Amos Saraber making the climb during Kawerau King of the Mountain Race in New Zealand.
Amos Saraber making the climb during Kawerau King of the Mountain Race in New Zealand. Contributed

Gympie's Amos Saraber is NZ's King of the Mountain

AMOS Saraber has conquered the Kawerau King of the Mountain Race in New Zealand, placing third in the veteran's category.

The athlete, one of 172 competitors, completed the gruelling ascent and descent in approximately one hour and four minutes placing him 28th overall.

The Gympie man said it was a challenge to complete the 8km climb up the 800m high mountain.

"I was happy with that result especially since I have never done it before," Saraber said.

Despite the spectacular landscape he hardly got a chance to admire it because there was so much competition on the track.

"I was so stuffed; I just had to keep going.

"I was definitely sore for a few days after - I was just proud to finish."

The 45-year-old was one of four Australians who made the trip to New Zealand.

Leslie Saunders from Pomona also ran well placing second in the veterans.

Saraber qualified for the Kawerau climb after winning the King of the Mountain race at Pomona earlier this year for the first time.

After only running up the mountain twice before as preparation, Saraber finished the race in 31 minutes and 53 seconds to take out the veterans division and place 17th overall.

"I heard about it (Pomona's race ) a few years ago and decided to finally enter."

"It was such a buzz I had no idea how well I'd gone."

The Mothar Mountain resident said Kawerau was twice as high and twice as long as Mt Cooroora.

The length of the race didn't deter him but it was a lot steeper than he anticipated.

"It was like a chute of crumbling gravel and sand compared to Cooroora's rocky surface - I took my time on the way down," Saraber said.

"It was challenging and a very different environment."

The Kawerau King of the Mountain celebrated its 60th year and attracted many top competitors. Faster ones finish the climb in less than 50 minutes.

It was the race's 60th year this year, and it attracted many top competitors with 18 athletes breaking the hour mark.

The fitness fanatic lives right next door to Mt Boulder where he usually runs along the walking tracks for to keep fit and healthy.

"It was a nice step fitness wise."