Port Stephens Triathlon – 19 May 2018

Port Stephens triathlon offers athletes a fun weekend with distances for all abilities – Standard, Sprint and Super-Sprint (Enticer). It’s an awesome event, in a beautiful part of the world. And also makes for a great get-away with the entire family!

Whether you’re a seasoned triathlete or just starting out, this event has something for everyone. The standard distance for those looking for a challenge; the sprint distance for those into speed; or the super-sprint distance for those new to the sport of triathlon. The swim takes place on the idyllic One Mile Beach, the bike consists of undulating laps in the local area and the run offers a supportive atmosphere with lots of cheering.

Training Program

Our 12-week training program is limited to 12 x athletes. Weekly training consists of 3 x coached group sessions* and 3 x individual training sessions. Your training plan will be sent to you each week via Training Peaks – this will include 6 x training sessions.  Each training plan is tailored to fit into your lifestyle – our aim is to balance your training sessions with your day-to-day commitments. We understand how busy life is.  (* varies across each week)

Our coaches are qualified across the sport of triathlon – swim, bike and run. Each coach has unique experience in competing in triathlons (across various distances), as well as taking part in the ITU Age-Group World Championships.

Weekly Training Timetable (Mon to Sun)

(best viewed on desktop/laptop)

Individual Training 6:00-7:00am,
Individual Training Individual Training 7:00-9:00am,
Terry Hills
Shelly Beach
Strength Training* Run  Bike Turbo Swim Squad Run Bike Outdoor Open Water
Our Strength-FIT program focuses on strengthening muscles and joints to help improve performance and decrease injury risk.
(*Additional cost at discounted rate.)
Coached run session focusing on speed & strength. Coached indoor bike turbo session focusing on speed, strength & stamina. Will also include some brick sessions later in the program. Individual swim session with your local swim squad. Individual run session focusing on distance & endurance. Alternating coached & social sessions:

6 x coached outdoor bike sessions focusing on skills, confidence &  endurance

6 x social rides focusing on disance & endurance.

Mixture of coached & social sessions:

6 x coached open water swim session focusing on skills, confidence & endurance.

6 x social swims focusing on disance & endurance.

What is included?

Port Stephens Beach

  • 12-week online training program
  • 12 x coached indoor bike turbo sessions (studio)
  • 12 x coached outdoor run sessions
  • 6 x outdoor bike sessions
  • 6 x open water swim sessions
  • Mental skills and strategies
  • Race nutrition and recovery
  • Race tactics and guidance
  • Analysis and feedback on training data
  • Race weekend logistics
  • Motivational support
  • Access to private online forum
  • Membership of a supportive, like-minded Community
What is excluded?
  • Strength training – you are encouraged to join our Strength-FIT program (discounted rate)
  • Pool swim squad training – you are encouraged to join your own local swim squad
  • Social outdoor swim sessions – you are encouraged to join Shelly Swim Club for a weekly outdoor swim
  • Social bike rides – you are encouraged to join Northern Suburbs Triathlon Club (NSTC) on Sat 6.30am
  • Race entry fee
  • BEXI Tri-Suit (optional) – orders must be placed by Fri 16 Mar 2018
What is cost?
  • 12-week online program
  • 36 x coached sessions
  • $48 p/week across 12-weeks – payable in 3 x $195 monthly instalments (total $585)

“Fantastic coaches. Loved the mix & variety of sessions. Each coach was able to add their skills & expertise. It was awesome having Carm speak at the Manly practice session – I had no idea how important his comments would be to my completion of the 70.3. The inclusion of a nutrition talk & bike mechanics were also great.”  (Survey 2017)


➡ Set your sights on 2018 – register today!

BEXI Achievers 2017

At the end of each year, we get together to celebrate the successes of our BEXI athletes. It’s a time to reflect on all the events that we’ve taken part over the year and toast those who have worked hard to achieve their goals.  2017 was a busy year – so at the outset, I’d like to congratulate every BEXI member for stepping out of your comfort zones and committing to some pretty amazing goals.

