HARRY Jones just knows what it takes to conquer North Brother Mountain.
The Port Macquarie triathlete claimed his fourth-straight King of the Mountain title on Sunday despite having to overcome a cold as well as blustery, wintery conditions on the way to the top.
Just two minutes behind Jones was the first woman across the line, Kirsten Molloy, who smashed the hill climb in a cracking 26 minutes and 32 seconds.
Molloy, who is no stranger to the course, took out the Queen of the Mountain title out for the third year in a row.
Jones finished the five-kilometre uphill challenge 40 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor and admitted his competitive edge got him to the start line.
He wasn’t going to let a cold beat him.
“It would have been easy to say no,” he said.
“But knowing my mentality and competitiveness I thought “this could be my fourth-straight title” and it was my race to lose so I thought I can’t not show up.
“But going up the hill and just before the finish line I was seeing stars and had no idea where I was and then I came across the line and thought ‘this is great,” he said.
He said he was “really happy with the decision to come down and it’s made it worthwhile.”
Despite his fourth-straight success the 25-year-old professional triathlete admitted he was surprised to win the event again.
“This one was the hardest one I’ve done in the last four years for sure considering my circumstances,” he said.
“In all honesty I was a bit surprised that I did win, because literally all I was there to do was enjoy myself and do the best I could.
Going up the hill and just before the finish line I was seeing stars and had no idea where I was.
“I think I was only 30 seconds slower than last year’s time so I’m pretty happy about it.”
Jones said he knew he had the race in his control with about two kilometres to go which made the mental and physical battle of leg and lung burn easier to overcome.
“I think the steepest part of the course is around a 14 per cent gradient and by then my legs were burning and my lungs were burning,” he said.
“And I just thought ‘come on Harry you’ve only got five minutes to go, just keep pushing through it.’”
No expectations before the race freed Jones up mentally and he admitted that contributed to his success.
“I was only there to do the best I can and that’s all anyone asks,” he said.
“So considering what I’ve been going through with the last couple of weeks, it was tough.
“It never gets any easier, but I’m pretty happy now. It’s a nice little pay cheque and then back into training in a couple of weeks.”
Jones laughed off suggestions that the event should be renamed after him.
You literally have to be in good form and it is tough. To get to the top if you do win you know you deserve the title.
“I don’t think I’m that good,” he said.
“Maybe next year I can go for the record of a fifth title but I think the name says it all.
“You literally have to be in good form and it is tough. To get to the top if you do win you know you deserve the title.
“With a normal race it’s flat to the finish line so you can easily ease up the pace, but with the King of the Mountain it goes all the way up to the top."
For the full list of results CLICK HERE