Mums step up for 100km challenge
Four Auckland mums are preparing to take a gruelling endurance race in their stride.
The women are training for the Oxfam Trailwalker challenge in April, which sees teams walk 100km in less than 36 hours.
“I knew some people who’d done it before and I thought, that sounds like a challenge,” says Heather Laxon.
She and friend Helen Bayldon decided to take part and set about finding two teammates.
Gillian Roach and Christina Buys answered the call straight away.
The women from Sandringham and Three Kings, with an average age in their early 40s, have been walking together every Saturday.
Their team name, Dazed and Confused, was inspired by their early-morning starts.
“Because we’re walking so early we stumble out of bed and hit the pavement before we really know what we’re doing,” Heather says.
Training also includes solo walks during the week, between work and family commitments.
The sessions will build towards completing two 36km walks on consecutive days.
“We can see it’s going to get harder and harder to squash it in as the distances get longer,” Heather says.
But they have full support from their families – which includes 15 children and stepchildren between them.
Helen says they’re expecting the race to be physically tough, but want to be mentally ready for the challenge.
“I think mentally it’s just about keeping going, and still being friends at the end of it.”
Teams need to raise at least $2000 to enter the challenge, which goes towards Oxfam’s work overcoming poverty in the world’s poorest nations.
Last year the event raised more than $900,000, and this year’s target is $1.3 million.
The Dazed and Confused team have set themselves a goal of raising $4000 through their online fundraising page.
Oxfam executive director Barry Coates says he’s inspired by the way ordinary people have taken up the challenge.
“The event continues to reinforce what we as individuals can collectively achieve when we work together,” he says.
“Over the course of 100km individuals offer a hand to support their teammates through the hard parts, while the team as a whole is reaching out to support communities in the Pacific, Asia and Africa.”
For more details visit www.oxfamtrailwalker.org. nz. To find the Dazed and Confused fundraising page click on team search.
Striding ahead: Auckland mums taking part in the Oxfam Trailwalker event, from left: Christina Buys, Heather Laxon, Helen Bayldon and Gillian Roach.