Huge congrats to our our top 2017 achievers:


  • Most Improved BEXI Athlete 2017 – Ann Velthuis

This very shy, quiet young lady, joined our BEXI team in 2016. She had a few niggles she was working on, but she turned up every week for every session. Her speed improved, her fitness improved, her confidence improved… and all of a sudden she was taking on the Level 2 training with the other girls. Huge congrats to Ann Velthuis for her tenacity to keep trying. You are a true inspiration Ann.

  • Most Determined BEXI Athlete 2017 – Roslyn Meyer

Without a doubt, this lady is truly deserving of this award. Her commitment and drive to focus on her goal was outstanding. She set her heart and soul on her New York marathon and made many sacrifices along the way. She never missed a training session, she was always motivated, she trained hard and she inspired so many around her. Roslyn Meyer you were 100% determined to achieve your first marathon goal – it was an honour to support you on the sidelines. Well done!

  • Most Inspirational BEXI Athlete 2017 – Sue Naylor

This BEXI athlete has absolutely blossomed this year. She started off with a half-marathon this year. Feeling a little deflated, she decided to focus on shorter distances for a while — that was until she was talked into trying a triathlon. Thinking it was a good idea, she bought a hybrid bike… and the rest, as they say, is history.  Huge congrats to Sue Naylor, for absolutely embracing her new-found passion of triathlon and being so completely focused and committed. Sue has truly flourished right before our eyes. Well done Sue!

  • Most Outstanding BEXI Athlete 2017 – Vicky Dawkins

This BEXI Athlete’s list of achievements is vast! She never stops. It is exhausting just reading the list of all the activities she has done this year. Suffice to say, this lady is determined to achieve. She continually pushes herself out of her comfort zone, never quits – even when the going gets tough. Is supportive of her BEXI buddies around her – and often inspires them to join the journey with her. Outstanding effort Vicky Dawkins.

BEXI Ambassador 2018 – Kaye Chan

Each year we recognise a very special BEXI athlete who lives and breathes our BEXI values.  She supports other members, inspires those around her, motivates others to achieve their goals, leads by example, lives a balanced life, is a great community-player. Not only is this person committed to developing herself, she is also committed to helping others and their communities.

This particular person often sacrifices her training to support others. She will willingly volunteer to support others, often making plans to meet up and train together. She will gladly put her hand up to lead our 5km runners, to co-ordinate training programs, to manage logistics for various programs… and so much more.

This special lady is selfless and absolutely thrives on supporting others. We are indeed very privileged to have this person as a very key member of our community. Congratulations to Kaye Chan on being our BEXI Ambassador for 2018.

Special mention goes to some key BEXI community members for working hard to fulfill their personal dreams:

  • Canberra Marathon – Louise Grigg and Dee Fitzgerald
  • Diamond Women’s Triathlon – Kate Marshall
  • Ironman 70.3 Cairns – Michelle Nicholas
  • Gold Coast Marathon – Hannetjie Brooks
  • Gold Coast 10km – Nicole Woolley
  • Blackmores Sydney Half-Marathon – Kasey McKee
  • Long Course Weekend Triathlon – Vicky Dawkins
  • New York Marathon – Roslyn Meyer and Hannetjie Brooks
  • Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney – Kaye Chan
  • Most BEXI Medals and Best BEXI Cheerleaders – Keiren Barham & Sue Naylor
  • Best BEXI Refreshments Supporter – Plezi Brennan

Congratulations on an absolutely outstanding 2017 – feeling very excited about 2018. We have a huge calendar of events for 2018 – can’t wait to get going.


It takes all of you!

It inspired me, it overwhelmed me, it humbled me, it took all of me! The spirit of the Comrades Marathon.

On Sunday 4th June 2017, I had the enormous privilege of standing on the start line of the Comrades Marathon 2017.  It was an absolute dream-come-true. As a kid growing up in South Africa, I was brought up having a huge appreciation for this race. Every year the race was televised from the start to the finish – 12hrs+ of viewing – the South African nation was caught up in the grips of the Comrades fever. I was in awe of the runners who took part and had a huge respect for each and every one of them.

