Team Fred 1

What a great Coast Trek! After a long (my bus ride for the year) bus trip to Avalon on Friday evening I settled in at the Beach Backpackers for the night. A short and noisy one too. At 4.45 Penny from The Fred Hollows Foundation picked me up and we drove the last 10 km to the start at Palm Beach – already a busy place at 5am in the morning. Last preparation in the dark and me waiting for the rest of team Fred 1 – John Faulkner and Lachlan Harris, who showed up just before 6am for the start. We three made up the first group of Team Fred 1 and had to cover the first 50km of the 100km Coastrek from Palm Beach to Coogee Beach. Caitlin, Ying and Lisa from The Foundation were waiting for us in Balmoral to take over the ‘baton‘ for the second 50km to the finish.
What a great morning it was – clear sky, great sun-rise over the ocean and beautiful scenery all along the coast to Manly. I have never walk or run (nor did I know about it) the coast track from Palm Beach. A narrow track snailing its way south along the cliff. Steep drop to the left and great real estate to the right. My two companions were a bit on the slow side and my legs got quite itchy walking at sub 5min/km, so I started to jog along and by 8.30 am I had a stop at Narrabeen Beach for breakfast and cafe waiting for them. Along we went together but soon my runner instinct got the better of me again and I headed off towards Manly where I had lunch. The sky got darker and the last thing I wanted is to run in the wet so I decided to head off towards the finish. Knowing that this is a team event I finished first the 50km less 500m in about 8 1/2 hours and then had to wait for John and Lachlan. I had a swim in the harbour, a hot shower and change at the Balmoral Pavilion and let pass 4 teams having a couple of drinks at the pavilion. 3 hours later finally they showed up and together we crossed the finish at the half way point. Being the first relay team the 3 girls were all excited and headed off straight away. Unfortunately they had to start and walk in heavy rain, which must not have been too much fun for them. 12 hours an a few minutes later they arrived at 4am in Coogee Beach and as far as I am aware team Fred 1 finished first as the relay team – great effort. Next year I like to be back with a runner team to enjoy the whole 100km. By the way – the organiser, Wild Women on Top did a fantastic job and all involved rose over 170’000 AU$ for The Fred Hollows Foundation – a great effort!
For me – it is recovering quickly now and getting ready for next Saturday’s 6ft track ultra marathon – not as easy as yesterdays trail run, that’s for sure. Fingers crossed the sun will be out again by next weekend
Happy feet
Markus

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