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We Did It! 100km in 29 hours

AUSTRALIA | Monday, 1 September 2008 | Views [1295]

World Nomads Trailwalking team has completed 100km in the Oxfam Trailwalker in 29 hours, 39 minutes! The 4 of us (Ben, Sue, Kat and Carole) powered through the night, all the way from the Hawkesbury River back to Sydney without sleep, harbouring blistered feet and pulled muscles to make it just under our 30 hour goal.

Sharing the trail with 100s of other teams, it was an amazing vibe. Despite the slow start, we wound our way up and down the hills covering the first three hardest sections of the trail in just over 6 hours.

As darkness fell, we strode out through the bush, making up time, overtaking other teams and enjoying the pace. Dropping from 176 down to just under 130th overnight, we were on a roll, but the miles were taking their toll on our feet and the mood turned sombre from sleep deprivation.

The hours melded into single steps illuminated by our head torches. The non-descript bush around us was speckled with white lamps following one behind the other, like a winding, fairy-lit snake.

At times, our team was split by anonymous bodies walking in the dark – all on the same mission, walking without words. The reflective markers became our only confirmation we were on track, and at times a welcome sight in the dark when you were out in front picking the trail with no-one to follow.

On autopilot, in our own worlds, the hours passed - another rock or tree trunk to step over with numb feet – hoping that the next check point was “not far” and actually around the next corner (and not up that hill).

Dawn was special. The kookaburras brought up the sun and the trail opened up to give us some reprieve as we hit the 75 km mark (our half way). Celebrations at the checkpoint turned to pain, as we lingered a little long in the cold morning and overworked muscles seized up.

The next 7 km were personally the most painful – every step just made the final 25k’s seem twice as far. However, with encouraging words and the help of our fabulous support crew, who clothed us, made us tea and gingerly watched as we tended our plastered feet, we were able to keep going, limping the final k’s through the 'burbs, across beaches, hills and the dreaded staircases all the way to Georges Heights and the finish line.

To our team….Nomads – congratulations – thank you for committing to this challenge, to sticking together and keeping it together. May your blisters on blisters subside soon.

To our support crew….an enormous thank you is not thanks enough. To stay up all night, to tend to us, to feed and water us and allow us to be cranky, grumpy, dopey and gumby (and possibly other more unsavoury versions which we don’t remember) -- you are truly wonderful. We really appreciate your efforts, even if we fell asleep and drooled in your cars on the way home and forgot to thank you when it counted the most…. So thank you, all the way from the bottom of our blistered toes !

Anyone up for next year?

THE STATS: 4 team members completed 100km overnight from the Hawkesbury River starting at 8.30am Friday 29 August to Sydney Harbour/Georges Heights arriving at 2.09pm Saturday 30 August.

189th overall (out of 516 teams); 77th mixed team; 108th team of 4 to finish; 5th in our category (retail, tourism, hospitality and recruitment).

Tags: oxfam, sanchez, trailwalker, walking, world nomads


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