The Peaks and Trails run is a growing trail event based down in the stunning Grampians of Victoria. With a 50km ultra and a number of other smaller distance events, there’s also some very good runners hitting the trails this weekend too. We’ll give you a brief run down of some of the sub-ultra distance events, along with a more detailed preview of the 50km ultra too, which is where we’ll start proceedings.
One of the bigger names hitting the Peaks and Trails 50km field is Kellie Emmerson, multiple Australian ultra team representative and one of the most consistent runners in Australia. She’s had two wins from five ultra races this year, those being UTA 50km and the Maroondah Dam 50km too (outright winner). She also finished second at the Two Bays Ultra (56kms) and fourth at the Tarawera 100km behind the likes of Camille Herron and Magda Boulet. Kellie also made another appearance on the Aussie ultra trail team, representing us in the 50km event over in Italy where she finished 37th. She has to start as one of the favourites for the race.
Aiming to knock Kellie off the top spot will be the likes of Joel Claxton and Mick Keyte. Joel finished second to Kellie at Maroondah Dam and he also finished just off the podium in fourth recently at the Macedon Ranges 50km. Other notable results include a third at the Great Ocean Walk 100km last year, as well as winning the Walhalla Wound-up trail race and the Duncan’s Run-Hundred too.
South Australian Mick Keyte will be challenging for podium or thereabouts. Another former Aussie rep, Mick’s probably yet to hit his form of a few years ago this year, but still has some solid results to his name, including runs this year at UTA and the Buffalo Stampede, where he was just outside of the top ten in the latter.
Back to the ladies in the ultra and keep an eye out for Hayley Teale. Another consistent performer over the rough stuff, she’s had two wins from two events this year at Hubert 100km in May and then the Razorback Run (64kms) in March.
In a few of the other distance events at Peaks and Trails, Brenton Rowe is the man to watch in the 22km field. He’s got a 29:15 10km track PB which puts him in the ‘smokin’ category. Likely a clear winner for the 22km event.
In the 26km field, Bogong to Hotham record holder, Julian Spence headlines, while the likes of Sam Crowther (winner last year) are more than likely to challenge Julian right the way to the line. Mathieu Dore and Joel Fitzgerald are two other names ultra readers will recognise, testing their wares against the speedy legs of Julian and Sam.
Another name readers will recognise from the ultra world and racing in the 26kms is Steph Gaskell. According to my trusty source of ultra results, Steph hasn’t raced one for over three years, since Bogong to Hotham back in January 2014, where she finished third. It’s great to see her back racing.
Best of luck to all runners racing the Peaks and Trails run this weekend in the Grampians.