At 5am on the 4th June 2017, I was huddled in my starting chute with my gorgeous hubby, Martin, and good friends Sue & Richard Ollerhead. It was dark, the atmosphere was electric – combination of nerves and excitement – lots of people rushing to get into their starting chutes… and then the singing started. The entire field of 20k runners were singing Shosholoza and the South African national anthem – it truly brought a lump to my throat. This was followed by the music of Chariots of Fires (again, very emotional), then the iconic Max Tribold’s Cock Crow…. and bang, the start gun at 5.30am. And we were off!

I can recall the entire experience step-by-step, but will save that for another post. Instead, I wanted to share a few (of the many) special moments that truly touched me:

  • As a South African brought up in the apartheid era, I was completely humbled by the spirit of the Comrades. Blacks, whites, nationals, internationals – everyone was united by the raw emotion of the Comrades. Throughout the entire day, the 20k field of runners were cheering and supporting each other along the way. No matter who you were and where you came from, we were all equal – united in this beautiful sport.
  • The support on the day is second to none. There are crowds of supporters from start to finish – the entire 88km. Singing, dancing, cheering, calling out your name, handing you food, drinks, spraying you with water – creating the most amazing atmosphere! You truly felt like an elite runner competing in the Olympics.
  • The organisation of the race is on par with the Olympics. It is flawless! From pre-race registration, the ongoing communication, international ambassadors for each country, race registration, expo, hospitality, logistics, refreshments every 2km, choice of refreshments, pacing buses, entertainment, medals, photos, etc. All international runners, together with their supporters, had access to an international tent at the finish where they were served food and drinks all day. It was position right next to the finish line – so truly amazing for our families/supporters.
  • On the Friday before the race, I joined the international athlete course tour. Part of the tour was to visit the Ethembeni School for the Disabled – one of the Comrades official charities. As the bus stopped, the children we waiting for us with welcome signs for each country. Despite being faced with adversity, these children had the biggest smiles on their faces. They sang and danced for us and gave us each a beautiful, hand-made beaded bracelet. The colours of the bracelet were those of the Comrades Marathon and Ethembeni School, and consisted of 88 x beads – one for each km of the race. There was hardly a dry eye in the audience.
  • After the tour I was hanging out in the hotel lobby. Sitting next to me was a young African runner who was chilled and relaxed. His buddies came to join him and sat down for a cup of tea. There was much excitement in their conversation (in Zulu/Xhosa). At one stage I overheard them talking about their race pace of 3.50-4.00/km. I looked over at them and asked if they were planning to run the race at that pace. They all laughed and their coach asked me if I knew who they were. They were the gold-medal runners! (Ludwick Mamabolo finished 4th in 5:42; and Sphiwe Ndlela 6th in 5:45.) Truly humble and super-friendly gentlemen.

Two weeks later and I am still on a high. This event is without doubt one of the most rewarding races I have ever done! Now to consider returning next year for the ‘Back-to-Back’ medal…

It was tough, for sure… but that’s what makes finishing all the more sweeter.

Below are a few low-res pics taken on the day… enjoy! 

If we always do what we know we can do, we never grow…

Achieving the Impossible

Last Saturday our Tri-FIT team embarked on the final stage of their 12-week triathlon training journey – the Diamond Women’s Active Festival in Penrith.  The conditions were almost perfect – apart from the smokey air from the back-burning. Nervously the girls entered transition to set up their bikes… then it was race briefing… and next, the long walk to the swim start…

One of our team member’s captured the journey beautifully…

If someone would have told me I would compete in a triathlon a few years ago, I would have smiled and told them that they were dreaming. I guess I am in their dreams now, as I officially did my first Sprint Triathlon (750m swim, 20 km bike and 5km run) last Saturday, 7th May 2016.

It started 12 weeks ago as I wanted to learn to swim the real Ozzie freestyle, and enjoy running and cycling with a team. From learning to bubble in the ocean pool, to doing a few 50m laps in the early days, to doing 750m in the race, was a beautiful and challenging journey. Not to forget our interval training in the dark, early mornings – to conquering hills on the bike without understanding how the gears actually work (and I am Dutch!).

