The first participants of Trailwalker Perth finished the 100km event in just 10 hour 49 minutes last night, setting an impressive record for the inaugural event.
Team 456’s Holiday Xperience were first across the finish line at Perth’s tough new charity challenge on Friday, with team member David Overend creating a new record for completing all events in a year.
Mr Overend ran all four of this year’s 100km events – in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and now Perth – in a cumulative time of 48 hours and 56 mins, just shy of his 48 hour goal.
“Absolutely we had a plan to do all four events in 48 hours and finish as a team of four, but we are so pleased to have achieved what we have.”
“I’m really pleased our fundraising has been so successful because that is what this is all about. We had a target of $10,000 and we just hit $20,000 today which is fantastic.”
Due to injuries, the original four team members in the group’s national challenge alternated with other runners, introducing their only female team member Jodie Oborne, 42, who recently moved to Brisbane from Perth.
She was a member of the Australian World Championship squad for the ultramarathon event before it was cancelled this year, enabling her to come home to Perth for its first Trailwalker event.
Over the past year, teammate David Wilson ran in four events, Shane Lawley and Steve Whitehead and Justin Garrett ran in two, and Paul Cuthbert ran in the Sydney Trailwalker two months ago.
Mr Overend, a Trailwalker veteran of eight events, said he would continue to be involved and had his eye on next year’s Brisbane and Sydney Trailwalkers.
“I love Trailwalker events but doing four in a year was a once off. It’s been brilliant though. We have had 25 corporate sponsors get on board, and our families and friends have been so supportive.”
Oxfam Australia Acting Chief Executive Tony McKimmie said all of the walkers should be proud of their achievements, and congratulated Mr Overend for completing all four Trailwalker events in such an impressive time.
“This is no easy feat, the teams have pushed themselves to the extreme to raise awareness and money for Oxfam’s work helping people living in poverty,” he said.
“Not only finishing all four events in less than 49 hours combined, the team also raised $20,000 which will make a huge difference to some of the world’s poorest communities.”
And, while the hard work is over for Team 456’s Holiday Xperience, more than 300 trailwalker teams are still on the trail overnight, with the majority expected to finish on Saturday afternoon.
This weekend, 390 teams of four are running and walking 100km of rugged Western Australian bush from Maida Vale to Chidlow, raising more than $1.3 million for Oxfam.