Six Foot Track Women’s Preview

six foot track

Today it’s the turn of the ladies as we look ahead to Six Foot Track this weekend. While I don’t think we’ll be seeing any new records this year, we do have an exciting blend of some stalwarts of the trail community up against some young guns seeking to make their mark.

Last year saw Hanny Allston break Emma Murray’s longstanding ladies record with a superb time of 3:35, a record I think that will stand for a long time. That’s of course if any of the super-quick ‘roadies’ want to have a bash at that. But with no Hanny this year, we’ll be crowning a new champion – A time of around sub 4hrs will do it I think. That’s not to say we won’t see a quicker time than that, it’s just that’s what I think it will take to win.

Marnie out at Knapsack with her brother busting a few laps.
Marnie out at Knapsack with her brother busting a few laps.

We’re going to start with one of those young guns, Marnie Ponton, new-ish to the Blue Mountains area having made the move from Canberra. Marnie has taken all before all in the Running Wild events this year, taking out the ladies crown and most of the male opposition in the process too. Six Foot will be Marnie’s first attempt over some of the longer stuff having won the Glenbrook 34km, Kedumba half marathon and Narrow neck night race.

My spies in the Blue Mountains have placed good money on Marnie to come out on top for this one, so highly do they rate her. However let’s not place too much expectation on her given this is Marnie’s first crack at Six Foot and over some of the longer stuff too. But she’s certainly going to be up there as a real contender.

UPDATE: The absolute howler that I missed is Kelly-Ann Varney, current Australian marathon and 50k champion. Plenty of pedigree there for sure. She’ll have the speed on the flats, it’s the hills and the technical running that may undo her. We shall see.

Melissa's had a great start to the year thus far
Melissa’s had a great start to the year thus far

Melissa Robertson has had a cracking start to the year with an awesome second place at Tarawera recently. I’m sure she’ll want to follow in the footsteps of Fiona Hayvice, who just pipped her to the win at Tarawera, but then promptly went out and won the Hillary 34kms event, beating a very inform Lucy Bartholomew in the process. Melissa’s had a good rest now and the endurance and fitness will be at its peak for this one, barring any niggles. Expect a real tussle between Marnie and Melissa here.

Canberra star ultra runner, Julie Quinn is back for her buckle year and she looks good for another podium here I’d say having narrowly missed out last year coming in fourth. She’s consistently around the 4:15 mark for this race over the last few years and you probably wouldn’t bet against her doing it again for this race. She had a really solid result at the Buffalo Stampede last year, coming in third in a highly respectable 10:05. She has bucketloads of endurance, the question will be whether the speed can match Melissa and Marnie.

Then we have a more bucketloads of ladies who all look at though they’ll be around the 4:15-4:30 mark, which should make for a very interesting race for the top five. It is literally a take your pick from:

  • Fleur Flannery
  • Orla O’Leary
  • Erika Jordan
  • Jo Brischetto
  • Daniela Burton
  • Suzi Heaton
  • Diane Edwards
  • Jodie Oborne
  • Greta Truscott
  • Sophie Brown
  • Louise Clifton
  • Laura Cameron


If any of the ladies up front slip up, it’s no word of a lie to suggest that anyone of the above could nip a nice podium on the day.

All the very best to everyone running out there on Saturday. I’ll be toeing the line too, cramming in a casual run before Northburn the weekend after. Looking forward to seeing as many people as possible have a great day – savour the finish, it’s one of the best around.

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I'm a mediocre runner who can bat above his average when I train hard. A man of extremes, I do enjoy everything life offers and consider it an absolute pleasure just to be able to put one foot in front of the other and let my mind wander somewhere different.

12 thoughts on “Six Foot Track Women’s Preview

  1. I reckon you’ve let a couple of ladies slip under the radar there in the “4:30” group. Could be off by 30~40 mins. But I won’t say who!

    1. Maybe so mate… but all I have is the computer and results. Don’t get to see the training that goes on behind the scenes and a race like Six Foot sees a few come out and improve by miles. Good on them is all I can say. Hope they do prove me wrong, just makes it easier to identify next time round. BUT, I don’t think we’ll be seeing a sub 4 in the ladies race. But like I said, prove me wrong 🙂

  2. Also of interest, Kelly-ann Varey (UpCoaching) though this is her first Six Foot she has a 2h40 marathon time (or so) and I think Brendan has convinced her to race rather than cruise through the race

  3. I can’t feeling that this review lacks the in depth coverage we have come to expect and in comparison to the men’s review. Not that I fancy my chances but I do like to hear about my competitors and the great achievements of our female ultra runners. I admit there are people listed that I don’t know but I am not a Blue Mountains local I will travel from Brisbane but these days its pretty easy to look up athletes and most of the listed other ‘contenders’ have form. Just my humble opinion.

    1. Hi Jodie, the reason it lacks as much depth as the men’s is that some of the longer list of women I’ve placed in there have little in the way of race form that I can find i.e. one six foot track in the past. It’s not out of place to suggest that there are 4-5 front runners, whom I’ve covered, but it’s quite difficult to write something as in depth when there is nothing to base that on – I do indeed look up every single contender on a results database, which in some cases takes hours. I’m sure many people who read these previews don’t actually realise that I do spend hours pouring through a database to look up people’s results and then make an educated guess based on form and past results. Do I get it right all the time, no I don’t, but I like to think that most of the time, I do get it right.

      That said, the reason I decided to split the men’s and women’s previews is because they both warranted their own individual write-ups and they are both solid and deep fields.

      Have a great race!

    2. Just to add here, you might have read the recent Hillary previews whereby the women’s field arguably had far more depth in terms of being able to report on runner history and profile than the men’s and the preview was 2-3 times longer because of that. It swings in roundabouts.

  4. Dan, I think you do a top job on the previews.

    There are so many runners out there and it’s never easy to mention all who could be a contender. You have the ‘Form Guide’ and the ‘Good Oil’ to work with. If you were punting on the Ultra spread at Sports Bet, you’d be well up!

    To me, you consciously go above and beyond any other sport reporting to cover the male and female fields equally.

    Now about that Northburn 100…… do you really think running Six Foot a week out is a good idea???????? 🙂 Cheers! AM.

    1. It is a wonderful idea to run 6ft the week before Northburn for a number of reasons:

      – I am severely underdone
      – Next year is 6ft buckle year
      – I will try to run it ‘easy’

      Thanks for the comments – much appreciated.

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