I had been hesitant to commit and register for the sprint distance, as I doubted my ability. But with the support from my amazing team mates and coaches who believed, inspired and motivated me – I was encouraged to sign up for the big one (the sprint), instead of the shorter option.

And yes everybody was right. It was more than possible and they were not dreaming – I was dreaming.  Achieving the impossible is just possible by just believing and doing it.

Plus keep on smiling!


Monique Manse
Sprint Triathlete
May 2016




The Power of Running Buddies

The value we place on our running buddies is enormous. From getting us out of bed in the morning, to pushing ourselves harder in training, to encouraging us to go the distance (when we believed we could never get there).  This became all the more evident between two BEXI buddies who trained together for the recent Canberra Marathon.

Steve Crosby shares his gratitude to his run buddy for getting him over the finish line – read his inspirational story:

If you have ever pondered the question, should you run a marathon? I would respond by borrowing the appropriate phrase, “just do it!”.

I had never in my life, ever considered running a marathon. I guess I had subconsciously discounted such a ridiculous concept without ever really considering it. Then one day pondering how I could improve my triathlon running, the answer just appeared. Train for the ultimate goal in endurance running, a marathon.

18 weeks later I was on the start line standing next to my running buddy, Belinda Gremmo, eagerly awaiting the starter’s gun to sound. The actual race is ‘only’ 42.2km. I say only because to make it to that start line I actually ran 587 Km’s. It is in these 587 Km’s that you forge the endurance, fitness, will power, determination and skills to run those last 42.2km.

Running is often considered a solo activity, not so when you run with Beauty of Exercise. The focus encouraged by Debbie Solms is clearly on improving your fitness and running ability in a supportive community and buddy based running environment. In hind sight my running buddy Belinda and I may have unintentionally taken that ethos to the extreme.

During training we are paired with one or several buddies that have a similar pace or fitness level. Then during the weekly runs you gradually get to know those buddies and them you. My experience has been that running with a buddy of similar ability has a wealth of advantages apart from the obvious ones such as good company and fun conversation. Your buddy can motivate and push you to run harder and faster. They can pick you up when you are struggling. They can support you when you are injured. They also make you accountable for turning up to training even when you are tired and it is cold and raining.

Prior to the marathon, Belinda and I had discussed if we would run together and we agreed we would start together and then run our own race as required. As it turned out after 18 weeks and 500 Km’s of running together, our stride, pace and even breathing was almost identical. Comically in the race photos of us, even our waving and smiles to our families were in sync.

The first half of the race flew by with easy conversation and great scenery. At the half way mark we were spurred on by our brightly coloured family singing, cheering, smiling, high fiving and holding motivational signs. What an awesome boost.

Later in the race there were several times when either Belinda or I were struggling with pain or fatigue and our resolve waivered. At those times the true power of a running buddy shone through, we were able to say just the right words of encouragement to get each other back on track.

In the end we crossed the finish line together, raised our arms in victory together and even hilariously stopped our watches together. We had achieved our individual goals together.

I loved every minute of marathon, even when it hurt. And my buddy Belinda is greatly responsible for that. Thanks buddy!

Next time you are running with someone, try to be the best running buddy you can, it may just help you get across the finish line.

Steve Crosby (& Belinda Gremmo)
3:58 Marathoners

Finish Line

Finish Line

In the Pink

Last Sunday one of our favourite Beauty of Exercise (BEXI) members, Liza Dukino, faced her fears and took part in her first ever triathlon – the Pinkie Triathlon. We are all so proud of what Liza achieved – from being anxious in the water, to having an immense fear on the bike (having had a bad stack). Liza has filled so many of us with inspiration and admiration. Below is a heartfelt story about Liza’s journey to the start-line and the actual race day – enjoy the read…

When you are part of a group like BEXI an injury can leave you isolated and lonely… if you let it!
In November last year an MRI showed a 50% tear of my plantar fascia and the advice was to stop. Stop meant no more training for Coastrek with the BEXI Trekkers and no more running. This was tough to deal with, with a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out), I couldn’t imagine not being around all my BEXI mates. And bigger than that I was afraid of stopping and going back to who I was before I found my healthy lifestyle focus.

