Rich and Sean – professional clowns and great guys

Saturday-Sunday 21-22 March 2015: CBR100Challenge – L/E. Walks of 25, 50 and 100km are being organised by CBR100Challenge on the Canberra Centenary Trail. I have a team of 3 to do the 100 km in 36 hours. We’d appreciate some moral support – cheering and jeering. Come and walk a bit with us and cheer us on – check the Twitter feed above to find out where we are or ring me on 0417 436 877. See here in the Support us/Follow us on the walk tab for access points and estimated times. Maps: Canberra and Hall. Leader: John Evans 0417 436 877 .

3 of us met at Regatta Point.


Distance: 100.0km | Climb: 1980m | Time: 6.20am-5.50am (23hrs 30mins), with 2 hours of breaks | Grading: L/E; H(12+)


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Track Notes

My Capitan de Transporto dropped me right at Regatta Point, so that fewer pre-start steps were required. The Deck was open, so Johnny Boy’s boys team congregated there. In time to see Ian W start at 6am in the 100km run (he did fabulously – came in 7th in 12hrs 5mins!). All the other CBC members were about – Cynthia Bu, Chris F and Nathan H for their 50km walk; Jasmin S and Bubbles O for their 100km walk; Alison N and Lyndall M-B for their 25km walk.

It was just light for our 6.20am start – maybe 50-60 of us. A bit crowded as we set off along LBG. The boys are very chatty and kept the other teams amused as positions changed.

We reached the first water station on Mt Ainslie in 55mins and 4.9km. No point in stopping, as there was a long queue for the one toilet!

Perfect walking weather at max 22ºC and a gentle breeze. The next 7.0km in 1hr 20mins saw us at the Majura (Antill St) transition area. A team member (unidentified) popped his head out the portaloo door (no doubt with his trousers around his knees) but an organiser was right there with a packet of 40 toilet rolls. Very well equipped area – didn’t take on any water, but had a hot cross bun and took a large handful of snakes and gummy bears. Gay said she saw me in the background of a TV interview – couldn’t miss my orange shorts (although the 3-girl team in similar looked better).

Next leg a bit boring, across the dryer flanks of Majura, under the Federal Highway on the CCT diversion, north through Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve and west through Muligans Flat NR to Forde. Got off a few tweets, but hardly time for pics – just keep walking. Reached the Forde water station at 11.20am, 15km in 2hrs 45mins. Drank some water to preserve mine, the boys changed socks and talced their feet (a good technique) and we had lunch.

On our way, Daimon (a friend of the guys) joined us on his bike and kept us company and chatting through to Hall. Stephen G, a friend of mine, was on his bike on One Tree Hill, and came down to say hello as we passed by and later joined us in Hall. This leg across the northern ACT border 19km in 4hrs.

Here, the first of our fabulous support crews swung into action. Allan and Pam B from church were there and Pam gave all 3 of us a foot massage, The team was starting to develop a few physical niggles, including a painful hamstring. And Tom C from church was there. Sean’s wonderful wife arrived with pizza and we consumed from the important food groups like salt, fat and sugar.

We left Hall at 4.10pm, well ahead of our estimated schedule and now equipped for the night – hi-vis vests, head torches and extra clothing. Tom walked with us to Dryandra St – great to have fresh legs to keep us going. I was experiencing technical difficulties as my phone wouldn’t charge, so Tom first organised his daughter to bring me a 30-pin cable along William Slim Dr and, later, his wife to bring me a couple of battery packs (neither solved the issue, so I remained a social media dodo). Near where Ginninderra Creek becomes Lake Ginninderra, Bob and Dawn J from church joined us for a while. Across the back of the Canberra Stadium we heard the roar of the crowd as a Raiders home game began. From Hall to the water station at Bruce Ridge was 15.3km in 3hrs.

