Oxfam’s 11th Melbourne Trailwalker starts with 3000 people taking on 100km charity challenge

News, Oxfam Trailwalker article written on the 19 Apr 2013

Melbourne’s 11th Trailwalker event will get underway this morning, with the first gutsy walkers set to tackle the 100km trail from 7am.

Today, 750 teams of four will walk or run 100km of rugged Victorian bush from Jells Park in Wheelers Hill to Wesburn Park, through the Dandenong Valley Parklands to the Yarra Ranges. This morning the teams will set off in three waves at 7am, 8.30am and 10am.

Oxfam Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke said all the participants had shown determination and drive to get them to the start line.

“Walking 100km is no easy feat and it takes months of planning and dedication to get to this point,” she said.

“Of course, none of this is possible without the unsung heroes, the support crews, and our eager and enthusiastic volunteers and staff who will be helping our Trailwalkers every step of the way.

“This year’s teams have also constantly amazed us with their ingenious ways to raise funds that enable the life-saving work Oxfam does to transform people’s lives and provide pathways out of poverty and injustice.”

To take part in Trailwalker Melbourne, each team must fundraise a minimum of $1000, with the aim of raising $3 million overall.

The fastest teams are expected at the finish line at Wesburn Park as early as 5pm tonight, however most will take around 28 hours to finish and are expected to cross the finish line between 7am and 2pm tomorrow.

Throughout the weekend more than 800 volunteers will help run the massive event, while another 3000 people will act as support crews for each team, providing them with food and supplies.

Wheelchair participant Bruce Towers of Queenscliff, will today become the world’s first person to tackle the trail in a specially modified wheelchair helped by his Parks Victoria teammates. (8.30am start)

Trailwalker Melbourne’s own ‘biggest loser’ Peter Dean, 28, of Olinda, has lost almost 85kg to take part in his first ever Trailwalker today, after radically overhauling his diet and exercise regime. (10am start)

Photo and filming opportunities

Teams are available from 6.30 to 10am this morning at the starting line near Jells Park Conference centre.

Teams crossing the 100km finish line are available from 9am Saturday April 20 at Wesburn Park, Wesburn.

To arrange interviews or for more information contact Oxfam Australia Media Coordinator

Anne Wright on 0411 035 695.