enjoyed watching the Swimming World Championship this year?).
Organising and hosting sporting events like King of the Mountain, leaving nothing but footprints (and definitely some sweat) behind, is just another way to enjoy and showcase all of what the natural world has to offer. Imagine trying to artificially replicate the track up Mount Cooroora, never mind regulating it, so that people could sit on uncomfortable chairs in a sterile venue, surrounded by fast food franchises and souvenir stands full of cheap plastic tat.
And what’s most inspiring is that it’s made possible by the Pomona Lions Club volunteers (thanks so much to the team!). Now in its 41st year, the festival is an integral part of what makes Pomona, such an amazing town.
From the involvement of local schools to the many business sponsors, the festival fosters community pride, strengthens relationships and creates economic sustainability for the town.
We welcome to this event international and interstate athletes, and hopefully a good crowd of day trippers coming to cheer them on! Next year, we hope to host some of these visitors in the peaceful setting of our Retreat, offering them an unrivalled view of the mountain track that the runners will ascend and descend at superhuman speeds.
For now, we just form part of the cheer squad, as our oldest daughter takes on the Princess track for the first time tomorrow! Good luck to all competitors, we can’t wait for the fun!