The last weary but determined Oxfam Trailwalker team crossed the finish line at 9am this morning after walking 100km in just under 49 hours.
More than 530 teams – about 2,150 people – took part over the weekend, wrapping up a stellar event in Sydney in what marks the 20thanniversary of Oxfam Trailwalker launching in Australia.
Oxfam Trailwalker is a fundraising endurance challenge where teams of four walk either 100km in 48 hours or 50km in 24 hours to raise money for Oxfam’s work tackling poverty in communities around the world.
Each team must raise a minimum of $1,600 to take part and Sydney teams have so far raised almost $2 million. The average amount raised per team this year was $3,500.
Oxfam Trailwalker started in 1981 in Hong Kong as a training exercise for the elite Queen’s Gurka Signals Regiment before it was transformed into a charity event and brought over to Australia.
David Lowes of Team Millfield Wines 2019participated in the very first event in Sydney 20 years ago and was back on the trail again this year with two of his original 1999 team mates and one of his sons. They finished the event in 12.5 hours.
And if walking 100km in 26 hours is not enough, super mum Sally Redpath of Team Macready Mobstersstopped to breastfeed her twins at every checkpoint along the way.
Another superstar walker, Paralympian and wheelchair basketball legend Troy Sachs, completed the 100km trail in an incredible 24 hours and 41 minutes – all while wearing his prosthetic leg.
Mr Sachs took part for the first time in 2018, and this time around, his team shaved five hours off their finish time. Speaking at the start line on Friday morning, Mr Sachs said:
“The hardest part is walking early in the morning at 5am. Last year we did 29 hours and this year we’re aiming for 24, by taking shorter rests. I’ve got a new leg this time so we’re feeling good.”
The fastest team on the trail this year was team The Niggles, who ran the 100km trail in just 17 hours and 41 minutes.
Oxfam Trailwalker spokesperson Anna Wemyss gave a special shout out to the highest fundraisers.
“The team topping the fundraising leader board is called You Can Call Me Al, and they’ve so far raised more than $27,000 and counting, which is absolutely outstanding,” she said.
“All of our teams deserve an enormous pat on the back. Their efforts have contributed millions of dollars towards the life-changing work Oxfam does around the world and we are so grateful.”
Each year, Oxfam Trailwalker takes place in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, raising millions of dollars to empower people to lift themselves out of poverty.
More than 500 people volunteered their time over the weekend to ensure the event ran smoothly.