By Kyra Gillespie
Laura Gorton, of Pakenham, is among nearly 2,000 trekkers gearing up for the fourth annual Wild Women On Top Melbourne Coastrek, which raises vital funds for The Fred Hollows Foundation’s work to restore sight for some of the world’s poorest people.
Melbourne Coastrek, on Friday May 25, stretches along the picturesque Mornington Peninsula for 30 kilometres from Koonya Beach, or for 60 kilometres from Cape Schanck, to the finish line at Point Nepean.
Trekkers walk in teams of four, including at least two women, and must raise at least $2,000 per team.
Laura and her team, The Unstoppable Trekstars, are not only training for the 30km trek, they’re also raising funds towards the event’s overall goal of $1.8 million for The Fred Hollows Foundation.
“Coastrek is a physical, mental and emotional challenge that has pushed us individually and as a group,” Laura said.
“It’s also been truly rewarding. So rewarding in fact that after raising over $8500 in 2017 we couldn’t help but go back for more. So this year we are trekking again!
“As a team we have already raise nearly $3000 towards this year’s total and we are super keen to see where we can take that figure before our fundraising page closes.”
Laura is the only member of the Unstoppable Trekstars who isn’t from Sale, but it hasn’t stopped the fitness lover from training.
“Due to location we found we had to train individually or in pairs but never were lucky enough to all train together – as hard as we tried to organise it!
“We have a strong support network for each other and are constantly motivating and inspiring each other to get out there and do the training.
“To be able to participate in the trek, each team member is required to raise a minimum of $500 each. This seemed so daunting last year, but we were totally blown away and overwhelmed by just how much support we were shown.”
Also preparing for the 30km trek is Trish Bursill, of Berwick, and her team, Sister Squad.
Wild Women On Top Coastrek is one of Australia’s most popular fundraising adventure trekking series and this year celebrates its 10th anniversary, after starting in Sydney in 2009 before expanding into Melbourne in 2015 and the Sunshine Coast last year.
Over the past 10 years more than 25,000 trekkers have walked an incredible 1.2 million kilometres across the three events – the equivalent of walking to the moon and back, and back to the moon again.
Trekkers have raised more than $22 million for The Fred Hollows Foundation to restore sight for hundreds of thousands of people in the world’s poorest communities.
This year’s trekkers include Melbourne media personality Libbi Gorr and The Fred Hollows Foundation’s Chair, The Hon John Brumby, and CEO, Ian Wishart.
To support Laura and The Unstoppable Trekstars, or Trish and her team, Sister Squad, go to Melbourne.coastrek.com.au and search for their names.