Oxfam Trailwalker: fully committed!

By Carolyn Barry 8 November 2013
Reading Time: 2 Minutes Print this page
Team Australian Geographic Adventure has entered the Oxfam Trailwalker race, and the challenge is sinking in.

IT’S NOW STARTING TO sink in – we’re actually doing the Oxfam Trailwalker. We’re actually going to walk 100 km of the Great North Walk and the Harbour to Hawkesbury Walking Track in under 48 hours, with no sleep.

It seems easy to commit to when all you have to do so far, is register and send around a few emails. But after attending the information evening this week – which was quite insightful – I’m not sure if on balance, I’m more daunted or inspired.

Mostly first timers, like us, showed up for the info evening, and Oxfam had quite a few experts along, including ‘Trailwalker legends’ (those who have completed five or more events), gear specialists, a podiatrist, and a physio.

The Oxfam fundraising coordinator, Louise, described her experience of doing the event for the first time, last year, as something that “stays with you forever”.

“It’s sooo [insert expletive here] hard,” Chris Southwood, Australian Mountain Bike’s editor informed me. Chris did the walk last year, though he’s obviously up for the challenge again, as he’s doing it this year too.

The more experiences I hear about, the more the challenge of the event sinks in. I’ve done a lot of bushwalking, but not more than about 25km in one day, and not without at least some sleep. But then we also heard about the guy with one leg who finished the trek, and another success story of a blind person who finished the walk. Which is another way of saying ‘harden up’ and get out there and train!

What the evening did, more than anything, was to spur us into locking in dates for ‘training’ (pretty much every second weekend, we’re going on a bushwalk, and then doing our own cross training individually) and get together a bit of a game plan.

It was also great to meet another team member I didn’t know before. Fortunately, we all gelled immediately and before the evening’s end had planned out our bushwalking dates up until the event, on August 26. It bodes well for a good team effort on the day. Which is, after all, one of the most important elements to successfully completing the course.

So why are we doing this? Well, the Oxfam Trailwalker event is so popular that it virtually books up (all 550 teams for Sydney) in a day and many teams end up on a waitlist. So it’s a challenge that just has to be done. And it’s not just the adventure aspect; it’s also the fundraising aspect. The event has barely gotten rolling and already teams have raised an impressive $121,000. Last year, teams raised over $3 million! The money goes towards addressing poverty in many nations, including ours – with indigenous housing a local issue.

Team Australian Geographic Adventure has a baseline target of raising $1000, but we’re really aiming for $5000. Plenty of great reasons to feel that achievement at the finish line.

Team Australian Geographic Adventure’s Oxfam page