By Melissa Moyle
The 2015 Oxfam Trailwalker was a rollercoaster of pain, sweat and triumph in an event which is designed to test your limits for the sake of a good cause.
The annual walk took place in the Perth hills last weekend from October 9-11.
Beginning in Darlington, the trailwalkers were put through a loop of rough terrain and hot weather in the 48-hour time limit and finished in Lesmurdie.
Nearly $1 million dollars were raised by just under 400 teams of participants.
The event offered two distances of 50km or 100km to help raise money for education, clean drinking water, human rights and improved culinary skills for the less fortunate.
Perth’s spring weather added to the pain for charity walkers, with temperatures even reaching 35 degrees on Friday.
Geraldine Rey, a Perth digital marketing consultant, said the heat on Friday was a huge challenge for her team Happy Freo Feet.
“We were very exhausted and had lots of blisters by section two. We trained a lot in the lead up but we still really struggled with the heat, especially on Friday,” she said.
Geraldine’s team of four friends helped raise $3,860 for the cause.
Russell Barton, a Perth based photographer whose team The Axis of Ignorance walked the 100km distance, said their preparation was key to their team’s success of also having all four participants finish the walk.
The Axis of Ignorance completed the walk in 30 hours and raised $1,545 for Oxfam.
Russell said their fitness helped the members both mentally and physically, attributing their six month preparation to the great result.
“During the week we would train at the Kokoda track in Kings Park and on the weekends we would go to the hills. It is very rare for a team of four to complete it without anyone dropping out. Most groups had people who did not finish,” he said.
Russell also caught the attention of other participants for his decision to wear sandals instead of sneakers on the track.
Many other walkers were shocked by Russell’s decision, but the gamble appears to have paid off.
“I walk better in sandals than boots and I ended up with no blisters, unlike my teammates,” he said.
Donations to Oxfam can still be made until October 30.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/QTxqNY-LYpY – link to the official Oxfam trailwalker video clip.