PHOTOS: Record falls at Great Volcanic Mountain Challenge

NOT since Pierce Brosnan went head-to-head with Dante’s Peak have we seen a man tackle a volcano with such ferocity.

Waterloo distance runner Thomas Docanto yesterday smashed the Great Volcanic Mountain Challenge race record, running the 2014 event in 46 minutes and 28 seconds to better the previous mark by over a minute.

Matthew Cox was the next best runner up Mount Canobolas, with Cox also the holder of the old record set at 47.40 on his way to the 2013 win.

The 27-year-old Docanto was thrilled to be the fastest man to race up Mount Canobolas.

“I was just hoping to get close to it, the fact I got under it I’m stoked. It’s excellent,” he said.

Made to work throughout the entire 11km course, Docanto said he’d never quite encountered the kind of terrain Mount Canobolas, a mountain with volcanic origins, boasts.

“Just how steep a couple of the climbs are, the fire trail is quiet nice, difficult but nice, and then you get to the single trail and you’re in a whole new world of pain,” the first-time Great Volcanic Mountain Challenge runner said.

“It was even harder than I anticipated. Even though everyone had told me beforehand it was a hard course ... it was harder than I thought it might be.”

A first-time visitor to Orange, Docanto said he’d made the trip with the idea of furthering his NSW Mountains Running Championship ambitions.

“I wanted to compete in more of the state series this year and I’ve never been to Orange. I thought it would be a good chance to get out here,” he said.

A race run with 520m of hill climb from Towac Pinnacle to Mount Canobolas, yesterday’s female winner, Audrey Amiya-Hall said she found race experience helped her to the top.

“I found it easier, only because I’ve done more hill work and I knew what to expect ... the places to accelerate. I was mentally prepared too. I walked the course (on Saturday),” Amiya-Hall said, a runner in 2013 too.

The 20-year-old ran a personal best time of 58.46 to claim the women’s title from Orange’s Christine Wolfson.

“I wanted a PB, because my PB was 1.04 last year. I just wanted to beat that,” she said.

“I was just going about it and I saw the hour mark and then I looked and it was 58. I was really shocked.”

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