After months of physical and mental preparation, over a thousand trekkers, ambassadors, volunteers and staff came together for the inaugural Adelaide Coastrek, a 30km or 60km fitness and fundraising challenge along the sunny Fleurieu Peninsula on Friday 21 September.
Coastrek is a fitness and fundraising event run by Wild Women on Top which has raised over $20 million for charity over the last 10 years. Beyond Blue was invited to be charity partner for this event, which promotes the strong connection between physical exercise and good mental health.
Teams travelling the 60km trek left Parsons Beach at dawn, covering spectacular scenery and joining 30km trekkers at Victor Harbour. They walked together through cheer squads and support crews towards the finish line waiting for them at the champion village at Goolwa Beach.
Teams of four accepted the challenge to reconnect with friends in nature to improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing. Many chose to share their personal experience with anxiety or depression with a focus on hope and recovery, while some teams walked in memory of loved ones lost to suicide to help raise awareness and reduce stigma.
Nominated one of the most inspiring teams was Jointly Exercising Steps of Support, fondly shortened to ‘team JESS’ (pictured). The team entered the event in memory of Noelene and Peter Nolan’s daughter Jess, who lost her life to suicide this year. Having moved to Adelaide from Sydney, Noelene’s friend Christine invited her to join Adelaide Coastrek to strengthen her support network. Their team of four was carefully chosen to include a psychologist and emergency nurse, and Peter watched team JESS from start to finish, offering words of encouragement from cheer zones along the route. Team JESS raised over $8,700.
“One of the conscious decisions we all made with her death was to be upfront and honest in speaking about Jess’ death and the effect it’s had on us, so really, it would be hypocritical of myself not to take part.” – Noelene.
Over $962,000 has been raised through this amazing event, with the highest fundraising team of twelve TT Trekkers travelling all the way from Queensland and raising over $46,000 in memory of a loved one lost to suicide. Scotch Mums had four teams and raised over $24,000. Farm Owners Coastrek held a large-scale rural community fun run event in Keith and raised over $12,000. Overall, there were 31 teams that raised over $5,000 each.
Beyond Blue extends a heartfelt thank you to all who contributed to a truly inspiring day, bringing communities together to improve mental health and wellbeing in Australia.
Check out the Adelaide Coastrek leader board for more.