Coe Vines makes his way up the gruelling Mt Cooroora. 2020 would have been his 25th consecutive year competing in the King of the Mountain race.
Coe Vines makes his way up the gruelling Mt Cooroora. 2020 would have been his 25th consecutive year competing in the King of the Mountain race.

COVID can’t stop dad’s 25 years of royal ascent

Claiming a sporting record is probably not high on the to-do list for most people edging closer to 60.

But for Noosa’s Coe Vines, 58, it is something that has been 25 years in the making.

Last Sunday would have been the annual King of the Mountain Running Festival.

WELCOME WAGS: AFL partners hit noosa lockdown

‘We can’t neglect it’: What the rattler will cost this year

But due to coronavirus restrictions the popular Coast sporting event, held every year on the last Sunday in July, was cancelled.

Vines said he wasn’t going to let a worldwide pandemic get in the way of him recognising his 25 consecutive years of competing in the gruelling mountain running event.

Vines with kids Samantha and Jesse, Cody Moulder as well as Matt Golinski.
Vines with kids Samantha and Jesse, Cody Moulder as well as Matt Golinski.

Supported by his children and a handful of other runners, including female champion Leslie Saunders and celebrity chef Matt Golinski, Vines did his 25th consecutive Mt Cooroora run.

The screaming spectators to which he had become accustomed were not there but it was still very special.

“It was quite emotional,” he said.

“I had been waiting for this year for a while.”

Vines’ first race was back in 1996, when he was 33.

Little did he know back then, he would be back up Mt Cooroora every year for the next quarter-of-a-century.

His best time was 30 minutes and 10 seconds, which he recorded 20 years ago.

Since then he has hovered around those times

“I am still matching times from 20 years ago,” Vines said.

“I actually won a few times in the veterans (category).”

He may be a little greyer than when he first conquered the mountain, and the legs might not be as agile as they once were, but Vines said it was just about having a dig and putting one foot in front of the other.

“The run is like life, it really tests you,” he said.

“For some people, life is a challenge, this is just a walk in the park for half an hour.”

Woman’s King of the Mountain champion Leslie Saunders said, despite there not being a crowd, for her it was a memorable day.

“Today was really special because Coe Vines was the man who encouraged me that first year to run,” she said.

“After our run we sat down in the park listening to Midnight Oil and reminiscing about all the years, it was really special.”


Top Sunshine Coast citizens honoured

Premium Content Top Sunshine Coast citizens honoured

More than 100 citizens have been honoured at Australia Day Awards

Olympic bid remains strong despite rumours of Japanese takeover

Premium Content Olympic bid remains strong despite rumours of Japanese...

Olympic bid remains strong despite concerns of a japanese takeover

Who’s who in the hills: Hinterland’s most influential

Premium Content Who’s who in the hills: Hinterland’s most influential

If you step away from the beaches to head inland you’ll find the beating heart of...