Two weeks ago my friends Jan and Cheryl competed in Sydney Coastrek Coastrek is an annual event of either 50 or 100k around the beautiful coastline of Sydney. The event supports the Fred Hollows Foundation, so is a fantastic cause. Jan and Cheryl chose to do the 50k event. I was really interested to follow their progress, as I’m thinking that maybe …just maybe…. I might like to do this event next year. The rocks around the coastline do terrify me a little, hence my hesitation.
Jan posted the following report on the event. I was sure some readers would be interested to read it, especially those who are considering participating in the future.
“First of all I would say it was more difficult than we expected, having not trained on the course we had no idea what to expect but having done the 30/50 challenge in November along the Victorian coastline last year we thought it would be similar……NO…..how wrong could we be!!!!
It was raining quite hard when we arrived at the course and we were soaked just getting to the registration tent……we did have raincoats and ponchos but it was also very windy and difficult to get our selves organised, the only shelter from the rain was under the eaves of the toilet block.
We were in the 7:00 am wave to start, it was an exciting atmosphere down on the beach at the starting line, loud music, photographers taking our photo’s, speeches including the gorgeous Gabi Hollows then the countdown……5..4..3..2..1. We’re off and climbing almost immediately.
The rain stopped and it was quite warm so we stripped off again…..a lot of the walk is jumbled in my head as to when and where it all happened and to me no section was really any easier or harder than another, each had their own challenges. The rain didn’t stay away for long and then it stayed for pretty much most of the day. Because our support crew were unfamiliar with Sydney they had difficulty finding our pre-arranged meeting points so a few times our meet ups were difficult also. One in particular they met us on the side of the road, pouring rain, no shelter……that was quite unpleasant.
Toilet stops were rather unpleasant too, long queue’s, and trying to get soaking wet pants up again is rather uncomfortable.
The hardest part for me was after dark and we were still climbing steep rock steps, I was taking it slowly and aware I was holding other people up but if I tried to hurry I felt a panicky feeling rise in my tummy so just took deep breaths and slowed down. Everyone we spoke to along the way was very nice, at one point I had to stop and catch my breath going up some particularly long and steep steps so I pulled over to let people pass and everyone asked if I was OK.
I don’t think any of us had that exhilarated feeling upon finishing we were just too tired after 14.5 hours of gruelling walking. We were lucky it wasn’t a hot day, I don’t know how we would have coped on a hot day.
On my walk this morning I met a girl who also did Coastrek last weekend, she would be in her 30’s and although they completed the course in 12:00hrs compared to our 14.5hr, they thought it was as difficult as we did. It was great to chat to her and compare notes and it has taken me a week to realise what a great achievement it was for our team”.