IN what was just the second year of the event, the team behind Mount Panorama Punish nearly doubled the number of participants.
Around 900 took off from Mount Panorama’s Pit Straight at 8am on Sunday, with the first runner coming back across the line just 23 minutes later.
People came from all across Australia to participate, while there was also representation there from France.
Organiser Jennifer Arnold said she was really pleased with the number of people who came out for the early morning run.
“It was a massive crowd, really thrilled with the turnout,” she said. “We couldn’t be more pleased with how it has gone.”
Ms Arnold said there were 500 runners last year, so to have a group of around 900 was a massive improvement.
“That’s without any advertising, just word of mouth, people talking about how exciting the event was last year and bringing family and friends along this year,” she said.
In addition to word of mouth, the strong turnout was credited to the unique opportunity the event presented to both athletes and more casual runners.
“There is nowhere else in Australia that you can run around such an iconic race track as Mount Panorama,” Ms Arnold said.
“It is a challenge in itself – anyone who has walked or run or even driven around the mountain knows how challenging it is – so being able to run around it in race conditions with traffic control, there’s nothing better.”
- VIDEO: Runners start the 2018 Mount Panorama Punish
Following the return of all the runners, the best performers in the event were presented with trophies.
The overall winner was Lachlan Oakes of Cherrybrook, who finished in a time of 23 minutes and three seconds.
He was followed home by Patrick McNamara, also from Cherrybrook, and Kelso’s Nick Zawadski.
Mr Zawadski was also the King of the Mountain, awarded for being the first male to reach the top of Mount Panorama.
The first female was Amy Lam of Wollstonecraft, who completed her lap in 26.19 and also took out the title of Queen of the Mountain.
Second of the women was Kelso’s Kellie Gibson, while Kellie-Anne Musty from Gorokan came third.
Siblings Ethan and Renelle Donges took out the Junior King and Queen of the Mountain awards.
At the end of the presentation ceremony on Sunday, Jennifer Arnold announced to participants that next year’s event will be held on Sunday, November 10.