I got a bit behind in the next leg, as I waited to receive the battery packs on Dryandra St and the guys got a good start up Black Mountain. With head torch now on, I tried to make quick time to catch them. Got a call from Sean (phone fortunately on as I tried to get the battery pack to recharge it) checking where I was and warning about a poorly marked turnoff onto the BOT Gardens Trail. In general, the organisers did and excellent job signing the trail – just a couple of areas (here at base of Black Mountain, near Wide Brown Land in the Arboretum, Red Hill (according to others)) could have had more signage for the night. Thought I’d blow a gasket coming up the Black Mountain spur; finally caught them just onto the Black Mountain hat band track. And so the final puff up the concrete track from the north to the crest to the Black Mountain water station. This leg 5.9km in 1hr 30mins, arriving at 8.40pm.

Summitting, I thought I saw angels (especially after spending 14 hours with my team members!) – there were Hannah W, Holly L and Rach S from church, ready to walk on with us. But first, another angelic messenger in the form of Rich’s wife, arrived with Coke and Maccas! It’d never tasted so good (and probably never will again). Thank you!

I must be honest to say I was a little doubtful when I was told these young ladies would walk a bit with us. But they were well equipped (all with hi-vis vests, adequate warm clothing, head torches, enough water for 5km – Rach, attention to detail (smile)) and had enormous enthusiasm.

We left at 9.10pm and very soon it was we guys trying to keep up with the girls. Warning – don’t mess with these ladies! They walked and talked strongly and kept us very awake and amused, and walked all the way to the next transition area near Scrivener Dam, 12.5km in 2hrs 45mins, arriving at 10 minutes before midnight..

Wonderful and caring service and help here. First a lady offered us a cuppa and food and brought it to us. She turned out to be the mother of Ellie, one of the organisers, who I was fortunate enough to meet because someone mentioned her name in conversation. I took the opportunity to offer to assist as a volunteer next year (so as I don’t have to walk it again). There was first aid assistance which members of other teams were using and heaps of hot and cold food, including lovely apple slices. Daniel R from church came and picked up the girls.

We got back on the track at 12.15am, but different now. Up nearly 20 hours, no company, physical issues and lack of energy slowing us, the last 20km were a bit more challenging. We each coped in our different ways. Being an anti-social introvert, I put music in my ears and stumped along on my walking poles. The bike paths and concrete footpaths were hard on our feet. But I do love walking at night and my feet were not too bad, so I was content in my little world as each step took us closer to the finish. The leg from near Scrivener Dam to the Red Hill water station was 8.6km in 2hrs 20mins. So our average speed was slowing.

The route south (directly away from the finish) along the Red Hill ridge was demoralising. A couple of very light misting showers. But once we turned north near Hindmarsh Drive, each step was in the right direction. This last leg was 11.1km in 3hrs 15mins.

We walked through the finishing arch at 5.50am. No energy to care about anything. Rich had rung his wife and I was graciously and gratefully whisked home.

Gay appeared. She couldn’t sleep concerned about me. We had a debrief. I had a loooong shower and a laaaaarge cup of coffee. I struggled to stay awake till 10.30am and went over to church to ‘report in’, since people had been so supportive and interested. Was happy to report that, from my family, personal friends, CBC member friends and the Eternity church family, over $8,500 had been raised to assist the Beryl Women’s Shelter. Well done everyone!

So what was it like for me? I’ve never walked that far before (and probably never will again). Loved the guys’ banter. Great facilities and support from the organisers. Blown away by church and others’ assistance and support. Walking poles are great for my feet, as were heel strapping, toe tubes, sock changes (must remember talc next time – the trick is to keep your feet dry). Carried a very light runners pack (water bladder + minimal storage) with minimal gear. Constant hydration. As an introvert, once I had to withdraw, music (Christian songs and good old rock ‘n’ roll) is a saviour. I love walking at night. I didn’t find it a psychological challenge or that much of a physical one – you just gotta walk to the finish for a great cause.

Over $8,500 was raised for Beryl Women’s Shelter. Thank you so much family and friends! See here.

Track Maps

Track overview

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3 walkers – Sean D, Richard P, me.