Participants in the 2018 Oxfam Trailwalker Melbourne are set to take their first steps in the 100km challenge of a lifetime today, taking in some of Victoria’s best walking trails as they raise funds to help tackle poverty around the world.
About 520 teams are taking part in the 48-hour endurance event, which kicks off this morning at Jells Park, Wheelers Hill. Teams of four will depart in waves at 6.30am, 7.30am, 8.30am and 9.30am.
Another 247 teams of four will take part in the inaugural 50km Melbourne Trailwalker event, with participants to set out from Silvan Reservoir tomorrow morning (Saturday 24 March). They will need to complete the course within 24 hours.
Both events follow the same trail, winding through the Dandenong and Yarra Valley Ranges before finishing up at Wesburn Park near Warburton.
The 50km event was launched in Melbourne for the first time this year, meaning each of the Trailwalker event locations – Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth – now all offer both a 100km trail option and a half-trail option.
First-time Trailwalker and Kew woman, Professor Paula Gerber of Monash University, is taking part in the 50km event. Professor Gerber and her teammates, who together call themselves team ‘YES’, met by going on Queers & Allies (Q&A) bush walks, an initiative set up in August last year by an organisation called Rainbow Families.
“We went on lovely bush walks once a month, which we called ‘self-care Sundays’,” said Professor Gerber. “I have been very moved by the level of support we have received from friends, family and colleagues.”
Oxfam Trailwalker spokesperson Anna Wemyss said new and returning participants in the Melbourne Trailwalker events should be congratulated for so far having raised more than $2 million.
“More than 2000 inspiring individuals will be setting off from Jells Park on the right foot this morning knowing they are not only fulfilling personal challenge dreams and goals, but helping to raise money to tackle poverty around the world,” Ms Wemyss said.
“We’re particularly thrilled to introduce the 50km Melbourne event this year and give more enthusiasts an opportunity to get a taste of what Trailwalker is all about – team camaraderie, a challenging walk through epic landscape and the sense of achievement reaching the finish line brings.
“Oxfam Trailwalker is such an uplifting event – not just for participants but for the 600 volunteers and many more supporters who give so generously in time and money each year.”
PICTURE OPPORTUNITIES: Photos of teams starting their 100km today are available from 6.30am to 9.30am at Jells Park and the 50km tomorrow from 7.30am to 8am on Saturday at Silvan Reservoir. Photos of teams finishing the event at Wesburn Park are available early Sunday 25 March.
For interviews, photos, video or more information, please contact Megan Giles on 0433 028 567 or firstname.lastname@example.org