The addition of Beth Cardelli to the team of Dave Gallagher, Shaun Atchison and Noel Annett has proved a winning combination for the Berowra Bushrunners who are the first of the 500 teams to finish the 100km Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney.
The team completed the 100km course from Brooklyn to Mosman in 13 hours and 25 minutes, becoming the first ever mixed team to win what is regarded as one of Australia’s toughest endurance charity events.
The three males were also the first to cross the finish line in the 2008 event, but were unable to claim the title as the fourth member of their all-male team that year had to withdraw during the race.
Dave Gallagher of Bewowra said having a girl on the team this year was the key difference. “Beth kept us going,” he said. “We all had our arguments and hissy-fits but she didn’t – she just kept on running.”
Ms Cardelli, a 29 year old childcare worker from Berowra Heights, said she only started running three years ago when she joined the running club the Berowra Bushrunners where the team met.
“I used to play netball and soccer and had a basic level of fitness but was never a runner.”
“I truly believe, if I can do it anyone can. But I know that most women are not stupid enough to attempt to run 100km!” Ms Cardelli said.
The 2000 participants who set off in the 48 hour event this morning are covering a total distance equivalent to walking five times around the world and aim to raise around $3 million for international aid agency Oxfam.
At time of the first team finishing, the event had already raised over $2.3 million and Oxfam Australia spokesperson Leigh Stewart said Australians could help the agency reach the target by showing their support for teams taking part.
“These aren’t professional athletes, they are ordinary Australians pushing themselves to the limits of personal endurance to raise money to support Oxfam’s vital work in finding lasting solutions to poverty,” Ms Stewart said.
The event continues until Sunday August 30 and people can sponsor and track teams at www.oxfam.org.au/trailwalker
The majority of teams will cross the finish line from 7am tomorrow (Saturday August 29) at Georges Heights, Mosman.
Among those still on the trail is Federal Defence Minister Senator John Faulkner and his team Easts Masters. For more information, to cover the finish, interviews or photos please contact Sunita Bose on 0407 555 960.