This weekend sees the running of the Berry Long Run, which had its first unofficial running on August 15, 2014, when three runners set out to raise money for Berry Street. There was some getting lost, some bush-bashing and some injury, but the consensus was that as a small fundraising event, it was a resounding success! Read that first report here.
Since then, the race has grown in stature, featuring both a 70km and 40km event, all still with the goal of raising money for Berry Street.
Today we feature the preview for the 70km event and on a personal note, I’m really looking forward to heading down south of the border to race this one as well.
Ladies Berry Long Run 70km Preview
The ladies race features a potential battle of four with the likes of Sharon Scholz, Nicole Vaughan, Martine Nield and Trish Yates likely to take out the podium places. It’s likely to be a pretty close one between these four strong women.
Nicole returns to the Berry Long Run as the reigning ladies champ from 2017, where she ran 7hrs 46mins. This year she’s had a second place at the Macedon Ranges 50k trail run as well as a fifth place at the Duncan’s Run-Fifty, along with just outside the top ten at the high competitive Two Bays Ultra as well.
Sharon Scholz needs no introduction for those of you who know Australia track ultra running. A multiple 24hr rep for Australia, Sharon has a PB of 224.8kms for the 24hr distance, as well as 333kms for the 48hr distance too. This year she’s already won the Sri Chinmoy 24hr track race in Sydney as well as the 50km Princes Park Urban Trail event too.
Martine’s also had a good string of results this year which includes the win at the Convicts And Wenches (Narawntapu) 50 km Trail Race, as well as a podium (third place) at Maroondah Dam back in April. She also finished fourth at the The Great Ocean Road International Marathon in May.
Last and by no means least, Trish Yates will be gunning to repeat her podium performance of last year when she finished third female. This year has seen Trish also grab a 14th place at Two Bays.
Men’s Berry Long Run 70km Preview
In the men’s race, returning champ and current record Berry Long run holder Daniel Nunan will have his work cut out to replicate his win in what is a very competitive field. Perhaps the big name to watch out for is Dion Finocchiaro who is admittedly in the middle of a big training block for the 100km world champs, but has been banging out some pretty impressive 60km runs the last few weeks. His legs will be loaded for sure, but with a 7:08 100km PB to his name, Dion is the man to watch out for the win we feel.
Returning champ Daniel Nunan smoked through this course in 6hrs 9mins last year to earn himself the record. He’s also won the Razorback 64 km Run too in 2018. a bit of a 60-70kms specialist, expect Daniel to be right up there as well.
Andy ‘Snakeman’ Turner is back for another crack after his fourth placed finish last year. Since then he’s won the Great Ocean Walk 100 km and also finished fourth at the Surf Coast Century, both in 2017. Add to that a mighty impressive 35hr 25mins Great Southern Endurance Run 100 miler time for sixth place.
Stephen Rennick is another returning Berry Long Run graduate, where he finished seventh last year. Post that run, Stephen finished ninth at Surf Coast Century in a time of 9hrs 55mins, as well as an excellent second place at the Blackall 100 in a time of 10hrs 4mins. This year has seen Stephen already grab fifth at Bogong to Hotham as well as third place as Oscars 100 Hut2Hut.
Watch out also for Tom Gamble, Kevin Muller and Simon Neale for some top 3-5 potential in what’s going to be a very competitive men’s race.
Best of luck to all runners and looking forward to seeing loads of you down there too.