Just finishing a 'huge achievement' as ladies prevail in the battle of the mountain

THEY DID IT: Kate Staniforth (left), Rene Logan, Alison Payne and Leighanne Ward earnt yesterday's coffee. Photo: MICHELLE COOK 0508mcwalkers

THEY DID IT: Kate Staniforth (left), Rene Logan, Alison Payne and Leighanne Ward earnt yesterday's coffee. Photo: MICHELLE COOK 0508mcwalkers

“IT was not a walk - it was a trek.”

Rene Logan simply summed up what the Alphanistas went through during the weekend’s WildEndurance 100km Team Challenge.

It may have been tough but the Alphanistas, made up of Orange’s Logan, Leighanne Ward, Alison Payne and Kate Staniforth, were up to the challenge and took out the women’s crown.

The four ladies, who entered the event as a way to celebrate Logan’s upcoming 40th birthday, completed the 100km in 24 hours and 14 minutes to be the first all-female team home on Sunday morning.

“We wanted to finish to start with. We never went into it thinking we could win,” Payne said.

“Only 37 per cent of starters finished the 100km.”

“It is a huge achievement,” Ward added.

The trek started at Dunfys Camp in the Blue Mountains with the first leg of 26.5km taking them to Katoomba Oval.

They stopped there for 19 minutes before walking 21.5km to the second checkpoint at the Queen Victoria Hospital.

The ladies had their longest stop here of 40 minutes before walking another 35km to Wentworth Falls Public School.

It was only a quick 20-minute break here before they set out on the challenging final 17km.


“It was just continuous stairs down, stairs up, stairs down, stairs up,” Logan said.

With 5km to go they became lost and had to backtrack, before they eventually finished the final leg in four hours.

The ladies said their plan was to finish as quickly as they could because they knew they were less likely to finish the longer it took.

It’s also they reason they kept their stops brief.

“We knew if we stopped for too long we’d get comfy and we wouldn’t get going again,” Ward laughed.

At times during the trek they were clinging to rocks so as not to be blown off the tight tracks.

They also had to climb up large rocks and use ropes to help them.

“They couldn’t have made it any harder,” Staniforth said.

Husbands David Nell, Andrew Logan and Matt Payne made up the team’s support crew and had hot food, plenty of water and fresh clothes at each checkpoint.

The WildEndurance event raises money to help protect, promote and restore the natural environment across Australia.

Yesterday, the team was split on whether they would do the challenge again.

Staniforth and Payne would like another go to try and complete the course in under 24 hours. Logan and Ward still need convincing.

However, all agreed this wouldn’t be their last adventure.

“We’ll look for another adventure race with different disciplines next like kayaking,” Payne said.

“Each year we want to set ourselves a challenge. It’s a reason to stay fit,” Ward added.

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