HARD YAKKA: Andrea Skews is recovering after her run.
HARD YAKKA: Andrea Skews is recovering after her run. Contributed

Coast woman first to run 475km from SA to Birdsville

ALONG the 475km Birdsville track, Andrea Skews spots an open caravan door.

It would be so easy for her to slip in and sit down, she thinks, but she's stronger than that.

On Friday, the mother of two from Kings Beach became the first woman to complete the Birdsville Track run from Marree, South Australia, to Birdsville, Queensland.

Ms Skews completed the course in seven days and four hours, via the inside track and original Birdsville track.

A few days after putting up her sore, blistered feet and taking a much-needed deep breath, Ms Skews was still emotionally drained.

"It was hard, long, hot," she said.

"I wasn't really expecting anything, I didn't have anything to go by, I knew there were going to be factors I couldn't train for and I handled what came my way.

"Physically, it's the hardest thing I've ever done."

Going into the gruelling event, Ms Skews said she thought it would be seven days of self-discovery, "but it was hell to be quite honest".

But the personal trainer learnt she was physically and mentally stronger than she thought.

"The first hard day was the Monday, it was my daughter's birthday and that was hard emotionally," she said.

"We were breaking down the days into 5km segments. By day six I was trying to overcome the so-close-yet-so-far and being strong in the mind, telling yourself you can keep going even though you have nothing in the tank.

"I was well hydrated, I didn't falter in that way at all.

"But once you tell your mind something you can do anything, I knew I had a job to be done, getting from A to B."

Ms Skews had a support crew, and eight staff from Care Outreach drove out to Birdsville to welcome her over the finish line.

Ms Skews raised money for a Sunshine Coast charity supporting farmers.



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