Geoplexers Adam, Brett, Chris, and Rob participated in the 100km (101.6 actually but who’s counting!) Sydney Trailwalker through tough terrain north of Sydney last weekend to raise money for Oxfam Australia. The Oxfam Trailwalker is a gruelling event that sees around 550 teams take 30 hours on average, to walk 100km from the Hawkesbury River across the steep and rugged terrain of the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, and green spaces in the north of Sydney, to the finish line beside the Sydney Harbour National Park near Mosman.
Training for our team of 30 somethings began a few months ago with short walks in the bush Capital. We found ourselves striding up the steep walking tracks in Canberra and running down the other side because walking felt really wrong in our aging hips and hammies. Worry started to set in. As the event drew near, the training walks increased in length, speed, and intensity until blistered feet became common. After a slow start, fund raising also kicked into gear with Chris recruiting the best in the field to host a very entertaining trivia night. A half dozen or so training walks down, we finished with a comfortable trek up Mount Tennant and felt great – we were ready!
Weather on the Trailwalker day was perfect – sunny, 18 degrees, with a breeze to whip away the sweat that was pouring out as we scrambled up the hills. The trail was generally long stretches of single file tracks that went either up or down hills and over rocky obstacles. We were never going to keep pace with the runners (the winning team finished in 12 hours 18 minutes) but we were keen to keep ahead of the masses to avoid delays at the many bottlenecks the course throws up.
We tick-tacked with a team of young-bull cross-fit trainers for the first 30km. They ran past us on the flat ground and we ran past them on the downhills. Come night, the running stopped and we were well ahead of schedule – 60km down after 12 hours. Fatigue catches up with you though and the going was tough.
We were all feeling tired and Chris was feeling ill. For 30km Chris struggled on, worrying us all by his lack of appetite and then, just before dawn, he came good. We finished the last 11km in daylight to cross the line after just 24 hours 13 minutes – a full team of very happy, very tired, and very sore Trailwalkers. And for the record, only one of the cross-fit guys finished – 3 hours after us!
Some interesting stats from the walk. Only 45% of teams finished with all their team members within the 48 hours. The average time to complete the 100km: 29 hrs 15 mins. 1645 (76%) walkers finished.
We’d like to thank all who have generously donated to our team, and everyone who participated in the trivia night fundraiser. You all helped us smash our donation target. At last count we were over $7000 and lead the IT and Telecommunications Category.