How we went from “non-runners” to completing 17km at NETFIT Tours

To many, 17km sounds daunting. Running, swimming in the ocean and running again?

The catch – you’re doing it with your new besties, on one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia. This challenge was by far our favourite of the tour, having the choice between two distances and being able to explore Noosa Main Beach, taking plenty of selfies and photos along the way. From not running beyond 3km to completing 17km in 2 hours, tour participants Bridie and Lexie found themselves pushing each other to finish this massive achievement. 26 degrees, hills and a 7kg backpack weren’t going to stop these girls. The mindset and encouragement of each other resulted in something they hadn’t even dreamed of achieving.

Bridie Melican, 17

Leading into the Run Swim Run I was absolutely terrified. The night before, Lexi and I decided to go for the full 17km, which I was not 100% on board with at first, as the furthest I’d ever run is the 7km midnight run just two days before. I was so nervous and really doubted myself, and I didn’t want to feel like I was ‘slowing’ Lex down! However, with a lot of encouragement from Laura Langman and the NETFIT crew, we were feeling so good after we completed the first leg of the run and swim. Fuelled with electro-pops, we focused on one run and swim leg at a time, and I realised it was okay to walk as long as you’re still moving forwards! Each time we made it back to the changeover station I felt more proud of Lexi and I.

During the race, Lexi and I talked, “do we want to go for the full 17km race?” We decided we wanted to push through and achieve this together! Once we reached the final Hells Gate 5km stretch (the name speaks for itself!), we had Jaz and Bree pushing us to keep jogging when we thought our legs could do no more! Seeing Laura and Taylah at the top of Hells Gate was so surreal and almost a life-changing moment, really surprising myself. We felt invincible and so proud of ourselves! It’s amazing what your body can do when you put your mind to it and have the right people around you. In the end, I was so glad we pushed ourselves to do the “Big Kahuna!” I encourage anyone to go and Tours, it’s amazing how much an environment change can mix up your perspective and spirit.

Lexie Schell, 18

When I first heard about the Swim Run from Laura, l was pretty nervous. I’d never been a distance runner – or swimmer – and l knew this would be a huge personal challenge. With my beautiful roommate, Bridie, we decided beforehand that we’d do the entire 17 kilometres rather than the shorter options. Even though l was terrified about not being able to finish it, and potentially embarrassing myself, it was important to Bridie and l to prove to ourselves that we could push ourselves to our absolute limits! I also believe it’s important to grab every opportunity to grow with both hands. I really didn’t want to look back with any regrets.

So with a positive mindset, we set out and took it leg by leg. It was so great to have support and encouragement from each other as well as from Lauz, Bree and Jazzy and all the others along the way, especially whenever we started to doubt ourselves or felt overwhelmed by the challenge ahead of us. When we finally finished that last (awful) 5km stretch to the top of the aptly named Hells Gate and reached Lauz and Tay at the top, l was so proud of Bridie and myself! To realise our inner strength, resilience and determination as well as how important a positive mindset actually is brilliant. It was also amazing to see the impact of having supportive people who believe in you around you!

NETFIT Tours is the global travel arm of NETFIT, where our community are encouraged to explore, create, connect and engage with our amazing world through bespoke international and domestic tours.

Lead by the NETFIT team and organised for young netballers keen to take their game, leadership and confidence to the next level, learn more about NETFIT Tours here.

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