Coal hump star John is on top of the world!

Coal Hump champion John HunterPicture Richard Ponter 131417
Coal Hump champion John HunterPicture Richard Ponter 131417

Scarborough’s coal hump star John Hunter has been named World Champion after winning a tough veterans’ competition.

Mr Hunter, of Brigantia Gardens, Crossgates, scooped the honour over the Easter weekend at an event in Gawthorpe, near Dewsbury.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Coal Carrying Championships, a veterans’ race was held for those aged over 40.

Mr Hunter, who is 49, had to run 1,000 metres uphill with an eight-stone bag of coal on his back.

There were 35 entrants and Mr Hunter took five minutes dead, beating the second fastest competitor by around 100m, or 30 seconds.

An hour later he took part in the senior race, which he has won eight times previously.

There were two heats, each with 30 entrants, and Mr Hunter won the second heat, which covered the same uphill distance and weight as the veterans’ race.

He said: “It’s always hard, but I knew I was fit enough to do it. I’d done that much training I was ready for it.

“I wanted to win – I had to win – so it was a good day.”

Mr Hunter is now gearing up for a military-style race on May 4 in Shropshire. It will involve a 15-mile run over hills wearing a heavy backpack.

In January, he competed in the gruelling Fan Dance Race, which takes place along a 15-mile mountainous route in the Brecon Beacons, used by the SAS.

He completed the challenge in three hours 50 minutes – significantly quicker than the SAS qualification time which is four hours 15 minutes.

Mr Hunter claimed first place in the Masters (over 46s) category and finished in third place overall.

He said:“I was really chuffed –it’s the best thing I’ve ever achieved. I was ecstatic afterwards.”

Mr Hunter has said in the past that he has thought about retiring from the coal hump and endurance events, but is now carrying on because he enjoys it so much.