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Coastrek 2015: The verdict

03 October 2022

Did the ‘SeaHawks’ manage to conquer the Coastrek?
Let’s find out.

 

(Psst… Did you miss Part 1 of our Coastrek story?

 

How long did your team take to finish the trek?

EMMA: Nine hours and forty-three minutes.

 

Was the trek different from what you expected? If so, how?

EMMA: I expected for there to be lots of teams around us all the time, however about 3 hours in we were alone and focused. It was easy to get in our zone and of course chat!

ELLY: Not really, but I was surprised by how many of the beaches we decided to run  – it seemed easier to do a little jog / shuffle than to walk them.

HARRIET: So much easier at the beginning… and so much harder at the end! So much more exciting than I imagined it would be and finishing felt like such a bigger achievement than I envisaged. It was just as beautiful as I expected, it’s such an incredible route.

NICOLE: No, it wasn’t different to my expectations, and I think given our preparation and the amount of training we did on each of the sections of the trek meant that we were able to better deal with all the different challenging aspects of the day.

 

What was the hardest part?

EMMA: I found the hardest part North Head as it was an approximately 8km loop. It was also where I felt my legs the most.

ELLY: Mentally it was completing the North Head loop, physically it was pushing through the pain my knee was giving me.

HARRIET: For me when we got to Freshwater I remember feeling like it was difficult to keep a good pace and I felt myself slowing down. The steps up from the beach to Queenscliffe felt steeper than ever that was probably my wall at around 30kms.

NICOLE: We were all dreading the very long soft sand stretch from North Narrabeen to Collaroy – but we managed to run most of that (purely so that we could put it behind us I think!!), so it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as we thought it would be!

 

What was the best part?

EMMA: I enjoyed the entire course but finishing was an amazing feeling! The girls are such a great support and we all love competing.

ELLY: Smashing Narrabeen Beach, crossing the finish line, seeing familiar faces along the way and the awesome volunteers at the love stops.

HARRIET: Every time we reached a “love stop” was pretty amazing, all the staff and volunteers cheered us on and were so encouraging, you definitely felt their enthusiasm. The snacks were amazing too!

NICOLE: Definitely seeing all those wonderful faces as we crossed the finish line!  Was so exhilarating, I almost cried!!

 

What did you talk about for so many hours?

EMMA: Wow, where do I start! So many things but mainly strategy, encouragement and lots of laughs about what each other was thinking and feeling.

ELLY: I can’t really remember, it was a blur and we tend to just gabble about everything.

HARRIET: People always ask that, I’m never sure what to say as we never seem to run out of conversation, I think we cover all topics of conversation! If it goes quiet it means we are seriously tired… that happened towards the end.

NICOLE: I wish I could remember everything we talked about!! Ha ha… it seemed as though we chatted through all of it, except for the hard parts, and we definitely got more quiet as we were hitting the Manly to Spit walk. But after we passed Chinaman’s Beach, the conversation started to turn toward the fact that we were a bit happy/sad – happy that we were getting to the end of an epic journey, but sad that it meant we wouldn’t be training and getting together for long treks anymore!

 

What did you eat/drink during the trek?

EMMA: I did not eat as much as what I thought. Mainly bananas, 1/2 a Vegemite sandwich (there is a whole story about those sandwiches!), 2 protein bars, protein balls made by Elly and lots of Hydralyte.

ELLY: Water, protein balls, oranges, electrolyte, trail mix, bananas.

HARRIET: Drank lots of water, around 6 litres, maybe more. Plus Hydralyte drinks, at the stops they provided frozen Hydralyte blocks, they were amazing! Ellie’s tasty protein balls and my not-so-tasty ones. Bananas (I had at least 3), peanut butter, some other nuts and seeds, some chopped up sweet potato and maybe not much else. I didn’t eat as much as I expected. Clonny’s cafe at Clontarf beach had a free watermelon stand. That was the most welcome treat I’ve ever had!

NICOLE: Anything and everything… well, not really – the best fuel was Vegemite sandwiches which our awesome support crew Mel made for us – I also ate Bounce Balls, fresh fruit and had a couple of energy gels once we got to the 3/4 mark.  They helped A LOT!

 

Will you do the trek again in future?

EMMA: I have never trekked before this event and now I am addicted! We possibly now would like to try a longer one.

ELLY: If the girls are up for it, I could be persuaded… Apparently we could be giving Melbourne a go come November.

HARRIET: I probably wouldn’t say no. I’d love to try a different route, maybe the Coastrek that Wild Women on Top are planning in Melbourne.

NICOLE: Yes, definitely. We’re also talking about maybe trying out the new Mornington Peninsula event in Victoria later this year.

 

What advice would you give to people thinking about doing the trek next year?

EMMA: You must do it! The atmosphere, well planned course, great teams participating and raising money for the Fred Hollows foundation is extremely satisfying.

ELLY: Train – spend time on your feet walking for hours on end, but most of all stay positive and look up and enjoy the amazing view!

HARRIET: Do lots of training with your team, it’s the best bit, so much fun and you will discover lots of walking routes and wildlife. I was so happy to see an echidna and wallabies, not so much the spiders. I think it’s important not to underestimate the challenge, and make sure you train enough to enjoy it. Plus you get to understand each other’s pace and you learn each other’s walking rhythms, you wouldn’t want any shocks on the day.

NICOLE: Make sure you put plenty of time into training and walking with your team.  We definitely benefited from walking sections of the actual trek, so that we were familiar with the terrain; and plan your trek, so you know where you need to put your head down, and where you know you’ll have some recovery.  The biggest part of that though is doing it together as a team!

 

By Hannah Begg