Vertical challenge

FIFTEEN adventurous Traralgon Harriers took on the vertical challenge of the Four Peaks Climb in the mountains of north east Victoria last week, and recorded a trio of top three finishes across the age divisions.

In the four-day uphill endurance test runners tackled the slopes and treacherous terrain of Mystic Hill, Mount Feathertop, Mt Hotham and Mt Buffalo back-to-back with distances varying between 10 and 15 kilometres.

Des Paynter was the best of the Traralgon contingent with second in the 19 to 34 age category and eighth overall, while Ian Twite (50 to 64 age division) and Greg Semmler (19 to 34) placed third in their respective categories.

Harriers’ Duncan Orr, who competed in the event for the fifth time this year, said the ‘Alpine Climb’ was a test for runners due to its emphasis on gradients.

“A lot of the trails are so steep that you can’t actually run them so it gives you a different challenge,” Orr said.

“It’s a very unique event and there’s nothing else around like it; these mountains are crazy.

“Mt Hotham is the longest stage at 15km which would normally take me an hour to run that on the flat whereas this one takes me over two and a half hours.”

Orr said while the run was an epic undertaking, the reward was well worth it upon reaching the summits, which are up to 1922-metre high.

“It was a really enjoyable event; the views you get from the top of these mountains are world class views and it’s an amazing place to be,” he said.

The run was held from 3 to 6 November.

Harriers results

Des Paynter 6:03:24, Ian Twite 6:47:26, Greg Semmler 6:53:11, Morgan Tucker 6:55:10, Duncan Orr 7:29:38, Kate McDermott 7:44:24, Richard Comber 7:45:13, Claire Issell 5:13:45 (3 legs), Travis McInnes 6:14:40 (3 legs), Anna Orr 8:08:31 (3 legs), Joanne McInnes 2:58:07 (1 leg), Ian Cornthwaite 2:59:42 (2 legs), Jenny Comber 8:07:30 (2 legs), Gay Cornthwaite 3:11:20 (1 leg), Michael Jones 2:13:42 (1 leg).