For decades charity group Oxfam has been fighting global poverty. To do this amazing work they run many fundraising events; one of the most notable being the Oxfam Trailwalker, where teams of four walk 100km in under 48 hours.
It's a gruelling, challenging event where commitment, self-belief and most importantly teamwork are the traits you need to be successful.
The next two Oxfam Trailwalkers in Australia are in Sydney (3-5 September) and Melbourne (8-10 October) and we have a special offer to Great Walks readers. Use the promo code GREATWALKS100 at check-out by 31 July and save $100 on your registration fee! More info click here.
And what's Oxfam Trailwalker like to do? We asked two past Trailwalker entrants what they thought and experienced.
Amanda B: “As Oxfam Trailwalker first-timers, it didn't matter how much training we'd done, or how many blister strapping YouTube clips we'd watched, one big very unanswered question remained: are we actually capable of walking 100km?
There were plenty of other questions too: how will my feet feel after the first 60 or 70km? (A bit numb, as it turns out). What will be my biggest challenge on the walk? (Nausea – luckily only for an hour or so). And at what time will it strike? (About 3am).
Looking back, I now understand why Trailwalker is a team event. The team structure provides momentum – when you're feeling weak, the others are strong – and this carries you along like a stream.
There are some other key things that helped propel us from checkpoint to checkpoint – our fantastic support team, who worked around the clock to provide fuel, foot massages and fresh energy.
The change of day into night – and then night into day – and then day into night again – gave a psychological boost, and the fact that we'd done heaps of hill training and we knew the track inside-out also proved to be a massive advantage.
Oxfam Trailwalker offered me a unique opportunity to push my body and my mind to the brink, and walking across that finish line – well that was just indescribable.”
Lindy H: "This was by far the most physically challenging adventure I have ever undertaken; it was everything I imagined it would be as I prepared for it in the training build up and so much more. I knew I would hurt but at no point did I ever think of giving up though, and I knew every member of the team was fighting their own battles but staying completely committed to the journey.
And there is something incredibly uplifting about overcoming adversity in your darkest hour and coming out the other side with the mental strength to keep moving when your body is asking you why. Repeatedly and unrelentingly. There were many times on the track when I had to remind myself that what we were doing had a higher collective purpose than our personal goals, that every step we were taking was a step closer to making a difference in the lives of people who have endured so much more hardship than we were at that time on the trail.
There were other moments when I just indulged my emotions, let a few tears leak out and a few selfish thoughts creep in. And that's where our support crew was so amazing. They read us all so well, gathered us into their welcoming fold as we arrived at each checkpoint, revived and restored us and gave us the will and energy to get to the next point.
In retrospect, what I enjoyed most was the many hours of training on the beautiful nature trails, working towards the goal as a team and knowing that when we set out we were fully prepared. It was exhausting. It was exhilarating. That we crossed the finish line together as a team of four was one of the proudest moments of my life."