Daniel ‘Tank’ Rowell has always challenged himself physically and mentally and his recent trek on the Goldfields Track was no different.
Having ran the first 60kms of the track (Bendigo to Castlemaine) last November, Daniel’s wife suggested that he hike the entire track.
“We discussed doing it ultra lightweight and attempting to complete it in a long weekend,” he says, “That would have been about 50kms or so per day.
“I’m a Crossfitter and train nearly every day as well as an obstacle course racer. I really enjoy tough physical challenges and this was something different to what i was used to.”
It had been 25 years since ‘Tank’ had done an actual hike, so preparing himself physically and mentally was going to be key.
He set about writing a journal about the gear and food he would need, and then designed a rigorous training program that would allow his body to withstand the beating it was going to take.
“Walking 12-14 hours a day was something of an unknown,” he says.
“I had done plenty of events going hard for five-six hours up to 12 hours but nothing of this magnitude.
“I built up to running 42 km then started with some hill work with a 10kg weight vest…plenty of lunges and back squats at the gym.”
The positives and negatives of such a trek varied but overall ‘Tank’ labels this challenge as a success where he learnt quite a bit.
“I was extremely happy with my fitness and my body’s ability to adapt to the constant hammering, so my training plan helped,” he says.
“A couple of important things I learnt were that my pack’s rain cover was not that flash. Next time I’ll pack my sleeping bag in a wet bag with a change of dry clothes.
“On day three it rained quite a bit. I wore a lightweight poncho but over the afternoon I ended up still pretty damp.”
He says the issue of being wet and cold was most prevalent when he was unable to start a fire as every piece of nearby wood was soaking wet.
“So researching how to get around this for next time will ensure that I at least could have dried my clothes and slept instead of shivering in a wet bag all night,” he says.
‘Tank’ says the best piece of advice he could offer others looking to do a similar trek is to not forsake comfort for weight.
“I got wrapped up in cutting weight to ensure I could keep my required pace up,” he says.
“At the last minute, I decided to pack a better sleeping bag. It added weight but was well worth it in the end as without it I would have been stuffed.”
‘Tank’ says he couldn’t have completed the trek without the support of his sponsors: Bexters Soda Crystals, Supplement Your Health, Bodiez Protein Water, Raw Fudge Power and Caveman Food.
However, he says his biggest support was his wife, Kerry.
“I couldn’t have completed this trek without the help and support from my wife Kez, my super wife,” he says.
So what’s next for the man known as ‘Tank’? Some more time in the outdoors with his family it would seem.
“My kids have watched me prepare for this trek and have been slowly picking up the interest of camping and maybe hiking one day,” he says.
“I found some really cool spots along the Goldfields Track which are only accessible by vehicle that would make for great weekend camping with the kids.”
Congratulations to ‘Tank’ on finishing the Goldfields Track challenge, and we wish him all the best with his future challenges.