Ann Jenkins is a Coastrek veteran and is one of our treasured Coastrek Community Ambassadors. But Ann wasn't always a hiker. In fact, she only started hiking in her 40s after her daughter came back from a Duke of Edinburgh trek in New Zealand.
Ann thought, "If I could do something like that in my lifetime, I would feel like I could achieve anything". And so it began.
Since then, Ann's completed a whopping 20 Coastreks (and will complete her 21st at the inaugural Coastrek Canberra event in 2024) and has helped raise over $55,000 for charity. She's also trekked in locations all around the world, including the GR20 in Corsica and Nepal.
This passionate Wild Woman is sharing her top fundraising tips and reveals what Coastrek has taught her over the years.
What's your favourite Coastrek event and why?
That’s a really hard question, as each and every one of them has their own personality and features that I just love. If you absolutely pushed me to give you an answer I would probably say Adelaide, as it was just so gorgeous and around every corner there was a surprise. And then there was McLaren Vale to try out the day after!
What has Coastrek taught you?
A million things! It has taught me to be gutsy when I'm uncertain, it's taught me that I can do things I never dreamed I could do. It's taught me that I'm not a middle-aged, average woman, but that I'm strong and that I can make a difference to so many people.
How do you feel when you cross the finish line?
Absolutely brilliant! I always get a bit competitive in the last 10km or so, and want to run as fast as I can to the finish and burst over the timing strip with an improved time. But it really is about getting the team there in one piece with smiles on their faces. The finish line is a huge adrenaline rush, backed up by the greatest sense of achievement.
How do you go about fundraising? Do you have any tips?
My biggest tip is to pick something you love doing. The fundraising then becomes easy and is not an onerous chore. There are so many great ideas out there and I promise you, your family, friends, and work mates really are keen for you to succeed and they'll blow you away with their generosity.
I love cooking so it's easy for me to host moonlight picnics or car-boot picnics in beautiful locations. People not only pay the price to attend, but they also invariably make an additional donation as they have fun with their friends. It really is as simple as asking the girls over for a glass of bubbly and some nibbles, letting them know it's for charity, charing $25 to attend, having a jar for any loose change from their wallets, getting a few things to raffle, and before you know it you'll have made a few hundred dollars.
If you sew, make simple things such as tea towels, or cushion covers, or table runners. Pop them on your Facebook page for your friends to buy. Have a movie night or a wine tasting night. The list of things is endless if you think outside the box. Fundraising really is not a chore, it's actually a lovely thing to do and it brings people you care about together.
What’s your advice for new Coastrekkers?
Read the eBook, don't just flick through it. Complete the training guide that is emailed to you every fortnight. Open your heart and mind and let it be one of the best days you will ever have. Wild Women has you covered, there is nothing to worry about, you will be safe, and you will get there. The day will end and you will feel elated.