Mount Panorama Punish: Fourteen-year-old Miller Rivett peels off one hot lap in personal best time

KING of the mountain, personal best time, winner of the Mount Panorama Punish – it was why Miller Rivett was able to smile on Sunday even though he had pushed himself to his limits.

The 14-year-old was the first runner across the line in the fourth edition of the Punish – a race which not only sees competitors having to tackle a 6.213 kilometre circuit but deal with 174 metres of elevation change at the world famous race track.

Rivett stopped the clock after 22 minutes, 57 seconds, a time outside Dave Criniti’s 21:09 race record but still a very handy effort given the wet conditions.

The defining moment came after he made his way through The Chase and had Murray’s Corner in view, Rivett having kicked clear of Max Martinez.

“That was really hard, I had to keep away from Max because he was pushing the pace the whole way down the hill,” he said.

“It was about 300 metres before the finish I pulled ahead, he slowed down and I think he was worn out because I noticed he was breathing pretty heavy.

“It’s amazing I didn’t expect it today, especially with the weather. It just feels really good.”

Rivett crossed the line 53 seconds ahead of his nearest rival Aaron Houston (23:50), third went to Martinez (23:54), while Dean Windsor and Wes Gibson were one second further back to round out the top five.

Dominique Windsor (27:50) was the first female finisher and 26th outright.

But before heading up Pit Straight to the finish line, first there was the battle for King of the Mountain honours. It was a title presented to the first of the 470 registered runners to reach McPhillamy Park.

Miller took that honour by one second over Martinez, reaching the top in 12:24. He went on to clock a personal best time for the race in which he had previously finished 15th (2019), 20th (2018) and 21st (2017).

“I got to the top just before Max did. I led for a bit, I led for a few metres up the hill, I nudged ahead of him for the KOM and then I just managed to push harder on the way down,” Rivett said.

“I have been in all of them since 2017 and I beat my best time by like two minutes.

“It’s really surprising because I didn’t expect to beat my coach Wes [Gibson].”

Western Advocate – 25 October 2020

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