Early tomorrow morning 3000 people will start a journey they will never forget, walking 100km in teams of four to raise money for Oxfam Australia’s work to help people around the world find long-term solutions to poverty.
Tomorrow’s Oxfam Trailwalker Melbourne will see the largest participation in the event’s 10 year history with 3000 people signed up to take part.
The 750 teams will walk from Jells Park in Wheelers Hill to Wesburn Park, passing through the beautiful Dandenong Ranges National Park.
Oxfam Australia Fundraising Manager Leigh Stewart is among those taking part and said it was great to see the event grow in numbers each year.
“The first Oxfam Trailwalker Melbourne event had only 1000 people walking and tomorrow it will be incredible to see 3000 people challenging their bodies and minds to the extreme to walk 100km,” Ms Stewart said.
“Walkers are also challenging themselves to raise money for Oxfam’s work helping people around the world find long-term solutions to poverty and through their efforts we’re aiming to raise $3 million dollars.”
The walkers are of all ages, occupations and fitness levels and come from a wide range of suburbs and towns in Melbourne and across regional Victoria.
Among those taking part is legally blind man Ben Phillips who is in a team with Senator John Faulkner. This marks Faulkner’s 10th Trailwalker event as he walks the Sydney and Brisbane events each year.
Senator Faulkner is not the only politician taking part, with Team 19 comprised of Victorian MPs Brad Battin, Nick Wakeling and David Southwick who will be accompanied by David Robertson.
The teams set off in three waves tomorrow at 7am, 8:30am and 10am and have 48 hours to complete the walk. The fastest teams are expected at the finish line at Wesburn Park as early as 5pm on Friday April 20.
Most teams will take around 28 hours to finish the 100kms, with the majority expected across the finish line between 7am and 2pm on Saturday April 21. Some will finish on the early hours of Sunday morning on April 22.
In addition to the walkers, another 900 people will volunteer at the event and 4000 people will act as support crews to teams, tending their needs at the eight checkpoints that divide the 100km trail.
State Street is the global sponsor of Oxfam Trailwalker events. They take place in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Japan, India, Canada, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
Rather than hand-outs, Oxfam Australia gives people in 28 countries a hand-up so that they have the tools to live free from poverty long into the future.
To donate or track teams over the weekend visit www.trailwalker.oxfam.org.au/melbourne
Picture opportunities of the teams starting their 100km journey are available from 6:30 – 10am on Friday April 20 at the starting line near Jells Park Conference centre. Picture opportunities of teams crossing the 100km finish line are available from 9am Saturday April 21 at Wesburn Park, Wesburn.
To arrange interviews with teams and Oxfam spokespeople or images of the event, please contact Oxfam Australia Media Coordinator Sunita Bose on 0407 555 960.