Mums step up for 100km chal­lenge

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Heather McCracken

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.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Strid­ing ahead: Auck­land mums tak­ing part in the Ox­fam Trail­walker event, from left: Christina Buys, Heather Laxon, He­len Bayl­don and Gil­lian Roach.

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