TOP OF HIS GAME: Coolum man John Pearson won the gruelling 240km Coast to Kosciuszko in just under 28 hours at the weekend.
TOP OF HIS GAME: Coolum man John Pearson won the gruelling 240km Coast to Kosciuszko in just under 28 hours at the weekend. john mccutcheon

You can call John the king of Australia's tallest mountain

ULTRAMARATHON: Coolum Beach runner John Pearson can lay claim to being the king of Australia's tallest mountain, after winning what is considered one of the toughest ultramarathon races in the world.

Starting in the coastal town of Eden at 4:30am (AEST) on Friday, and finishing on Saturday at 9:30am, Pearson ran 240km with an ascent of 5700m to win the Coast to Kosciuszko.

Finishing in a time of 27hrs 35mins, Pearson battled 40km/h head winds for more than 100km of the race, through temperatures ranging from 27 degrees to minus two.

John Pearson, photographed at Coolum Beach, is an ultramarathon runner. Photo: Iain Curry / Sunshine Coast Daily
John Pearson, photographed at Coolum Beach, is an ultramarathon runner. Photo: Iain Curry / Sunshine Coast Daily Iain Curry

After attempting the race for the first time in 2013, Pearson was compelled to return last year and push for a podium finish.
He came agonisingly close, finishing just thee minutes behind the third place-getter.

But this year's preparation went perfectly, and Pearson was able to fulfill his dream.

Sitting in a sauna while conducting a post-race detox, Pearson spoke about how much the win meant to him.

"It was such a great moment," he said.

"While my name is on the winner's list, I always make the point that without a great crew, you can't undertake these things.

"This year I decided to be far more aggressive and it worked perfectly...where it could've gone the other way."

The crew of three meticulously planned Pearson's assault on the mountain, and were there every step of the way to ensure he made it to the finish, despite at one stage, running out of water.

"I drank all my liquids by the time we reached the final part of the ascent and descent," Pearson said.

"I saw one of my crew go off the track and run down toward the Snowy River.√

"So I drank river water for the last 9km of the race.

"The crew decided if I got sick we could deal with it later...fortunately that wasn't the case."

Understandably, Pearson will now take a break from serious competition for the next couple of months before setting his sights on a 48-hour event in Canberra on March 18.

However, he said he would participate in the 80km Cradle Mountain Run in Tasmania for "fun" and to "see the sights".
 



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