Sherry Ey prepares to compete in the gruelling King of the Mountain challenge.
Sherry Ey prepares to compete in the gruelling King of the Mountain challenge. Max Fleet

Ey lifts for Pomona crown

SHERRY Ey has spent every spare moment of the past six months training in the hope she can be crowned queen of this weekend's Pomona King of the Mountain.

Having campaigned in the past three events, Ey, 41, knows what to expect, but she doubts it will make the feat any easier.

“If you wear a heart monitor up the mountain it doesn't take long before your heart rate maxes out,” she said.

“It's quite hard on your body and it's got the best of a lot of people.”

The 4.5km course, which cuts a jagged path up Mt Cooroora in the Noosa Hinterland, has become recognised as the most gruelling in the country with a steep, almost vertical climb.

The race is not over when competitors reach the pinnacle of the mountain - and the descent requires strength, an excellent sense of balance and an immunity to fear.

“The return trip can be just as difficult as the climb,” Ey said.

“You sort of just have to throw yourself down it and hope for the best.”

Ey will contest the Open Women Category and has been training hard to ensure she can match it with long-term winner Maree Stephenson and Hurbetein Wichers.

Ey finished eighth last year, but hopes to earn a spot on the podium this Sunday.

“It's a goal I have set myself, but it's not going to be easy,” she said.

Ey has been running the mountain once a month in the lead-up to the event and has set herself a strict training regime including a weight session before work, incline training at lunchtime and running after work.

“If you don't put in enough training you can be in dire, dire straits,” she said.

The life-time athlete has represented Australia in softball and touch football and finished third in the Cairns Great Pyramid Race, but said a podium finish in the Pomona King of the Mountain would be her crowning glory.

“I've been working hard and it's an achievement I really want to notch on the board,” she said.

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