Conquered: Shorter option added to classic summit race

March 30th, 2017
Conquered: Shorter option added to classic summit race
Hundreds of runners will make the journey to the peak of Mount Barker in an annual quest to ‘Conquer the Summit’ for a good cause on Sunday, April 9.

Hosted by both the local Mount Barker Lions and YMCA, the event started six years ago and has since evolved into a challenging race for some, and a fun walk for others.

Chair of the Summit event Tony Anderson said the run had first come about as a friendly competition with a gym partner.

“It goes back a while really, we were both at the gym and he suggested we try to climb the summit and away we went,” he said.

“We found it was really quite an interesting climb, because there are a lot of very hilly bits, but it’s also quite beautiful because as you go up you’re surrounded by grazing land with cows and alpacas watching you.”

Some runners find enjoyment in pushing themselves along the 11km climb, with one local, Rhys Jones, currently holding five championships with times close to 45 minutes.

Others, however, take a more leisurely pace, focusing on the surroundings of the walk instead of strictly their speed.

“As one example, in the first year we ran the event we had the mayor Ann Ferguson walk the route,” Tony said.

It’s with this more leisurely expection in mind that this year’s Conquer the Summit will also feature a shorter circuit through the Laratinga Wetlands.

“That course is a fair bit flatter and not as long, so it’s perfect for families who want to come out and enjoy the day,” he said.

“It’s a lot of fun for the family and once everyone’s done, the Lions will be putting on a free barbecue as well.

“We’ve got other organisations like Parkrun involved as well, so it’s a great chance to meet others in the community.”

It’s that community focus which stands out to YMCA Mount Barker event coordinator Amber Kelly.

Since the event’s inception, it has grown, with more than 200 attendees at least year’s event and up to 300 expected this year.

“It really brings the community out and gets everyone talking and together,” she said.

“I also think it’s important because the event is raising funds for Operation Flinders, a charity we chose because of all the work they do with disadvantaged youth.

"They’re helping these youths gain confidence and become better people who can be proud as part of a community, and so I think anyone running is giving them a better chance as well.

"I’d encourage everyone to come along, it really is great fun as well as raising money for a good cause.”

This year’s Conquer the Summit will start at 10am on Sunday, April 9, with both races starting at Keith Stephenson Park.

Registrations can be made online at http://www.conquerthesummit.org.au with more information available by contacting event organiser Tony Anderson at 0409 092 640.

Entry is $30 per person for the 11.5km summit climb and $20 for the 5k Laratinga Wetlands circuit, with all proceeds going towards Operation Flinders.

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