1 February 2024

Last chance to join inaugural Coastrek charity hike

| Ryan Bourke
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Four hikers wave their arms.

Coastrek’s Canberra leg aims to raise $200,000 for the Heart Foundation in 2024. Photo: Coastrek.

As a city-defining feature, Lake Burley Griffin plays a part in the lives of most Canberrans and most visitors will tick off ‘walk the foreshore’ when they visit, so it is no surprise that Australia’s most iconic charity hiking challenge decided to make it the feature of their first ever venture away from Australia’s coastlines.

If you like the idea of a long walk around the lake with three of your mates while fundraising to help end heart disease, the inaugural Coastrek Canberra on Friday, 15 March, is just for you. But you will have to hurry as entries close on 4 February.

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Coastrek was founded by Canberra native Di Westaway OAM to champion women in the outdoors and encourage them to fall in love with fitness by exercising in nature with friends. Having traditionally set Coastrek hikes on coastlines around Australia, hence the name, in its 15th year, Westaway is excited to bring her successful event to her hometown.

Coastrek Canberra offers two distances for participating teams of four: a 30 km full-day adventure or a 20 km ‘twilight trek’, which sets off in the afternoon and finishes around sunset.

Map of hiking trek around lake.

The 20 km course. Photo: Coastrek.

The 20km ‘twilight trek’ following a loop course around Lake Burley Griffin to the west of Kings Avenue, should take around five hours to complete, while the 30 km route extends through the Jerrabomberra Wetlands east of Kings Avenue, taking around seven hours.

Coastrek is not a race, it’s a challenge. Trekkers are encouraged to stick to a comfortable pace and enjoy the journey, so cut-off times for finishing are generous.

Map of hiking trek around lake.

The 30 km course for the more adventurous. Photo: Coastrek.

Entrants will join teams from across the capital region and be part of a fundraising effort to raise $200,000 for the Heart Foundation, funding research into female-specific risk factors and helping to end Rheumatic Heart Disease – a preventable disease prevalent among First Nations communities, particularly women and children.

Upon registration, trekkers will receive a customised Coastrek training program, access to planning and preparation resources, fundraising support and access to Coastrek’s event-specific Facebook group.

Both courses begin and end at Lennox Gardens in Yarralumla.

The ‘twilight trek’ kicks off at 12:30 pm with a 6:30 pm finish, while those taking on the 30 km challenge will begin earlier that morning.

Both courses have rest stops 15 km into the course. These ‘luv stops’ are located in the picnic area off Lady Denman Drive and will offer snacks, toilets and water.

Di Westaway

Diane Westaway founded Coastrek in 2009, but 2024 is its first year in Canberra. Photo: Joanne Gittoes

Participants are encouraged to complete three walks a week to be prepared for the rigours of the Coastrek courses.

Closer to event day, Coastrek recommends pushing out the distance of those walks to optimise a fun day out on 15 March.

While training provides an opportunity to test out gear and build chemistry with team members, Di says the most important benefit is building healthy habits and strengthening the role of fitness in your weekly routine.

“This ensures trekkers are well prepared when they hit the start line, having formed healthy, active habits that will benefit them way beyond the finish line,” Di says.

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As for the rules, Di says there is one that trumps all others – staying together as a team.

“Crossing that finish line as a team is just one of the most amazing feelings, so we tell all participants to stay together and carry each other through.”

Check out more must-see tips for those looking to improve their fitness and contribute to a cause close to everyone’s heart.

Register your team of four by Sunday, 4 February, and get training for an epic Coastrek event day on Friday, 15 March.

As a special deal for our readers, sign up with code COASTREK25 to receive 25 per cent off your team registration – that’s one free team member. Promotion is valid until midnight AEDT Sunday, 9 February, for any 2024 Coastrek event and distance open for registration during the promotional period. Join Coastrek and hike for healthy hearts in Canberra on 15 March, or make a weekend adventure with Coastrek Sydney’s spectacular Northern Beaches or the stunning Mornington Peninsula events in May. Valid for new registrations only and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Visit coastrek.com.au/promotional-ts-cs for full terms and conditions.

Original Article published by Ryan Bourke on Riotact.


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