It’s a mouth-watering pointy end of the field for the Six Foot Track ladies race this weekend. Our men’s preview will come tomorrow, but for now we focus on the ladies and there’s a cracking line up of highly competitive women out for the win this coming Saturday. There are some seriously speedy women in the field this year, which will make for a highly competitive podium.
Perhaps my pick of the bunch are Katie Conlon, Victoria Beck and Steph Auston. Gemma Jenkins was due to race, but is now a scratch. Gemma ran second here last year, with Steph running in third just behind her. Steph has certainly been putting in the big ones of late with some huge weeks. She also recently ran a 2:46 marathon in Dubai, which by all accounts didn’t go completely to plan, so there’s a sense there’s more left in the tank there.
The introduction of two other speedsters in the form of Katie and Victoria will make things very interesting. Katie has a 2:48 marathon to her name and by all accounts, according to my sources on the ground, is looking great in training right now – the Eastern Suburbs Centennial Park crew are calling the big shots on her.
Kiwi runner, Victoria has what I think is the best marathon time of all the ladies competing with a 2:42 to her name, which she achieved at the Gold Coast marathon last year. Victoria is no stranger to the trails having won the Kepler Challenge back in 2011 and finishing second in 2012.
The interesting thing about these three ladies is that despite the variation in marathon times, their 10km times all sit around the mid to low 36 minute mark. But as we all know, the fine margins of the marathon times on the Six Foot Track course don’t often mean too much and I think we’re going to see an extremely close battle between these three.
Other Six Foot Track ladies to keep a watchful eye on for the top five include Kellie Emmerson, very well-known over the longer distances, but no mug over the shorter ones either. Her three consecutive speedy wins at the Surf Coast Century is testament to the pace she can hold and we all certainly know she has the mountain legs for the hills at Six Foot.
Blue Mountains local Lou Clifton is again known for her abilities over the longer, tougher stuff but performed excellently here last year to take fourth place. She also recently ran a very credible fifth at the Tarawera 100km last month too. There will be plenty of kms in the legs for Lou and she could be a bit of a dark horse to watch in the final stages of the race across Jenolan Caves Road.
Melissa Robertson from up Central Coast way has run into sixth here the last few times she’s raced. Again, like Lou is known for her achievements more over the longer stuff, which last year included two wins over the 100 mile distance at the Feral Pig and Hume and Hovell 100 milers.
Rounding out the top ten, keep some beady eyes on the likes of Cecily Butler and Robyn Bruins too. Best of luck to all the ladies running this weekend.
Feature image: Marnie Ponton, last year’s Six Foot Track ladies winner.