Oxfam Trailwalker kicks off bright and early at 6.30am this morning, with teams poised to take on the endurance challenge of a lifetime.
Teams of four will walk or run 100km in 48 hours or less while raising funds for Oxfam’s work tackling poverty in communities around the world.
This year will see a stellar line-up of participants, from Neighbours actor Rob ‘Millsy’ Mills; ultra-marathoner Samantha Gash; inspirational breast cancer survivor Kym Sciore; Gunditjmara grandmother and Aboriginal health advocate Julie Phillips; and Chair of both the Deloitte Foundation and the Oxfam Australia Board, 70-year-old Dennis Goldner, who will be walking his 20th and final Trailwalker.
Representing Victorian coppers, 32 policemen and women from across the state will be taking on the trail too.
Team 456 – Dog Day Afternoon plan to be the fastest team again this year, with a start time of 6.30am and a planned finish time of 5pm. This would mean the team finishes the 100km in under 11 hours; the average time to complete the event is 30 hours.
“The event is for such a great cause, and the funds raised make such a valuable contribution to Oxfam’s development programs,” said Balwyn resident David Overend from Dog Day Afternoon.
“The team aspect of training is a lot of fun and the event itself is an incredibly uplifting experience.”
The team topping the fundraising leaderboard is Happiness Hunters, representing Richmond hospitality company the Big Group, who have raised more than $18,000 of their $20,000 target.
Each team must raise at least $1400 in order to participate, with the average amount raised being $3500. Melbourne teams have raised nearly $2 million this year.
Blairgowrie man Maxim Wood, at 79 years young, is the oldest participant in the Melbourne event and he’ll be strapping on the walking shoes for his tenth Trailwalker, with his son Miguel and their two teammates.
Oxfam Trailwalker takes place annually in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. Last year, $6 million was raised nation-wide and more than $70 million has been raised in Australia since the event started in 1999.
The 100km trail starts at Jells Park, Wheelers Hill, winding through the beautiful, dense forests of the Dandenong and Yarra Valley Ranges, before finishing up at Wesburn Park.
The first start time is 6.30am, with subsequent start times at 7.30am, 8.30am and 9.30am.
Some teams choose to bring gear and sleep along the trail, while others choose the strategy of walking the whole way through. Each team is supported by their own dedicated support crew, who provide food, Band-Aids, hugs and whatever else teams need to carry on walking.
For interviews or more information, please contact Megan Giles on 0433 028 567 or 0428 029 302 or firstname.lastname@example.org