Aussie adventurer Cath Wallis is smashing stereotypes around what it means to be an athlete. The professional mum of three is passionate about busting the myth that adventures is only for young or ‘athletic-looking’ people, by ‘living life big’ in the body she has.
Cath had an epiphany around six years ago that kickstarted her search for adventure:
“I realised that - quite frankly - I was a bit boring! So I decided that I would commit to some big adventure goals and see what happened. It turned out I loved it, and it changed my life.
But during one ultramarathon, Cath looked around her and realised there she couldn’t see anyone else who looked like her. She wanted to expand our definition of what an ultra-events competitor looks like, so she started posting her adventures on her Instagram (@cath.wallis).
Cath hoped this would “inspire other people who have never considered themselves athletes, to also choose big adventures and experience the joy of taking part.”
And it has. She now has a highly engaged community of over 10k who she inspires regularly.
Over the past few years, Cath has tackled some seriously impressive adventures, including hiking 160km across a frozen Lake Khovsgol in Mongolia and 170km across Australia's Simpson Desert.
She wants to remind people that with any endurance event or hike, there’s no right or wrong way to participate.
“There’s an assumption that it’s elite people who do this – and sure there are some absolute superstars well ahead of the pack – but the reality is that around a third of the people participating in these events actually walk them.”
“My advice is - choose a goal that speaks to your heart - and then pay the entry fee! Because the combination of something you really want and having committed the $$ is very powerful.”
“There is no wrong way to walk or hike. So pick a trail YOU love, and just start. Walking with friends is the best way to stay consistent; when you walk and talk you will be surprised how quickly the time goes!”
Cath will be proudly hiking the inaugural Coastrek Canberra event, having previously trekked the Coastrek Sydney Northern Beaches route:
"I'm so excited Coastrek is coming to Canberra! Having experienced the epic Coastrek event in Sydney, I'm looking forward to seeing fellow Canberrans experience the Coastrek magic and sharing our scenic trails and walking tracks with locals and visitors alike."
"Hiking and trekking has changed my life. It's taken me around the world, but it all started right here in Canberra when I decided to train and sign up for a long distance challenge and used Canberra's scenic trails to build up my fitness. Now fellow Canberrans can experience the camaraderie and support of Coastrek's training program and an epic event day as their goal to start them on a lifetime of adventure."