Still walking strong
TURNING 80 in April has not slowed Lesmurdie's Tom Weir, who will be the oldest participant in the 2017 Oxfam Trailwalker in Perth.
TURNING 80 in April has not slowed Lesmurdie’s Tom Weir, who will be the oldest participant in the 2017 Oxfam Trailwalker Perth.
The September fundraising event will support Oxfam Australia’s work fighting poverty and injustice at home and around the world.
Mr Weir and his teammates Kerry Miller and Bill and Anne Kerr, of the Lesmurdie Tennis Club, who are aptly named The Hills Hope-fools, will walk their fifth Trailwalker this year when they take on the 50km course.
He said taking part was a “win-win” for the group because it kept them fit while supporting a good cause.
“To me, age is just a number and I don’t let it bother me and don’t even feel old,” Mr Weir said.
“The first three years we did the 100km, which is a challenge in 48 hours… I was overruled, I wanted to keep doing the 100km and the others said ‘No, 50km is enough’.
“It’s very important to train, you’ve really got to build your body up and it doesn’t matter how fit you are.”
He said nothing compared to the feeling they got the first time they crossed the finish line arm-in-arm, forgetting their pain.
“There have been a lot of memorable moments – the camaraderie of the other walkers, the pleasure of relaxing in a deck chair at checkpoints and being handfed with hot soup and rolls by our back-up crew,” he said.
To keep motivated on the trail, he said they talked a lot, which made the time pass more quickly.
“We also like to chat with other walkers,” he said.
“Sometimes there is a huge difference in our ages, but that doesn’t seem to matter. Everyone is nice and we are all in the same boat.”
The Hills Hope-fools have already raised about $2000 for this year’s Trailwalker, with Mr Weir raising $955 by riding 510km from Manjimup to Albany over 10 days.
He battled fallen trees, tough terrain, a long stint along a highway with trucks whizzing past, pouring rain and steep hills.
The Oxfam Trailwalker Perth runs from September 22 to 24.
Registrations for the 100km event close on July 31, and on August 14 for the 50km walk.
Visit trailwalker.oxfam.org.au/my/team/26530 to donate to The Hills Hopefools or trailwalker.oxfam.org.au/perth to register your own.
Tom Weir is in training for his fifth Trailwalker in September, after turning 80 in April.