Trekking for a cause: runners step up their training and their fundraising

March 12, 2020 BY

Chelsey Evans, Flick Ryan and Annabel Mills are participating in this year’s Surf Coast Trek. Photo: MICHAEL CHAMBERS

A THOUSAND trekkers will take on the Surf Coast’s Ironbark forests, exposed cliff tops and sandy beaches from Aireys Inlet to Torquay on March 28 as part of the fifth annual Surf Coast Trek (SCT).

Having raised $1 million since its 2016 inception, the 40km course sees participants take on the individual or team fundraising challenge, with $100,000 already raised of this year’s $250,000 target.

Bellarine-based personal trainer Felicity Ryan, a 2020 SCT ambassador, is taking part for a second year in a row, but this year, she’ll have an extra passenger on board.

“This will be my second year, it’s a little different than last year because I’ll be 18 weeks pregnant. I was invited to be an ambassador and have been giving trekkers tips on K rock,” Ms Ryan said.

“The first eight weeks prior to the SCT, it was about getting people moving. If they hadn’t been overly active, time on their feet was my main tip.

“After that I spoke about adding some body weight and resistance training in, to get ready for the rugged terrain. The trek is done in one day, so it’s about building up the strength in your legs.”

The money raised goes towards supporting the work of Give Where You Live and Kids Plus foundations throughout Geelong and the Surf Coast.

“Each year the SCT goes from strength to strength, consistently serving as a strong reminder of the generosity of our community. The SCT is full of enthusiasm and goodwill,” Kids Plus Foundation chief executive officer Shaun Cannon said.

“The support we receive from the trek gives us the opportunity to do things we wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. Doing that bit extra, a bit earlier or for a little longer, is often what can make all the difference.”

Give Where You Live Foundation chief executive officer Bill Mithen said the SCT had become a major fundraiser for the organisation.

“Funds raised through the trek help ensure the foundation can continue our work across the wider Geelong region helping those most in need in our community,” Mr Mithen said.

“Funds raised assist us in funding programs that the foundation delivers and those delivered by our partners, working in areas such as education, joblessness and supporting those experiencing a life crisis, including food insecurity and homelessness.”

The beauty of the Surf Coast is on show as trekkers navigate their way across varying terrain, according to Ms Ryan.

“It’s a stunning course, you spend a fair chunk walking on the beach, then you’re in bushland; there’s stairs, and various tracks, it’s constantly changing.

“My final tip was getting a hydration pack, or smallish light backpack to carry water and snacks. There’s rest stops along the way but it’s always good to have your own.”

For more information or to sponsor a participant, head to surfcoasttrek.com.au.