New Queen reigns supreme with record-breaking run
RUNNING: Ruby Muir had never set foot on the upper slopes of Mt Cooroora before Sunday but that didn't stop her from smashing the women's record in winning the iconic Queen of the Mountain race.
The 26-year-old from Wellington covered the 4.2km course in 27min49sec, to beat Ashild Hrige (29.29) and local schoolteacher Leslie Saunders (32.33), who was attempting to snare her third title in as many years.
"It was my first time up there so it was all a bit of surprise," Muir said of the steep and rocky route.
"We only saw it on Saturday (when) I kind of walked up the base but I hadn't seen the top half."
The renowned trail and mountain runner was impressed by the 446m peak at Pomona and the test it posed.
"Once you reach the top you've got pretty bad jelly legs so the first part of the descent felt a bit dodgy but I got my rhythm after a little while.
"I love these kind of races where it's really rough. It's great that there's runs up mountains like this and so many people want to do it."
She bettered the seven-year mark of Maree Stephenson's by 28 seconds to snare the fastest time by a female on corrected time - there have been changes to the course during the event's 29-year history.
Muir has one eye on the New Zealand 10km national championships later this year.
Saunders would have like to have stopped the clock earlier.
"Ruby is just all class ... I was third and I am quite happy with that, I just wish I had a better time," she said.
Meanwhile, Canberra's Mark Bourne defended his King of the Mountain title.
The 33-year-old won in 24min37sec, ahead of Ben Duffus (24.50) and Daniel Jones (25.22).
"This is such a unique challenge here. The Pomona King of the Mountain Festival has a great atmosphere," he said.
"There are very few races like this where you are able to finish off with such a big crowd cheering you on."
Bourne will now turn his attention back to the Vertical World Circuit, after winning series races in Seoul and Taipei.
The next event is at the Sydney Tower.
He's eager to race again in Pomona next year.