THE Nowra Athletics Club hosted the 40th Shoalhaven King of the Mountain on Sunday with 168 runners braving the long distance battle and the run.
It was a windy morning in Cambewarra for the start of the 32 kilometre long distance running event.
There was a good showing of local athletes among the competitors who traversed the quiet country roads and rolling hills.
The highest point of the race was Mount Scanzi - 24 kilometres from the start and about 360 metres above sea level.
Runners were able to take in the breathtaking views at this point after pushing up the mountain, but they ran on as the course took them down a steep descent and then on through Kangaroo Valley to the welcomed finish line at the showground.
The race was won by Alex Matthews, 30, from Turramurra in a time of 1.58.35.
Matthews was injured in last year’s King with a fall in one of causeways. Despite his battle scars he returned this year and claimed the crown for his determination.
In his victory speech Alex praised the efforts of Nowra Athletics Club and the volunteers for staging such a wonderful event and promised he would be back again.
In second place was Tony Fattorini from Petersham and third was Gary Mullins from Neutral Bay.
The female race winner was Cecily Butler from Randwick in a time of 2.28.15. Jane Butler from Bruce finished second and third was Sarah Carpenter from Bowral.
The first local runner home was the smiling Leith Babian who finished eighth in a time of 2.14.58.
Next home for Nowra was Damian Smith in 12th place, followed by Scott Johnson in 13th and Darrin Smith in 14th.
The first local female home was Kim Waters in a time of 3.10.18, who finished 98th overall.
Angela Bond was the next local female runner home in a time of 3.24.04 in 122nd place and Laura Babian finished in 140th place in a time of 3.40.13.
These women certainly showed great resolve and persistence to conquer the gruelling course.
Another local female to do the club proud was Kathy Johnson, who was the winner of the 60 to 69 female category in a time of 4.06.02.
Greg Brennan needs an award too for riding the distance on his bike with Kathy for moral support.
A special award was made to club stalwart Kevyn Davis who ran his 38th King on Sunday.
Kevyn finished the race in 110th position in a time of 3.18.34.
The club thanked the organisers, sponsors and volunteers who helped make the event possible.