Redfern Evo’s Survive Oxfam Trail Walker 2018

Annabel inspired, motivated and lead herself and 11 of her Redfern Evo members to tackle the mammoth Oxfam Trail Walker this year. She got her clients to commit, sign up and start their team training 4 months ago and she can safely say 2 weeks post walk they are all still training with her down at the park. Although an extremely challenging and at times gruelling experience for all walkers, true friends were formed and stronger bonds have been made, connections and memories shared that will last a lifetime. Thankfully no lost limbs, just some nasty looking feet to prove this mental and physical FEAT! As a community in Redfern, we raised over $13,000 for Oxfam to show our support and contribution to developing countries across the world. Along the way we reflected and remembered how grateful we are to live in such luxury and have everything accessible and at our fingertips, including our support crews who brought us food, water, love and warmth along the great walk!! I want to acknowledge Mike Britton who passed along our Evolution YouMoveMe donation for this block to also help support our fundraising for Oxfam and to acknowledge that effort we had made to give back and bring awareness to others less fortunate in our world. if you want to be a part of something like this, you know who to call for 2019!! 

 

Read about some of my clients experiences below, let them inspire you!

50km Talking Walking Evo’s recount their experience below. Team members included Steph, Shane, Andrew and Jenna! 

Oxfam may have us officially listed as the Talking Walking Evo’s, but as we walked over 200km in training for the event, we found a new identity. In scrambling across rough terrain and balancing on the hillside rocks, we became known as the Mountain Goats. On the big day, we walked 50km in just under 17 hours and raised $4565 (97% of our target) for the Health, Education, Science & Technology money pot. The Mountain Goats may walk again next year, who knows. You get to see so much more of New South Wales by foot, we live in a beautiful place. Just remember whose land you are walking on.

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Andrew aged 61 was a part of my 100km team ‘100km of Evolution’ along with Aruna and Wah. Read a recount from my dad ‘Andy’ below.

In March of this year, my daughter Annabel challenged me to train for and participate with her team of four in the Oxfam 100km Trail-walker event in Sydney held in late August each year. Her aim to get me off the water and out of my comfort zone! I had never done anything like this before. 

This event is well known internationally and has been held each year in Australia for about thirty years. It is no longer run in Adelaide.  The aim is to complete the course and finish as a team by walking continuously over varying degrees of terrain difficulty from the start on the Hawkesbury River to the finish at Manly on Sydney Harbour and in so doing raising valuable money for Oxfam’s humanitarian work in developing countries. Annabel owns and runs a fitness business in Sydney and set this goal for 11 of her gym clients, two of whom took up the challenge and made up our team of four.

This is a significant endurance event and requires a lot of time on feet to prepare both physically and mentally for this course. I began preparation in May increasing length and difficulty of walks each weekend and did a specific three times per week gym program to assist with core strength and endurance. My longest walk in Adelaide a Sunday stroll from Outer Harbour to Hallet Cove. ( about 40km) In addition once a month I trained on the course with my team in Sydney and did a 12 hour overnight continuous walk a few weeks before the event. My secret weapon no alcohol for four weeks prior to the event which undoubtedly also assisted with me dropping a few kilos in weight! A key part of this event is organising a strong and prepared support crew to meet your team at the seven checkpoints day and night along the way to provide food, first aid, change of clothes, motivation and morale. This task fell to family and friends and they were critical to getting us all home.

The course follows the “great north walk” through the Kuring-Gai and Garigal national parks near the Pittwater north of Sydney with spectacular scenery over both land and water and winds its way through Middle Harbour to the Spit Bridge then on to Tania Park near Manly. The event organisers along with an army of happy helpful volunteers do a brilliant job of marking the trail and supporting the walkers. Plenty of boats and anchorages seen towards the end made a pleasant distraction for me from the pain of swollen feet and depleted quads that marked every step of the last 10k of this walk!

Our team of four crossed the finish line together at a gentle jog,  33 hours and 12 minutes after our start the day before. This time included stops of about 20 minutes at each of the seven checkpoints. We did not stop for sleeping. Only about half of the 300 teams that entered finished as a team of four, and we came in around 75th of the 150 teams who did finish as a four. The result less important than our agreed goals which were to participate, while helping each other along the way if needed in order to finish as a team, to raise money for Oxfam and to enjoy the experience! Am pleased to report that all those boxes were ticked, even now after a few days of reflection I can say it was a life experience worthy of the training, effort, pain and the Oxfam goal of fundraising for a worthy cause.

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