More than 1,000 Queensland walkers are all set to take their first steps in the annual Oxfam Trailwalker Brisbane 2018, Australia’s largest charity fundraiser walk, which raises money to help alleviate poverty.
About 250 teams of four have committed to completing the 2018 event, with about 140 teams in the 100km, 48-hour event departing in two waves this morning from Mount Glorious at 7am and 8.30am.
A further 110 teams signed up for the 55km, 24-hr event and will set out from Lake Manchester tomorrow, Saturday 23 June, at 7am.
Oxfam Australia’s Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke, who was at Mount Glorious this morning to cheer on the teams, said many walkers would be kicking goals simply by taking their spot at the start line.
“Hundreds of inspiring individuals will be setting off on the right foot this morning knowing they are not only fulfilling personal challenge dreams and goals, but helping to raise vital, life-changing funds that will help Oxfam tackle poverty around the world,” she said.
“So far, the teams have helped to raise more than $600,000 and are well on their way to reaching the goal of $1 million that will go towards helping people out of poverty around the world.
“Each year we rightly celebrate the tenacious teams that finish Oxfam Trailwalker – often in record times – yet the event is about more than finishing fast, good teamwork is vital.
“Having completed the 100km Trailwalker event myself a few years ago, I know it takes the unwavering support of teammates and a support crew, not to mention the hundreds of dedicated volunteers and dozens of Oxfam staff who continue to make this spirited event possible year in, year out.
“It’s fantastic to welcome return participants to Trailwalker Brisbane this year, as well as its new participants, some of whom have flown in from all over the country and the world just to take part.”
One team of Trailwalker Brisbane newcomers, team YTOB, are also this year’s highest fundraising team, having raised a massive $27,000 so far ahead of their 100km walk.
YTOB team leader and Yeppoon resident Cameron Wright said the team, four mates who met at boarding school years back but who are now all in their 40s, were overwhelmed with the amount of support they had received. The team originally had a goal of just over $3,000 but went much higher.
“None of us ever expected the support we have got. We’re absolutely gobsmacked,” he said.
“Coming together to do this has really re-acquainted us. Kids and jobs take you to different places. We love talking to each other, training and reaching goals, and Oxfam has made raising the money easy.”
Cameron said he hoped doing Trailwalker was an opportunity to show others it was possible to give it a go and to do the event in their own way, even if it meant taking longer to complete the trail.
“You don’t have to go straight through, you could get a gang and do it over two days. It doesn’t just have to be this merciless thing, you’re still raising money for a good cause.”
PICTURE OPPORTUNITIES: Photos of teams starting their 100km are available from 6.30am to 8.30am today at Maiala Picnic Grounds at Mount Glorious and the 55km on Saturday at Lake Manchester from 7am.
For interviews or more information, please contact Renee Thompson on 0418 873 782 or firstname.lastname@example.org