Challenge for walkers
Walking 100km in 36 hours without sleep may not be most people’s idea of fun.
But Auckland city resident Chanez Kharoubi is up for the challenge.
Chanez is the leader of the Worldwide Walkers team taking part in the Oxfam Trailwalker event in Taupo this weekend.
The 20-year-old says she wasn’t completely serious when she asked her teammates to join her.
Belgian-born Chanez says she was surprised when her teachers Jacqui MacDonald and Daniela Ritchie, and friend Ami Ishikawa agreed to take part.
Chanez had seen posters for the event but didn’t think her friends would be interested.
Daniela and Jacqui say they decided to take part because they were both in need of a challenge.
“I felt like I was stuck in a rut,” says Daniela.
But the team’s preparation has not been without setbacks.
Jacqui had to have part of her toenail removed, which put her out of action for four weeks.
And fundraising for the event has been a testing time.
“I think the fundraising is the hardest part, I’ve found the training a piece of cake,” says Daniela.
Even so, the team have so far raised $1641 towards their target of $2500.
For Chanez, the main challenge of the training has been mental rather than physical.
Walking in the rain and keeping motivated to finish the regular seven-hour training walks has not been easy, she says.
The team has decided that not sleeping during the walk will keep their pace and motivation up.
They plan to finish the walk in less than 30 hours.
Friends and family will be supporting the women when they do stop for breaks, with their favourite food and drink at the ready.
Undeterred by the prospect of more training, Chanez is planning to join her cousin for the Oxfam Trailwalker in England in July.
This weekend’s Oxfam Trailwalker will see a record 350 teams, made up of nearly 1500 individuals.
Money raised will go towards helping to overcome poverty in some of the world’s poorest countries.
To make a donation visit www.oxfamtrail walker.org.nz. Donations will be accepted until June 6.
– Natasha Burling is an AUT journalism
Wise walkers: From left: Chanez Kharoubi, Daniela Ritchie and Jacqui MacDonald will walk 100km in 36 hours this weekend.