Mt Arthur Challenge returns

Ian Spencer and Tony Vernon with the Cup
Ian Spencer and Tony Vernon with the Cup

Twenty-three years after it was last held, the Mount Arthur Challenge has been revived for the 50th Anniversary of the Mount Arthur Reserve, bringing back an exciting and iconic Wellington event.

Under the umbrella of the Mount Arthur Trust, the Mount Arthur Challenge Committee has been working hard on the 2014 Challenge which will include two running events within the Reserve: the 5km “Wallaby Run” designed to encourage novices and younger competitors to get involved, and the much tougher 9km “Wedgetail Challenge” for serious competitors. In 2014 the Mt Arthur Challenge also includes two road bike rides out through the Reserve via Bushrangers Creek Road and retuning through the Catombals via the Curra Creek Road. Two courses are available, the 50km ‘Limestone Ride” and the 110km “Iron Duke Challenge”. All events will commence from the Wellington Showground.

First held in 1985 the then ‘Rotary Mount Arthur Challenge’ occurred annually for seven years, regularly attracting over 100 competitors from across the central west and making ‘Mount Arthur’ a well known name.

Six times winner and the still reigning ‘King of the Mountain’ Tony Vernon, has kindly provided the ‘Mount Arthur Challenge Cup’ perpetual trophy to the Mount Arthur Challenge Committee for the 2014 Challenge. This perpetual trophy was first donated to the Challenge in 1985 by Dr Ian Spencer, and the Committee are thrilled to be able to carry on this tradition by engraving on the Cup the name of winner of the ‘Wedgetail Challenge” in 2014.

The route of the original Challenge ran from Pioneer Park, ascended Mount Arthur via walking trails and descended via the Scenic Drive. In 1991, the last year of the original Challenge, Tony Vernon set a new record time of 41 mins and 31 seconds. Due to changes in the course for 2014, his record will still stand.

The Trust and the organizing Committee hope that the new Mount Arthur Challenge will help promote Wellington, outdoor activities and general fitness. The Mount Arthur Trust would love local people to rediscover the Reserve and regularly use the trails for outdoor physical activity. It is also hoped that the inclusion of the bike rides will help promote the great cycling opportunities that Wellington and the surrounding landscape offers and be a starting point for promoting Wellington as a cycling destination. The ride sections through Mount Arthur and the Catombals are picturesque and there are great views back towards the Catombal Range and Mount Arthur from other sections of the courses.

Standard registrations close on 30 June 2014, so be quick to secure your spot in the Challenge at the standard registration prices! Visit www.mtarthurchallenge.org.au for more information.

Community support for this event so far has been fantastic, and the Committee is grateful for all of its sponsors and community partners. In particular the Committee would like to thank Platinum sponsor Hardnox; Silver sponsors the Wellington Rotary Club, Infigen Energy and Crowe Horwath; and Bronze sponsors Elders Insurance, Stubberfield Toyota and Plasto & Company. Wellington Business Services and Wellganic have also provided support in planning the event.

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