Preparations for this month’s Oxfam Trailwalker Melbourne 100km event are in full swing, with hundreds of enthusiastic Trailwalker teams from across Victoria and beyond getting ready to dust their boots off ahead of an exciting new trail for 2019.
Oxfam Trailwalker is one of the country’s largest charity walks and raises funds to tackle poverty and inequality around the world. This year is the 20th year of Trailwalker in Australia, and to coincide with the anniversary, Oxfam is launching a new 100km Melbourne trail.
Almost 2,900 people, about 720 teams of four, have signed up to walk or run the new trail, which will see them depart Lysterfield Lake in Lysterfield Park at staggered times from 7am on Friday 29 March.
After Lysterfield Park, the trail will climb over Mt Dandenong before winding through Melbourne’s leafy eastern suburbs en route to the 100km finish line in Fairfield – just a stone’s throw from the CBD.
Oxfam Trailwalker spokesperson Anna Wemyss said there was much to celebrate, with the anniversary and different Melbourne trail this year attracting an inspiring cohort of new and returning participants.
“The 20th anniversary of Trailwalker in Australia this year is a chance to reflect on what the event has done to help Oxfam’s work tackling poverty around the world over the past two decades, as well as an opportunity to look at what the event means to walkers, volunteers and supporters,” she said.
“It’s incredible to think Trailwalker Melbourne has raised $40 million for people in poverty in that time – that’s of a total of just more than $100 million raised by Trailwalker in Australia since it began.
“Melbourne teams have already raised more than $1 million towards the 2019 event’s overall $2.6 million fundraising goal, which is a remarkable effort.
“On the final weekend in March we will celebrate such achievements with all Melbourne participants, including some who took part in the first few Trailwalkers to be held in Australia.”
Among those will be Heidelberg Heights resident John Scroggie, from team Trek Long and Prosper, who has completed every Melbourne Trailwalker event since its inception.
“I recall the first trail was from Ferny Creek to Marysville, and there was just one start time,” Mr Scroggie said.
“The first year the team I joined had been a person down, I was brought in a few weeks before and hadn’t done much training – I got bad blisters. But I looked at it as a community event that helps raise funds for those less fortunate, and a chance to get fit.”
Mr Scroggie said he was looking forward to taking on the new Melbourne trail with a new team, and the fact the trail was finishing much closer to home.
“I could almost get the train home from Fairfield to Rosanna when I’m done,” he said.