Saturday saw the successful return of Australia’s toughest footrace at Wycheproof as the Riordan King of the Mountain was held for the first time in 35 years.
All the races were well subscribed, with 28 men and 26 women putting their hand up for the King and Queen races respectively. More than 120 people competed during the day for the $20,000 prize pool, with some competing in more than one category.
Organised by the Wycheproof Narraport Football Netball Club, president Ricky Allan said the turnout beat expectations.
“We had hoped to get a few hundred people along to the day, so we were rapt that so many came along.
“We were blessed with great weather, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.”
Following the races, around 900 spectators stayed for the community picnic, held at Centenary Park with a food and wine ‘festival’ atmosphere.
“Everyone really got behind the event, with plenty of interest around town and the district,” Ricky said.
“We were struggling a little to find a major, naming rights sponsor until Jim Riordan from Riordan Grain said they’d be involved.
“Running the races for the first time in decades meant that we had no data to share with potential sponsors about the investment.
“Once Jim agreed, we knew we would be able to put on the event, and it was a lot easier to speak with others sponsors and supporters. It made all the difference.”
Managing director of Riordan Grain Services and Riordan Fuels, based in Geelong, Jim said he was pleased to be in a position to help.
“Events like these are so important to the fabric of communities like Wycheproof, the surrounding district and our farming community.
“Seeing everyone in town for a great day, celebrating rural Australia and reinstating what has always been a legendary race was fantastic to see.
“We’re so pleased to be a part of it. We’ll be back next year!”
Full race results can be found at https://my.raceresult.com/253291/