I needed a new focus something that I could do that wouldn’t exasperate my injury and would still allow me to be part of the community. I had always enjoyed swimming and I had bought a 2nd hand road bike earlier in the year that was gathering dust in the garage… they became my new focus. But what to work towards?

I had joined the BEXI triathletes at the Port Stephens Triathlon event that year, just tackling the swim leg for the fabulous Helen. Seeing the team tackle and conquer the swim, cycle and run all with a smile on their faces and celebrating their achievements that evening lit a little fire in my belly… that was something I wanted to achieve.

So I joined the well time new Swim-FIT program with the lovely Sue Bennett and joined the Run-FIT crew on a Tuesday morning with a special tailored Liza-FIT program on the bike. A few rides on closed paths gave me the confidence to join the BEXI cycle girls on my first ride to Church Point – almost 20km and I was stoked. My confidence crew on the bike the more I joined my buddies Cass and Katja on our regular rides and my swimming was improving as I learned about my stoke and bilateral breathing.

Now, it was time to give all this effort a focus… the Ultra course of the Pinkie Triathlon. The plan was to do the whole thing myself, just do the run on the day and deal with the consequences of the injury to the foot afterwards but I had been finally started to see an improvement. Finally, I was learning to listen to my body and decided 2 of the 3 legs was a much better option. Super Coach (SC) Debbie, a constant source of advice and support jumped at the chance of joining me to finish the tri off with the run.

Along came race day and off we went, my run coach and my swim coach by my side on the trek out to Parramatta Park, I was pooing my pants I was so nervous. Waiting for the briefing to start I see 3 figures in the distance, all decked out in orange. My first thought is ‘WOW!’ – we need to get those feather boas and hats for the BEXI support crew for the Australian Running Festival in Canberra next month’. My next thought was -‘Oh s*#t’… that’s Lisa, Cass and Kris! These 3 amazing BEXI friends had taken time away from their families on a Sunday morning to come and support me. I welled up. I was so touched and overwhelmed by the support of those girls there on the day and all the positive support from those who couldn’t be there.

So with my BEXI friends cheering by the side of the pool I jumped into my first triathlon, maybe my second if you count Port Stephens but this time I was adding on another leg. The event was tough but the whole time I had a smile on my face because I was there, I was actually doing it! I tagged SC and off she went, blitzing all the other runners and I joined her for the last 50m and we ran through the finish together. Phew it was done, now where is that champagne?

So my advice in all of this is, never let an injury let you feel isolated and lonely because there is a fabulous BEXI community around you that will train with you and support you in whatever goal it is you set out to achieve.

Liza Dukino
BEXI Triathlete, March 2015


Reflections of Coastrek 2015

I am continually inspired by our wonderful Beauty of Exercise team who put their heart, sweat and tears into training and preparing for various events. This year’s Coastrek – 55km coastal walk from Palm Beach to Balmoral – is another example of true camaraderie. Below is a heartfelt insight from one of our ‘BEXI Trekkers’…

As I sit in my cosy warm home this morning I am grateful that today is not the day to embark on a 55km walk. It is grey and misty today, a far cry from the beautiful sunny day of Friday 6th March, 2015… the day of Sydney’s Coastrek. This is an event that brings together over 3500 people, with the aim of walking 55km over every beautiful beach and headland between Palm Beach (on the northern beaches of Sydney) to Balmoral. All in the aid of the Fred Hollows Foundation, which brings sight back to the needlessly blind. But the walk was more than just fundraising for a great cause. It is about grit, determination and most importantly about camaraderie and great friendships.

