4 Peaks, 4 Times the Fun
Bright Alpine Climb – 4 Peaks is the most unusual event Tempus has timed so far, in that it combines four of the toughest mountain running events in Alpine Victoria into 4 straight days of running, or hiking if you’re an alpine walker. Results for everyone who did all four days are combined into a General Classification, or sum of all four times.
The event itself has been around since 1977, run as a community event until 2015, when it was taken over by the good folk at Mountain Sports, who straightaway started to add safety and compliance features that the previous owners could not afford or manage.
Thus it is that the event is in a state of flux, and moving towards being a world-class mountain running event, attracting the best alpine runners from locally and overseas. Judging from the quality of this year’s field, it is not far away from that goal already. But still the event – run over the Melbourne Cup holiday period – retains that community feel and friendliness that has been its appeal for so many years.
The town of Bright is surrounded by the main peaks which give the race its name, and is itself an adventure sports hub, hosting 6 other events on the same weekend, with a full calendar to come. The mountain tops of Mystic, Mt Feathertop, Mt Hotham, and Mt Buffalo all feature in the race, and each has its own quirks, difficulties, and charms. There are also different start lines for each event, and Mystic is the only race where the runners finish where they started.
Added together, the elevation of all the races is 6420 metres – an astonishing amount, and when you consider the difficulty of some of the running tracks, combined with the notoriously changeable alpine weather, you start to get an idea of the challenge confronting the participants.
In fact, the weather varied from warm and sunny on Day 1, to cool and cloudy on Day 2, to alpine snow and ice and sleet on the last 2 days. There were even a couple of lightning storms thrown in for good measure. It was the first time we have worked in sub-zero temperatures, and we’re happy to report all worked just fine.
The race timer’s personal comfort was another issue entirely, as founder Murray is notoriously unhappy in cold weather, except when complimented for his choice in fur hats. Everyone survived the weather extremes however, and all runners and walkers returned safely from each peak.
All in all, a great event, a great learning experience, and time well spent (pun intended) in some of the most beautiful scenery in Australia.
Full results for each race and the General Classification results can be found here.
Read all about the 4 Peaks Challenge here.