TRARALGON HARRIERS KING OF THE MOUNTAIN
Mount Tassie – King and Queen of the Mountain
Inaugural run 10th August 1969
The first Mt Tassie King of the Mountain run was scheduled to be run in September 1968, but for some reason did not take place, neither did the 1970 race.
An article in the Journal dated 14th Oct 1971 stated —-the gruelling 20 mile course – only the “second” time the race had been run. We know it was run in 1969 from another Journal newspaper article 14th August 1969. Therefore, these articles confirm that it was not run in 1968 or 1970 and that the first Mt Tassie King of the Mountain run must have been in 1969.
(Refer to Section 6 – Articles to view both scanned copies of the Journal 14th August 1969 and the 14th Oct 1971).
A statement from G Duffell reinforces this conclusion: “When I first heard about the race (likely 71) it was being reintroduced. “We used to …”I had the impression it might have been run more than once before. Also no results could be found for 1968 or 1970, plus on the day it was scheduled in 1968, results in the local paper for the Geoff Watt Half Marathon showed that many Traralgon Harriers had run this event.
It appears from the various newspaper articles that the Traralgon Harriers wanted a very hard long distance run to start in the middle of Traralgon being the G.P.O. Key criteria for the course must have been – a local tough long distance mountain course. Running to Mt Tassie from the G.P.O would have ticked all the boxes being close to 20 mile (around 30km) a gruelling climb from 10 km onwards and with a traditional date of September runners would have to run in some very poor conditions cold/windy/snow, but weather could also be quite warm
The first few years of the King and Queen of the Mountain was actually longer in distance. The race started in front of the Franklin St Post Office (G.P.O), left into Seymour Street, across the Creek and out to Shakespeare Street, then along the old creek road not the current road out toward Loy Yang, distance was close to 31k.
Up until 1986 the race was run on a longer course from the Post Office (G.P.O) until the race distance was reduced to 29.1km when the start was changed to outside the old Shakespeare Street Clubrooms adjacent the Traralgon Creek. Over the years distances became progressively shorter with the road realignments.
In the last few years (starting 2013) the race has been moved off the main Mount Tassie road for safety reasons.