Rio Olympian to tackle Volcanic Challenge

Rio Olympian to tackle Volcanic Challenge
  • article date 13 March 2017 by

The Great Volcanic Mountain Challenge is a trail run visiting three volcanic peaks near Orange in central NSW and is a new addition to the growing Greater Bank Fun Run Series. It is a 'fun run' style event where you can run or walk to the top of Mount Canobolas. The 11 kilometre course includes a lot of ascent, but only a couple of sections are steep. From the Start near Towac Pinnacle Picnic Grounds (off Pinnacle Rd) you first visit Mt Towac (a steep section but the views make it worth the effort), then on to Young Man Canobolas before the final climb to Mt Canobolas (also steep). The overall climb is 520m.

Race director, Russell Tymm said “This is our twelfth year and the entry numbers are still growing. Last year we had nearly 500 starters, and a big increase in numbersacross all ages ranging from 8 to 80.  While the top runners can do it in under an hour most participants take 1.5 to 2.5 hours.

Among the entrants this year will be 10,000m finalist from the 2016 Rio Olympics and new Recreational Running Manager for Athletics NSW, Ben St Lawrence who is keen to tackle the picturesque course.

“Having lived in the Blue Mountains and the Central West for most of my life, I’m looking forward to getting back out there to take on the challenge of Mt Canobolas, said St Lawrence.  “I haven’t raced much since Rio, but have plans to step up to the Marathon later this year so this will be a great event as I climb back to peak fitness”.

The Men’s race record is held by former Olympian Martin Dent at 44 minutes 59 seconds and the Women’s race record was set last year by 2016 Olympian Victoria Mitchell at 51 minutes 10 seconds. 

The Great Volcanic Mountain Challenge is rightly called a 'Challenge' and requires a serious effort to complete. Getting to the Finish line rewards contestants with a real sense of satisfaction, and a unique medallion to remember it by.

This year the event also doubles as the NSW Mountain Running Championships for members of Athletics NSW. Competitive runners will qualify to run in the Australian Championships in Adelaide, and if they do well, the World Mountain Running Championships in Italy later in the year.

The Great Volcanic Mountain Challenge is proud to support Scouts and Guides in their effort to promote outdoor activities for children. It is open to everyone - runners and walkers, young and old, individuals, families and teams.

Early bird entries are just $25 for kids and $35 for adults. Every participant will receive a shuttle bus return to Registration area at Towac Pinnacle Picnic Ground and there will be medals for all major age categories as well as team medals. For more information or to enter the Greater Bank Volcanic Challenge Fun Run visit

When:  Sunday 26 March, 2017 

Where: Towac Pinnacle Picnic Grounds

How to enter: visit



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