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GNW: Sydney to Newcastle FKT 2021

Beach Bash - Central Coast


The Beach Bash really started for me on the Friday night before the race was scheduled to run. My cousin Gil and I did a tour of the obstacles starting with what looked like a slip & slide, sandbag carry & tyre crawl at North Shelly before heading to Toowoon Bay where the big walls were setup. Fortunately we’d left the lone security guard behind at North Shelly as we tried out the big walls. There was one 3m wall without any helpful step-ups, but I figured out a creative way of getting over it. Meanwhile Gil who is very tall could just run, jump and pull himself over. We spent a bit of time speculating exactly how the course would work at Toowoon before heading to the Entrance Baths with the giant scaffolding stairs, tyre pile & tunnel crawl. Testing those out, we headed for the Memorial Park down The Entrance where the smaller 2m walls and the tents for the Fitness Expo were setup. Content that we’d scoped out the course we headed for home and prepared to run the next day.

Packed Up
Saturday was a disaster, it was raining, windy and the seas were enormous, covering most of the beaches where the course would be running. We got down to the rego tent and sat around with the other elite racers waiting to see if the race would go ahead. It wasn’t looking good… A teary eyed Elyse Murphy came in to give us the bad news an hour later, the race would not be going ahead, it was just too dangerous. It was very disappointing.

They weren’t sure if the Adventure Race (the non-timed shorter event) would go ahead on the Sunday or not, so I went for my morning run on Sunday morning and got back in time to see that it was going ahead, I rushed down The Entrance and got in the first wave. Some of the elite racers from the day before were there, but not all. The MC worked at getting the racers hyped, but I don’t really go in for that whole dancing in a group thing, so I hid at the back and waited for the race to start.

Finally we were off, it started with a sprint down the beach past The Entrance Surf Club, then over the tyre pile, up the road past The Entrance Baths and down the scaffolding back onto the sand. Sprinting around the slippery rocks and hitting Blue Bay beach, I’d bought some Vibram FiveFingers for all the sand running and they were working great. The first serious obstacle was a giant inflatable pipe, too high for me to jump over or to even jump on and get a good grip. There was another girl there also trying to figure out how to get over, so I gave her a boost, then another guy ran over and gave me a boost. With the two of us on or over the pipe, the guy jumped and we grabbed and pulled him over. The teamwork worked great, three of us over in less then 2 minutes and we were off an running again.

Sprinting along Blue Bay, we hit the net crawl at the point, this was a well setout crawl, you were pinned to the ground and really had to crawl. Besides having my shoes pulled off, I found it easy… This was one of those obstacles that favoured shorter people. Sprinting along Toowoon, we hit the cargo net climb, which was straightforward, up and over the cargo container. Then back sprinting along the beach and heading for The Entrance. Deb who was volunteering with the Scouts cheered me on when I hit the pipe crawl just past the Baths, then I was back sprinting down The Entrance beach, up onto the walkway and into the park were I conquered the first 2m wall without any issues and had to have two goes at the second wall, but I did get over it (although I cut open my heel, while using it for leverage to get over). I was the first female to finish the race, which was good, but would have been better if it had occurred on the Saturday. Anyways, these things happen.

I took off my bib and shoes and headed for the inflatable waterslide which was the reward at the end of the race, it was big, but not as steep as the one at the Raw Challenge, regardless, I still screamed the whole way down.

I stuck around for a while after the race enjoying the fitness expo, getting my included lunch wrap which was a great thing to offer in the race price, plus a coffee, because it’s at The Entrance and there are heaps of nice coffee shops there. The supplement stand was holding a push-up contest, so after watching the guys I gave it a shot, girls were only doing pushups off their knees which was a bit easy, so I took the lead with 80 pushups in 1 minute.

Dad came down to the expo a bit later and also had a go in the pushup contest and ended up coming second place, I had my original lead beaten by one of the Mingara One trainers, so had to up it to 94 pushups… This was not beaten.

Overall it was a great day, it was just a shame it wasn’t that nice on the Saturday and we could have run the Challenge course. Oh well, I’ll give Wollongong a shot when it’s on, and probably also Newcastle, and of course the next time they run it on the Central Coast.


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