Oxfam Trailwalker participants are all set to take off from Parsley Bay, Brooklyn at 7am this morning to walk 100km over the weekend.
Teams of four will walk or run 100km in 48 hours or less to raise funds for Oxfam’s work tackling global poverty.
For the first time this year, Sydney teams are also taking part in a half-distance option with the inaugural 50km trail starting at Bobbin Head on Saturday morning. From Bobbin Head, both the 100km and 50km events will follow the same trail, finishing up at Tania Park.
Channel 7 Sunrise reporter Edwina Bartholomew and her sister Meg are each captaining two teams in the new 50km Sydney event.
Oxfam Australia’s Event Fundraising Manager Anna Wemyss said the Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney event had broken records this year for selling out early and raising the most funds year-on-year since it launched in 1999.
“Seven hundred Sydney teams are registered, and they have so far raised an incredible $2.5 million and counting” Ms Wemyss said.
There is no shortage of remarkable teams taking part this year, including Redfern local and Paralympian Michelle Rzepecki, and team One more for the road, comprised of local Ashfield father, Mark Higgins, who is doing his 15th Oxfam Trailwalker. Mr Higgins’ then four year-old daughter Katie cheered him on from the sidelines at his first event, and now at age 22, she is tackling the 100km trail with her dad.
Two teams are each vying to be the fastest. The Urban Challenge and Suburban Superheroes will take off from the start line at 7am today and predict they will run the 100km trail in 15 hours. The average time to complete the 100km is about 32 hours.
A team called Electric Dreams made up of four siblings from the Inner West region are at the top of the fundraising leader board, having so far raised more than $67,000 – well above their $50,000 target. Teams must raise $1,400 to participate.
“The efforts of Sydney teams this year are outstanding, we’ve been so blown away by their hard work and enthusiasm,” Ms Wemyss said. “With the inaugural 50km event, this is our biggest Sydney event on record and we know the millions raised will go a long way in supporting Oxfam’s lifesaving work.”
Each year, Oxfam Trailwalker takes place in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth, raising millions of dollars to empower people to lift themselves out of poverty. The event is a huge logistical operation, and more than 500 Sydney volunteers are generously donating their time. Teams will be supported by more than 2,000 support crew members – family and friends who often camp out to supply extra Band-Aids, food, water, hugs and anything else to help their loved ones get through the experience of a lifetime.
For interviews, photos or more information, please contact Megan Giles on 0433 028 567 or 0428 029 302 or email@example.com
To see how the teams are tracking and to make a donation check out the website here.
To donate to Edwina Bartholomew’s team click here.
To donate to Michelle Rzepecki’s team click here.
To donate to Mark Higgins’ team click here.
To donate to The Urban Challenge click here.
To donate to Suburban Superheroes click here.
To donate to Electric Dreams click here.
Featured image: Keith Parsons/OxfamAU