The last of the 727 teams walking the 100km from Wheelers Hill to the Yarra Valley as part of Oxfam TRAILWALKER Melbourne 2010 crossed the finish line after 44 hours and 41 minutes, marking the successful close of the two-day gruelling fundraising event.
A record 2924 walkers took part, 950 volunteers worked 7000 hours, and support crews worked day and night to tend to participants’ every need in order to help them continue to walk kilometre after kilometre to the finish line.
The fastest of the teams, consisting of Stephen Neil, Stephen Whitehead, Phil Badger and David Overend, completed the 100km in just 12 hours and 29 minutes and were surprised at the result.
“Never in our wildest dreams did we think we’d win,” Team Captain David Overend said.
The team were closely followed by an all-woman foursome, consisting of Bernadette & Elizabeth Dornom, Jane Henderson and Natasha Griffith. They finished after 12 hours and 32 minutes.
“When we saw the finish line we were crying from both pain and joy, but once we crossed it all of that pain disappeared,” Team Captain Elizabeth Dornom said.
Minister Tim Holding MP and his teammates Sebastian Zwalf, Llewellyn Rees and Simon Tolstrup, were the 16th fastest team with a time of 15 hours and 52 minutes.
Oxfam TRAILWALKER spokesperson Leigh Stewart said the teams had demonstrated teamwork on and off the trail to walk together and work together to fundraise for Oxfam Australia.
“All weekend we’ve seen people push themselves to the limit to walk 100km, and for the last few months we’ve seen teams go to enormous lengths to raise money for Oxfam’s work with poor communities around the world,” Ms Stewart said.
“We’ve so far raised $2.3 million and now need a final push from the Australian public to reach our target of $2.7 million to help us provide clean water, shelter and food to people living in poverty around the world.”
The highest fundraising team at the event’s close was Team 102, who call themselves “Golfers without a kart”. So far they have raised $22, 750 for Oxfam Australia’s work.
“We used our networks of friends and colleagues and tried to capture everyone’s imagination in really thinking about the problems Oxfam works to address,” Team Captain Paul Williams said.
People can view the full results, sponsor teams and make donations to Oxfam Australia at www.oxfam.org.au/trailwalker/melbourne. The next Oxfam TRAILWALKER will take place in Sydney from August 27 – 29.
For more information, photographs or interviews with Leigh Stewart or Trailwalker participants contact Oxfam Australia Media Co-ordinator Sunita Bose on 0407 555 960.