Extreme Challenge Unites Ludicrously Enthusiastic Coastrekkers!
BY DI WESTAWAY | CEO and Founder of Wild Women On Top
In an extreme battle against the weather Gods, nearly 2,000 trekkers and 200 volunteers fought gale force wind gusts, torrential rain, high tides, hyperthermia and exhaustion in the Wild Women On Top Sydney Coastrek 50-100km team challenge.
There was a logistical nightmare in the dark at Palm Beach, as the eye of the storm smashed marquees and volunteers preparing the outdoor start on Friday 1st March at 4am. But the 90% female trekkers were undaunted, standing firm against the attack of the wind and rain.
Event organisers, Wild Women On Top, faced the tough decision on whether it was too dangerous to send the trekkers out into the storm. Their route, from Palm Beach to Coogee, bore the brunt of the onslaught as their teams of 4 were required to trek along the soft sand and exposed headlands.
Event Director Lisa Marshall took control, making last minute route changes to prevent trekkers being hit by flying branches. Four hours into the event, all trekkers received an emergency SMS, calling them off the beaches after one was hit by a freak wave at Narrabeen.
Australian Icon Gabi Hollows, and Health Minister Tanya Plibersek, also braved the conditions at Balmoral Beach where 1,300 trekkers, including Radio 702 Mornings Presenter Linda Mottram, finished their 50k challenge.
Ms Plibersek said, “This was a really well organised event. Considering the weather, the trekkers were really positive and enthusiastic. Wild Women On Top have done a great job keeping trekkers safe and supporting The Fred Hollows Foundation in difficult conditions.”
Not only were they impervious – the Wild Women Coastrekkers were later described as “Ludicrously Enthusiastic,” by Senator John Faulkner.
An incredible 87% of trekkers completed the gruelling course supported by kids, husbands, partners, mums, dads, friends and the army of volunteers including St Johns First Aid. The event has already raised over $1.75 MILLION DOLLARS for The Fred Hollows Foundation.
The 100km teams staggered across the Coogee finish line from 1am until 3pm on Saturday 2nd March, with Blind trekker, Ben Phillips, guided by Senator John Faulkner being the final team across the line.
The top fundraising team, Agility Fairs, travelled from Melbourne and has raised $28,025, followed by 7-oh-Toes at $23,600 and Wonderful Walkers at $18,030.
“I am in absolute AWE of the courage, mental tuffness and determination of our Coastrekkers, the kindness & professionalism of our vollies, the loving thoughtfulness from support Teams and the Bloody BRILLIANT performance of our amazing Wild Women On Top Team. Thank YOU ALL. YOU GUYS ROCK! $1.74 MILLION dollars of happiness. Truly AMAZING! :-)” Di Westaway, Founder, Sydney Coastrek
Did you know that for just $25 YOU can restore sight! Donations to support the Fred Hollows Foundation can still be made up until the 19th of Mar 2013 by following the link to www.coastrek.com.au.