AwesomeantiX Home Page Potpouri 2011: 24-Hour 2012: Trailwalker 2013: L-E-L

Oxfam Sydney 100km Trailwalker - 24th & 25th August 2012

I'd got this idea into my head, that along with all the mundane stuff in life, it would be good to have one big annual physical challenge. Last year's 24-Hour time trial ticked the box and I was looking for something to do in 2012.

My brother Ian, suggested taking part in the Sydney 100km Trailwalker. Now, this was going to be a little different, as all my exercise was done on a bike and long distant walking was not my thing.


Are these boots made for walking?

Blisters and lost toenails - Anyway, how hard could it be to walk down a few dry and dusty trails for 100km, that's less than an average Sunday Club Run on the bike.

I headed off to Australia in mid-August to join my brother and two of his mates to take on this challenge. For the previous few months I had tried to turn myself into a distance walker, a task that I thought would be a lot easier than it turned out to be. Walking boots, recommended by a friend (Simon Farmer) were purchased and walking commenced. Despite my new proGortex boots I constantly struggled with blistered feet.

Ready or not, I jumped on my plane south and the weekend before the big event I went and tried one of the toughest stages of the walk and returned with more blisters and a nasty pain in the outside of my left knee - Oh dear, I had six days to recover, as not starting, or not finishing were not options.

Route - plenty of ups and downs!
The Main Event

There were 543 teams sent off in four waves, which made the start pretty crowded. We soon settled into our own pace and started ticking off the kilometres.

It was epic, brutal and at times bloody relentless. My feet were mangled before halfway and my knee nearly brought me to tears at times, but we plugged on as a team and finished together.

Our team (No. 192 - Ramble On) consisted of Ian Martin, Michael Hall (Hally), Alan McCrouther (The Torch) and me. We battled on with great support from my team mate's better halves and finished inside 28hours & 57minutes. The four of us had a combined age of over 200, with me just the oldest at 54. I'm really glad I did it and I'd like to thank my brother for inviting me to join him and the boys on such a great adventure.

The support team - Denise, Judith & Annabel

Four happy guys ready for the off

The road is long

It was (very) dark for a full 12 hours


I thought I'd let the photos (and captions) tell a bit more of the story.

I lead the lads into an early feed station
Loading food and preparing for darkness
Eating and keeping warm
Oy, little bruv, it's time to put your boots on
I'm ok
The final feed - nearly there
We've made it - and in just 28:56:53
Ian and I applaud the finish line crowd
Official finishers portrait
The following morning I shaved off the beard, which I'd grown specifically (don't ask me why) for the event and we headed off for an excellent 6½ hour lunch and the post-event talking started.

It was a great experience and certainly pushed me and my three team mates to the limit of our physical and mental pain management abilities. I now need to find a new challenge for 2013!

I'd like to thank everyone who sponsored us - really kind and very much appreciated.

Our team raised a total of £12,000 and the grand total raised by the event was over £1,800,000.

Back at Ian's, I check out the toes whilst he drops off again
Not a pretty sight
Percy checks out the damage, whilst Judith looks on in horror

6.5 hours of food & drink and tots of talking
No beard and surrounded by women!


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