The 4 Peaks attracts elite runners and everyday walkers to the Bright region of Victoria to challenge themselves on some of the toughest mountain trails in the country. Thanks to Brodie Nankervis (2nd place finisher in the 2021 4 Peaks) for giving us some insight into the battle for the overall titles.
The women’s field will be hotly contested, with favourites Simone Brick and Jessica Ronan likely to battle it out over all 4 days. Simone is well known to the trail community, with multiple national representations and some impressive mountain running performances, including 1st at both the Australian uphill and up/down championships in 2022. On her way back from injury, Simone will be bringing her experience and fighting spirit. Jess is relatively new to the trail scene, but is already a two time Australian representative and was 1st at this years Australian Mountain running champs before 67th and 57th in the uphill and classic (up/down) distances at the World Championships in Innsbruck. They will be challenged by experienced ultra runner Gill Fowler, fresh off 1st at the 80km of the Lonely mountain ultra, Aislinn Prendergast, national representative in orienteering and experienced trail/mountain runner, and Tracey Austin, quick road and cross country runner with a marathon PB of 2:43:41!
The men’s field is likely to be lead by two athletes of distinctly different running backgrounds, ultra runner Matt Crehan and road/mountain runner Leo Petterson. Matt was Australia’s male ultra marathoner of the year in 2021, and this year was 9th at Laveredo 120km in the Italian dolomites and 23rd in the prestigious CCC 100km race in Chamonix, France. Matt has shown he can also race over the shorter distances, with a 2nd place at the Australian VK Championships in 2022.
Leo has shown his caliber over shorter distances with a 30:45 road 10km PB and multiple representations at the World Mountain Running Champs, including in both 2022 and 2023. Its going to be an interesting race over the 4 days, long and strong beat short and fast?
Matt and Leo will be challenged over the 4 days by Joseph Dorph, 1st at GSER 56km in 2022, Ashley Bennett, on a comeback to the trail scene, and previous winners, Matt Crane and La Sportiva's Sam Burridge. Add in a couple of athletes running just a few stages, namely, Patrick Jaffe, also a national representative in orienteering, and Nathan Pearce, road/track runner completing an transitioning to the trails with much success, the men's race each day is definitely going to be a high octane affair!