The first team powered across the finish line in record-breaking time at Oxfam Trailwalker Perth last night, with hundreds of walkers following in their footsteps through the scenic foothills today.
Team “4x4x24” took 12 hours and 56 minutes to complete the 100km trail, running through the finishing post in Forrestfield at 7.56pm. The team – James Alderson, Nico Beauvillian De Montreull, Peter Kingston and Peter Ryan – credited their effort to team work.
“It was one of the most difficult things I have done in my whole life – we have pulled each other through,” said Mr Ryan while flanked by his team mates at the finish line.
The four men, from Melbourne and Sydney, were among more than 450 walkers who set off from Darlington yesteray morning to take on the 100km challenge. The remaining walkers are expected to be joined on the charity trek by another 102 teams starting the 50km walk from Chidlow this morning.
Trailwalker Perth sets participants the tough task of walking the 50km and 100km routes in 48 hours while raising money for Oxfam to help fight global poverty.
This year’s Perth event has so far raised $630,000, edging the total fundraising tally over the event’s four year history in Perth towards $5 million and the national tally to more than $70 million since 1999.
Leading the fundraising is team Wise Women, which held a curry night in Mosman Park to help bolster their tally to nearly $12,500. The team resolved to take on the 100km test of endurance while relaxing at an outdoor movie, wanting an event which would make them work hard in return for their donations.
“We wanted to do something that was generous, fun and not just expecting a hand out,” team member Jackie Shervington, from Mt Claremont, said before setting off yesterday.
Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke said Trailwalker Perth was about teams coming together to support each other through the challenge, while also supporting people across the globe in their fight against poverty.
“For every step, for every aching joint, for every blister that may or may not surface, just know that it is all for a good cause,” Dr Szoke said as the teams were cheered off at the start line.
For some walkers, who hail from across Australia and as far away as Hong Kong and South Africa, the challenge is both a chance to take part in a charity event and pay a poignant tribute to loved ones.
Tyrannosaurus Treks team member Christopher Moulding, from Ashfield, was about to set off on a hike while involved in community work in Kenya 10 years ago when his father passed away unexpectedly.
“It seems very fitting 10 years on to do the same thing, while also trying to help people,” he said.
INTERVIEW AND PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: Colourful vision and interviews are available before walkers head off on the 50km route from the Chidlow Recreation Reserve at 8am this morning.
For interviews or more information, please contact Amanda Banks on 0411 449 653 or firstname.lastname@example.org