Sydney’s stunning bushlands set the scene for a record-breaking trek this weekend, raising millions to help Oxfam tackle global poverty.
The last weary but smiling Oxfam Trailwalker participants crossed the finish line just before 10am this morning at Tania Park, capping off the event’s most successful ever year in Sydney.
The first team to finish, Suburban Superheroes, completed the 100km trail in 18 hours and 4 minutes and were greeted in the very wee hours of Saturday morning by family and friends.
Oxfam Trailwalker is a fundraising endurance challenge where teams of four walk 100km in 48 hours or less. This year, Oxfam launched its inaugural 50km trail in Sydney, allowing Sydney teams to participate in a half-distance option, with 24 hours to complete it.
The launch of the 50km trail contributed to Trailwalker selling out at its earliest ever date and raising the most funds year-on-year since first starting in Sydney in 1999.
Sydney teams have raised more than $2.7 million, with one team alone, Electric Dreams, made up of four siblings from the Moroney family, raising more than $71,000.
The 100km trail started at Parsley Bay, Brooklyn, while the 50km trail started 24 hours later at Bobbin Head picnic grounds, the halfway point, with both events then following the same trail, finishing up at Tania Park.
Many had remarked on Sydney’s beautiful natural surroundings, including Channel 7 Sunrise reporter Edwina Bartholomew. Ms Bartholomew and her sister Meg each captained two teams, Strong as an Ox-fam and Stronger than an Ox-fam, in the inaugural 50km event. She said she enjoyed training on walks around Sydney in the lead-up to the big day.
“For me the highlight was seeing parts of Sydney I never knew existed,” Ms. Bartholomew said. “That was beautiful. I’ve lived in this city most of my life and had never done those walks before so that was really quite incredible.”
Twenty-eight year old Newtown local, Christina Kaepplinger from team OxDAMN this is hard, had a special reason to relish her training walks. Ms Kaepplinger is a cancer survivor, finishing her chemotherapy in February. She and three friends banded together to tackle the 100km trek, finishing it in an impressive 32 hours and raising more than $10,000.
“When we hike, I like to think back to the time I wasn’t able to walk at all; this makes climbing up those rocky hills feel a lot easier,” Ms. Kaepplinger said.
Seven hundred Sydney teams were registered, 500 volunteers donated their team and more than 2,000 support crew were on hand.
The youngest walker was 18, the oldest was 70 and the average age was 38 years old. The average time to complete the 100km was 32 hours, and 14 hours for the 50km.
It’s not too late to donate. Donate to your favourite team or search any listed above by clicking here.
For event and team photos, interviews or more information, please contact Oxfam Australia Media Coordinator Megan Giles on 0433 028 567 or firstname.lastname@example.org