Treking for sight

Twelve local women will take part in the inaugural Coastrek Melbourne raising funds for the Fred Hollows Foundation.

Coastrek Melbourne is a 30km or 55km team trekking challenge run by Wild Women On Top, which will journey along the Mornington Peninsula coastline from Koonya Beach to Point Nepean or from Cape Schanck to Point Nepean on Friday, November 20.

The teams of four, which must include at least 50 per cent women, have between 10 to 18 hours to complete the challenge.

While there are few teams from regional areas taking part in the fully subscribed event two teams from Heyfield and one from Sale have taken on the challenge.

The Heyfield teams, Wonderwomen, comprising Emma Birchall, Kate Berry Sandra Tozer and Beth McKinnon, and the Piggy Backers, who are Kristi Feenstra, Cas Escreet, Emily Grattan and Pip Killeen took up the challenge as a focus for their regular fitness classes.

Wonderwomen member Emma Birchall explained the walk posed new challenges.

“Some of us have done fun runs and other longer runs but this is the biggest challenge to date,” she said.

While the women have spent up to two hours on 10km training walks a minimum of three times a week, and already had a base level of fitness, the challenge of walking is proving different to that of a run, with blistered feet an unexpected outcome.

Fitting the training around the demands of young families and employment is also a challenging task.

With each team member needing to raise $400 for the Fred Hollows Foundation fundraising has been a focus.

The Piggy Backers will be conducting a team fitness fundraising day on Saturday, October 10 at the Heyfield middle oval from 8am to 10am. A healthy morning tea will be available. For more details look for Pipfit on Facebook.

Sponsors can donate on line for individuals or teams at

The Sale team Coxless Four, comprises Susie Humphry, Kristal Murrell, Candice Johnson and Lisa Reynolds.

Each team is required to raise $1600 as part of the target of $1.3 million for the Fred Hollows Foundation which addresses the problem of needless blindness.

The Sydney Coastrek has attracted thousands of people to complete the challenge, raising more than $9 million for the Fred Hollows Foundation during the past five years.