A team of women runners were the first team to cross the finish line at the Oxfam Trailwalker Melbourne 100km event this weekend.
Team These Girls Can were the fastest team in the Oxfam Trailwalker Melbourne 100km event for 2019, having started at 7am on Friday and crossing the finish line 11 hours and 20 minutes later at 6.20pm.
Oxfam Trailwalker is a fundraising endurance challenge where teams of four walk or run 100km to raise money to help tackle global poverty.
This year is the 20th anniversary of Oxfam Trailwalker in Australia and to celebrate, Oxfam Australia launched a new trail for Melbourne for 2019.
About 677 teams of four set out from Lysterfield Park in five waves from 7am on Friday 29 March on a trail that snaked its way over Mt Dandenong and through Melbourne’s eastern suburbs before ending close to the CBD in Fairfield.
These Girls Canteam leader Lucy Bartholomew, a world-renowned ultra-marathon runner, said while the team had to start with three after a fourth dropped out from injury, they were thrilled to have completed the event together.
“We’ve competed against each other in the past, but never run together as a team before and we didn’t know each other all that well,” Ms Bartholomew said.
“But we just talked the whole way, and after just over 11 hours on the trail, we know each other a lot better now.”
Part of the new trail was also nostalgic for Ms Bartholomew, who as a Diamond Creek resident had grown up training along some of the paths towards the city end of the 100km path.
“I enjoyed showing the team some of the running tracks from my youth,” she said.
The first team to finish as a team of four and second across the finish line was Milers B Team, who finished at about 6.30pm on Friday night, clocking 11 hours 28 minutes on the trail.
Oxfam Trailwalker spokesperson Adam Walsh said of the 677 teams that started, an impressive 634 teams reached the finish line after battling the elements including wet and windy weather.
“This year, every participant who finished the 100km event received a medal to celebrate their achievement in the 20th anniversary year of Oxfam Trailwalker in Australia,” he said.
“We’d like to thank all participants, supporters and volunteers for the tremendous effort and enthusiasm they brought to Oxfam Trailwalker Melbourne 2019.
“Together you’ve helped raise more than $2.4 million for Oxfam’s work empowering communities to tackle poverty around the world.”