Coastal Classic 2014

It’s been 4 weeks since I ran the Coastal Classic and if I had to sum the race up into one word it would be “muddy”.

My Striders buddy Maria and I had decided to run this course together as she had not done much long distance training for a while, and I was still recovering from running Oxfam only 2 weeks earlier. Our plan was to take it easy, keep each other company and just get to the finish line in one piece.

We ran into lots of friends at the start line and here’s a good group shot of myself, Emma, Dominic, Maria & Nigel ready to go and waiting at the start area. I saw so many people before the race and it was wonderful to catch up with them all.


And a shot of us ladies catching up on the goss as we waited before the race (Maria, Emma & myself).

the ladies

The start was a very slow one as the gun went off and they were only allowing 2-3 runners to leave every 30 seconds, which meant there was a lot of hype but not much movement. This proved a little frustrating, but made sense as the first section of the course was very narrow and would have banked back anyway. Our bibs had timing chips on them so it meant that our times would only start when we crossed the Start line mat.

Speaking of crossing the Start line mat, I happened to run into my good friend Viv from run club who was working the event and doing the timing. Unfortunately she could not be bribed so there was no chance of a win from me, ha ha

I have run this course twice before, the first time as a training run in Jan 2014 with Sydney Striders in preparation for the 6ft Track marathon, and the second time as another training run with my Oxfam crew only a month or so ago before. This course would have to be the most beautiful trail I have ever run, and I’m so lucky that it’s local to my home. I’ve promised myself to get out there and explore it some more in my upcoming training for 2015 races.

The course starts in Otford, which you can get to via train, and travels up through the Royal National Park along the coast, with many tough cliffs to climb and sandy beaches to contest with all the way to the seaside town of Bundeena.




Maria and I found the course very hard going due to the muddy trail that greeted us, in fact everyone was commenting on how they had never seen a muddier course!! This meant we were much slower than planned which was a little ffustrating, and I cursed myself for not wearing my grippy Salomon’s as they would have been perfect for these conditions. It had rained quite heavily in the week leading up to the race, but i don’t think anyone had the foresight to know it was going to be this bad.

Still, we all stayed positive and just kept moving as best we could. And with views like these surrounding us there was plenty to take our minds off the mud.

coast behind

maria beach

The weather had gone from cloudy and threatening rain (with some sprinkles earlier on) to a gorgeous sunny day and it got quite warm the closer we got to the finish.


There were some pretty good shots from the official photographers so I’ve added them here for you.





And here’s one of my favourite shots that I took from the beach as we were running towards the next cliff heading north, and yes we climbed that one in the photo.

beach run

beach shot

When Maria and I got to the finish we were so relieved to be there, well I was anyway!! I’d felt very tired and sluggish through the whole morning but I thoroughly enjoyed the course. We grabbed our race medals and t-shirts and headed to the ferry for our trip back to Cronulla.

There were lots of people hanging around celebrating their races and I ran into a friend Simon who had actually come 3rd – what a legend. Go Simon! My mates Emma and Dominic had also smashed their goals so congrats to you both too, very impressive especially so close to Oxfam!

muddy feet

We made our way back on the ferry and compared muddy shoes along the way, it doesn’t look too bad in the photo above, but I remember at one point that I trod in some mud that went up past my ankle! ha ha

I highly recommend this course to anyone considering it, even as a training run as it’s very easy to navigate. And it’s beautiful!!

Happy Running 😀



Oxfam Training run on the Coastal Classic Course

Last Sunday our Oxfam crew (minus Roger who was doing a First Aid course, very handy) ran the Coastal Classic course from Otford to Bundeena. I opted for the one-way version, however our team mates Dom & Em decided to try Otford to Buneena to Otford, which sounds crazy right?! Well I would have joined them but as I had run the M7 road marathon the week before my body was still recovering from that and I knew it would be tough just pushing myself to go one way.

We were so lucky with the weather, it was very cold to start but the day cleared up and got warm while we were running. You should see my tan lines, hilarious!!

The first 5kms felt great and we ran into some wildlife before hitting the first big hill, below you can see a Joey and a Deer (they tried to tell me it was an Alpaca but it doesn’t have the long neck of an Alpaca so I didn’t believe them!)



We also had the wonderful Scott (who is training for GNW 100 miler!!) join us for the trip, he had already run 50km on the previous day so the picture below shows how he was feeling. Great guy and very knowledgeable!

3_Scotty Tired

As I stopped to get some photos, Em and Dom made their way up the hill towards the sunrise so I snapped the below shot, one of my fave pictures from the run now.


And of course because I was going super slow Dom decided to take a seat while he waited for me. My legs were feeling very heavy and I felt like I didn’t have much gas in the tank despite my constant food & drink.

6_Dom patiently waiting

And then there were more hills, some of the steps were huge even for 6 foot tall me, I’d hate to be any shorter and trying to climb that one below.

4_First Big Hill

And the view from the top was beautiful. This whole course is beautiful. The coastline we ran past the whole time was nothing short of spectacular and I’d have to say this is my favorite run in terms of the view.

