Markus Edhouse races to the finish in his first Pomona King of the Mountain.
Markus Edhouse races to the finish in his first Pomona King of the Mountain. Warren Lynam

Teen heir to Pomona race throne

IT WAS his first time taking on the mountain but Markus Edhouse, 13, is almost destined to become King one day.

His mother, Meagan Edhouse, is a five-time Queen of the Mountain and Markus has been running up and down Mount Edgecumbe (Putauaki), in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty in the Prince of the Mountain race since he was six years of age.

Meagan first took on Mount Cooroora 26 years ago, and she keeps coming back.

“We started a sister city race and I lived in the home town of the mountain race, and I won it so I got a trip over here to come and compete,” she said.

“We’ve kept that relationship up with the Kiwis and Aussies in that category competing with each other.”

This year, an injury prevented Meagan from making the gruelling run up Mount Cooroora but she was on the sidelines cheering on her son.

“Now it’s time to impart all the training and knowledge and expertise on to the next generation,” she said.

“I’m totally inspired with him in taking up the challenge with this race because it’s really, really hard and he’s only 13 years old.”

She said running up and down Mount Cooroora was more challenging than the bigger Putauaki where Markus has been training and where Meagan holds the record for most Queen of the Mountain wins.

“It’s much tougher, it’s a more brutal race,” she said.

“It’s rocky and it really punishes your body and your legs, and it’s a little steeper.”

Markus was able to squeeze in a couple of practice runs on Mount Cooroora before joining the race on Sunday and was satisfied with a race time of 38 minutes.

“I’m pretty stoked with my time,” he said.

“It was really, really tough; it was a real killer.

“I started off a bit fast really and didn’t really have a good time on the uphill, but on the downhill I improved, and on the way back I wasn’t feeling too good.”

Despite the pain, Markus said he’d love to make the run again, but he’ll have to wait another year before he’s old enough to take on the sister-race King of the Mountain back home in NZ.