As the seasoned coastrekker in the group (ie. I had attempted it a few years ago), I knew what was ahead. Encouraged by the enthusiasm of all the ladies in the BEXI Trekkers team (walkers and support crew), I got up early on the hallowed sleep-in day (Sunday) to join in the training walks. These days were great fun and a wonderful way to start the day. Who can pass up the opportunity of a ‘gentle’ beach stroll, a good chin wag and a good coffee… and all at the same time. Heaven really!

But as the day got closer trepidation set in. Our fundraising goal was achieved (and superceded thanks to the generous souls out there). The support crew and logistics for the day were organised. However, I knew what was ahead of me and knew that it was not going to be all rosy. The sore feet, sore legs, blisters and SAND …. everywhere !

We arrived at Palm Beach early in the morning to be greeted by the most magnificent sunrise to start the day. Someone upstairs had been listening. The weather was not too wet, not too hot, not too cold, not too windy. Perfect really!

The air was filled with excitement but despite the laughter and banter there was a little bit of anxiety in the air as well. Yet all that anxiety melted away when we crossed the start line heading down Palm Beach, heading for Balmoral in the distance, somewhere. I could go on forever but that would be boring so I’ve listed some of the highlights :

  • A early morning snack of Lemonade icy-pole. Liza, how did you know that that would hit the spot perfectly.
  • Coming off Mona Vale beach and seeing our angels, the beautiful smiling faces of Liza Dukino and Ingrid Taylor waiting with cold drinks and cold watermelon… exactly what the doctor ordered.
  • Narabeen Lagoon – our support crew of angels and head angel, Debbie Solms.
  • The salty chips at Long Reef. Again, exactly what was needed.
  • Dee Why – Ingrid placating Lisa after her icy pole fell on the ground. (Best lower lip action I’ve seen in quite some time!)
  • Manly – our on-call coffee crew.
  • Balmoral – everyone! And the champagne at the end was perfect.
  • Lisa’s video blog – she left the best til last. (Amazing the effects of drugs and alcohol!)
  • Camadarie amongst all the walkers, the volunteers and the locals who were out cheering everyone on.

I cannot finish off without thanking my team. There were times (esp Warriewood-Collaroy) when I was struggling. However, they were there to encourage and support me all the way. They would wait for me and never complained at how slow I was walking. I think that without me they would have done the walk in a record time! However, we were in it as a team…and everyone knows that Together Everyone Achieves More!

  • Kirsten Prescott – She had been quite ill during the week but hadn’t said anything to the team as she didn’t want to let us down. As if they were even remotely possible.
  • Lisa Bale – She pushed through despite the horrific blisters that started fairly early on in the walk. Not a complaint from her either.
  • Kym Gray – A fine example of consistency and determination. She didn’t waver at all during the whole time, and all done with a great smile.
  • Liza Dukino, Ingrid Taylor and Debbie Solms – being at the right place at the right time and saying the right things. Your support means more than you’ll ever know.
  • And last but certainly not least, my family – for putting up with me being away and grumpy and sleeping all day the following day.

55km’s in 14.5 hours is not easy but with the help of gusty, determined, yet gentle, caring and beautiful souls it was a day I shall hold dear.

Lucia Hains
Bexi Trekker, March 2015


Our Bexi Trekkers go Wild in Warriewood

COASTREK 2015 – Our Beauty of Exercise chicks are at it again! This time in the guise of BEXI Trekkers – they will be doing Coastrek, a 55km walk along the northern beaches of Sydney.

As part of their challenge, they are required to raise much needed funds for the Fred Hollows Foundation – whose aim is to improve the health of Indigenous Australians and to reduce the cost of eye health care and treatment in developing countries.

They are planning a FABULOUS fundraising event and they would love your support:

What: Special Movie Event – “WILD”, staring Reese Witherspoon
When: Weds 4th Feb, 7pm
Where: Warriewood United Cinemas
Cost: $25 per ticket – book via

There will also be a raffle and lots of other fantastic prizes to be won!

Please support your BEXI team – spread the word and let’s help them over the line – I’ll be there!

Good luck gorgeous girls! Kristin Prescott, Lucia Hains, Lisa Bale and Kym Gray.