More than 2,800 people committed to trekking the 100km Oxfam Trailwalker Melbourne event for 2019 are setting off on the adventure of a lifetime this morning.
Oxfam Trailwalker raises money for Oxfam’s work tackling poverty and inequality around the world and, to celebrate the event entering its third decade in Australia this year, Oxfam launched a new trail.
The new 100km trail – the equivalent of the distance between Melbourne’s CBD and Ballarat – starts in Melbourne’s outer east at Lysterfield Lake, Lysterfield Park, climbs up and over Mt Dandenong and then winds its way through Melbourne’s eastern suburbs before finishing in Fairfield.
Oxfam Trailwalker spokeswoman Anna Wemyss said that about 700 teams of four would take their first steps on the trail at the Lysterfield Lake start line over five start times from 7am.
“The teams, excited to take on the new 100km trail and to raise money for people in poverty around the world, will set foot on a largely unfamiliar path this morning that will test their perseverance through all kinds of weather, fatigue and physical and mental challenges,” Ms Wemyss said.
“Oxfam Trailwalker is a true team event that doesn’t just bring out the camaraderie on the trail, but also off the trail. The Trailwalker community is tightknit in Melbourne, including hundreds of dedicated volunteers and support crews, who have come together again and again over the past two decades, through good and bad times, supporting each other.”
For one team taking part this year who call themselves The Twisted Sisters, this wider support has come at a time when they need it most.
“We’ve been blown away by the support,” she said. “Mum would want us to walk.”
Ms Wemyss said it was thanks to a strong team spirit among the Trailwalker community that came together at times like this that Melbourne teams had so far raised $2 million for the 2019 event.
“Since its inception, Oxfam Trailwalker Melbourne participants have raised more than $40 million to Oxfam’s work tackling poverty around the world and we thank the community for its generosity.”