Coasting it for Fred Hollows

Julie McCrossin and Ruth HollowsAs marathon season gets into full swing, S caught up with two inspirational women who’d motivate even the slackest couch potato to get moving.

Broadcaster Julie McCrossin and Ruth Hollows, youngest daughter of the late and legendary eye doctor Fred, are both already training for next March’s 55-kilometre annual Coastrek, which has just opened for registrations.

For Hollows, 23, the fund-raising walk along Sydney’s coastline to support the Fred Hollows Foundation is a wonderful way to honour her dad’s legacy. “Dad loved the outdoors and the walk is in his backyard,” she says. “I love the family connection.” Hollows is no slouch when it comes to walking; this year she did her first 100km. “Coastrek will be like a stroll in the park,” she laughs.

Meanwhile, McCrossin’s participation in the walk signifies a cherished return to good health. The former team leader on the ABC quiz show Good News Week aims to complete the whole course for the first time in three years. Last year she was recovering from stage-four throat cancer and managed a hard-fought 10km. The year before, she was too ill to complete the course. This year, after the all-clear, she’s raring to go the whole way.

“Training has been an incredibly positive experience, even more so than usual,” she says. “I have no doubt it’s assisted my recovery; not just the exercise but the camaraderie, the beauty of the surroundings. It’s medicine. And of course you are walking to help the blind see.”

Coastrek 2014 raised $2.6 million and 2800 took part. Register or donate for 2015 at

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