Hexham farmer Clare Weatherly raised $6000 by competing in a 160km challenge in Victoria’s alpine region. HEXHAM’S Clare Weatherly has taken on Victoria’s highest peaks in a gruelling 160-kilometre challenge — just two years after suffering a broken back.
Nanjing Night Net

The 31-year-old farmer tackled the mountains to raise money for road trauma support services.

It was the equivalent of doing four marathons in less than 48 hours including a 6000m climb and 6000m descent.

Ms Weatherly completed 100km before hypothermia forced her out of the event at the top of Mount Hotham.

“I wasn’t that happy that I didn’t complete it but that will be the aim next year. I suppose it is a long way to come from a broken back,” she said.

“It was freezing up the top of Mount Hotham, very cold and very windy up there. I’m not exactly sure how cold because they wrapped me up and then they had to go and search for someone else who got lost and rescue them.”

Ms Weatherly said she had pulled up fine from the challenge.

“A few blisters. I really want to try and complete it next year. I was doing about 100km a week in training. It is a lot of time on your feet,” she said.

“I just wanted to thank my support crew, they were fantastic. I had eight people up there with me. They did a sensational job and we raised a bit over $6000, which was very pleasing. I want to thank everyone who donated,” she said.

Ms Weatherly had undertaken a rigorous training schedule on local roads, which included the Grampians and Mount Rouse, to prepare for Mount Feathertop, Mount Hotham, The Fainters, Spione Kopje, Mount Nelse and Victoria’s highest mountain, Mount Bogong.

She suffered spinal damage in six sections after a smash at Lismore in August 2009 and vowed to help other road trauma victims.

Her injuries resulted from a spectacular smash caused by a driver believed to have fallen asleep at the wheel on the Glenelg Highway.

That driver’s vehicle hit the car travelling in front of Miss Weatherly, then flew into the air and landed on her bonnet.

She walked away from the carnage stunned, believing she was not injured. It was only later at Warrnambool Base Hospital she realised she had suffered spinal damage.

However, in April last year she put on the running shoes and competed in a six-kilometre race in June. Ms Weatherly’s biggest test on the comeback trail was on November 26 when she took part in a “training run” at Mount Feathertop on a 64-kilometre route in cold, wet conditions.

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