5_Heading North

We stopped at Garie beach for the bathroom and then we kept heading north. I ran ahead to get a shot of the guys who had probably fallen behind talking about food. So here’s Dom and Scott running right beside the ocean.

4_Dom on coastline

4_DScott on coastline

And at the top of the next hill i turned around to see where we had come from, wow!

6_Beach crossing behind us

At about the halfway point we had run into my mate Nigel who had run from Bundeena to meet us and run back with us. So here he is below with Dom and Emma.

6_Group shot

And he Nigel is trying to motivate me up the next hill, I think I was walking a lot by this stage. It really wasn’t a pleasant days run for me, so thank goodness for the views!!

7_Heading north with Nigel

And what we like to call the White Cliffs of Dover…

7_White cliffs no people

My favorite spot.

7_White Cliffs looking south

Nigel and I ran together for most of the last 10kms as the rest of the gang had gone ahead. I had told them earlier to not stop for me as I knew they were going to be out for much longer as they were doing the return trip. Thankfully I had Nigel to keep me moving, as i honestly think I would have walked most of it if he had not been there.

After feeling the way i did during that run I knew that I had not recovered from the marathon yet, and that i needed to take it easy over the next couple of weeks as there was less than 3 weeks till Oxfam Trailwalker. I really need to be in my best shape for Oxfam so my eyes are on the prize and I won’t be letting my team down.

I got home and was wrecked. I ate everything I could fine and then tackled the couch for a snooze, but I was unable to sleep (not sure why). My knees were stiff and my hips were feeling worn out. Later that night I had a red wine and ended up sleeping like a baby.

Emma and Dom managed to finish the double journey in 10 hours and my hat goes off to them, they would have been exhausted by the end but very good preparation for our jorney that lies ahead.

If you would like to sponsor our Oxfam team, please use this link:

Happy Running 😀

Catching the worm

Yesterday I got up at 3.15am to get a long run in before work. And yes it was quite tough getting out of bed at that time, but I plan ahead the night before I run early and had everything ready to go for when the alarm went off. All I had to do was throw on some running gear, grab my pack and I can be out the door within 10 minutes.

I ran with a friend called Jason who I had met at the training camp in the Blue Mountains a few months back and we’ve kept in touch via facebook. There were a few of us at that camp who (we realised) live close by so we exchanged details and planned to do some training runs together. It’s amazing the amount of people who I have kept in touch with since that camp, it’s been most helpful in more ways than I ever thought possible.

Jason and his mates (Andy & Clint) run together regularly before work most days, and they’re all training for The NorthFace100 like me, so when he emailed me yesterday asking if I’d like to come along I jumped at the chance. It would be good “night” training for me and a chance to test out my new Hokas.

So we met up at the Sutherland Bike Track car park at 3.55am and headed across and over the Loftus train station. We went along a couple of streets and eventually hit a gate that led to the fire trail we would be taking today. Most of the run follows a big pipeline and I’ve heard about locals who’ve run this before. I’ve wanted to run the tracks close to home before but haven’t known many people who’ve run them and I’m too much of a scaredy cat to go by myself.

It was pitch black and the only thing lighting the way was our headlamps. I was using a Petzl R+ and 2 of the other guys were using Ayup (I think that’s how you spell it). The Ayup actually had 2 torches so you could have one pointing up and one down towards the ground and they were very, very bright. My headlamp was much more compact (didn’t have the huge battery pack at the back like the others) and you can adjust the direction of the beam quite easily while running as it has a few different setting spots. The Petzl had a couple of brightness settings (as they all do) and I wanted to try the sensor setting yesterday, this setting actually takes information in about how bright the area is in front of you and adjusts the brightness accordingly to save power when less light is needed. And I think as the guys headlamps were much brighter it meant that my torch didn’t have to be at full power for the whole run.

Most of you who read my posts regularly will know that I usually stop and take a lot of photos so i can share my running journey, but during this run I only managed 1 photo and even then by the time I got the phone camera working the guys were so far away from me that you can hardly see them.


We ran across a creek and up and down the trails and came out at another road which we crossed and then found another gate which led us back to running along the pipeline again. Luckily Jason knew where he was going as I honestly would have gotten very lost. The guys were running at a pace faster than what I would normally run but I didn’t want to fall behind so I kept pushing myself, only having to walk a few small hillier sections, which they kept running and doubled-back to get me.

This was an out and back trail so once we turned around we knew what was coming, and it actually seemed much quicker on the way back. And when we got back to the cars the sun was only just starting to rise over the horizon. What an awesome way to start the day!

I did not have any problems with my new Hoka One One Stinson Trail shoes and they felt very comfortable, going downhill was a breeze for my knees and ankles due to the extra support they provided. I was a little worried when I bought them that my weak ankles (from years of netball) wouldn’t cope well in them, but after a little while of jogging you hardly even notice a difference. Here’s a shot of them nicely christened from the run.


The guys were fun to run with and we chatted a lot and had a few laughs along the way. It’s always great to have new company on the trails and i felt like the time passed so quickly during that whole run. All in all we ran just over 23km and it took us 2 hours and 45 minutes, here’s the Nike+ App information.


Happy Trail Running 🙂