OXFAM TRAILWALKER BRISBANE
I’m writing this deliriously happy but with quite sore feet. That’s because last weekend we walked 55km in Oxfam’s Trailwalker challenge, raising funds to help fight global poverty.
We walked from Lake Manchester all the way to Mt Cootha. We tackled creek crossings, some very muddy tracks and lots and lots of hills, finishing just after 1-30am!
It was an incredible experience – so many highs and good times shared with some of my oldest friends.
And I’m so proud of our team. Of all the 55km participants only 65% finished with all 4 walkers.
Here’s my picture re-cap of our day –
After our 5am taxi ride to the start line, here we are bright and early at Lake Manchester, ready to go.
I even got a short black at the start line, thanks to the amazing coffee vendors who came all the way to Lake Manchester.
This was our no one gets left behind pact moment.
The one-minute to walking countdown!
And we’re off…
The teams were quite bunched up for the first 10kms. There was a lot of positive energy around!
We’d had quite a rainy week in Brisbane the previous week, so there was lots of very sticky clay-like mud. It was fun sliding around this part of the track.
After the rain, all the little streams were running and there were lots of creek crossings to be made. How pretty is the sunlight coming through the trees!
It was lots of fun trying to get everyone over the creeks with dry feet. A lot of camaraderie amoung the walkers here. Most of us managed to stay dry, balancing on logs and rocks, which was a bonus.
This stretch was very green and lush. It felt quite remote and peaceful.
For the second 10km, it was time to leave the pretty creeks behind and get some serious hills under our belts.
Up and up we went.
After 20km, we were very happy to reach our first bush checkpoint – Scrub Road.
We stopped for a half hour rest and re-fuel.
The next 15km were spent winding up, down and around the hills some more.
Here are some of my amazing teammates, Ms S & Ms R on the trail.
It was beautiful being out in the bush, with the wonderful eucalyptus scent around all day. There were some stunning wattle trees around too.
The last few kilometres before our next checkpoint were a real scramble over loose ground.
Here’s Archer and Ms S, making their way down a steep stretch.
Here’s Ms R, smashing out another hill –
Finally, we made it to Bellbird Grove – our second checkpoint.
My lovely parents acted as our support crew and met us at this 35km mark with this delightful picnic spread.
They brought homemade guacamole, chips and and delicious burritos (we’ll take all the carbs thanks) which they kept warm in a mini-weber. Incredible.
Their company was just the morale boost we needed.
After this point, darkness had fallen, so we set off for the final 20ks with our headlamps on.
After so many kilometres already, our pace definitely slowed.
We made our way through some fairly heavy showers around Enoggera Reservoir and to the final checkpoint at The Gap.
Time seemed to move differently at this point in the night. Parts of the trail we knew well from training took approximately 1000 times longer than normal.
This was the closest part to the city, passing through Gap Creek Reserve.
What felt like an hour or so actually turns out to have been more like 4 hours.
We spent a bit of time walking with the 100k team I’m Sweaty and you know It – they were incredible. Such good energy after such a long time without sleep, having walked about 95km at that point.
Walking the Honeyeater Trail up Mt Cootha we knew we were so close, then it was an excruciatingly long 1km downhill until we, finally, made it to the finish line!
Here’s an official snap from the end –
Special thanks to –
Ms R for her endless energy and positive spirit. And for suggesting we take part in the first place!!
To Ms S (my high-school best friend) for her endless jellybean supply, for holding my hand in the last kilometre and offering me her shoes when she knew the extent of my blisters!
To Archer for being my training buddy over many long hours in the lead up and for her iTunes account, without which we may never have downloaded Lorde’s new album (genius), or the wonderfully ridiculous Despacito remix which proved strangely helpful on those final hills.
To our support crew for fuelling our stomachs and spirits in equal, delicious measure (and for picking us up in the middle of the night).
To my beautiful friends for sending so many good trail tips in the lead up and lovely messages of encouragement throughout the day – I definitely felt the love big time.
Thanks also to the good people at Brookfarm for their superior walkabout trail mix. Pistachios, almonds and Barossa Valley muscatel grapes? Ah, yes please. Only fancy trail mix from now on.
If you’re thinking of doing trailwalker one day, I’d definitely recommend it.
So far our team have raised $2,355 to help Oxfam tackle poverty. If you’d like to donate to Oxfam via our team you can do so right here.