New Zealand event: Ox­fam ben­e­fits by Trail walker event in Whakatane

Walking New Zealand - - Contents -

A to­tal of 168 teams ran or walked the Ox­fam Trail at Whakatane in March this year.

Ox­fam Trail­walker is the ul­ti­mate team en­durance chal­lenge – each team of four tack­les ei­ther 100 kilo­me­tres in 36 hours or 50 kilo­me­tres in 18 hours and must raise at least $2500 to go to­wards Ox­fam’s fight against poverty. It is not a re­lay, the teams of four start and fin­ish to­gether.

The Auck­land team ‘Buff Wait There’s More!’ of four, Zebedee Stone, Bil­lie Hares­nape, Dy­lan Steeples and Chris Webb par­tic­i­pated in the an­nual 100km trail­walk­ing – tak­ing the “walk­ing” as­pect lightly, and elect­ing to run the en­tire course and trumped home to a record-break­ing run.

The blis­ters, achy limbs and fa­tigue did not de­ter the plucky group who crossed the fin­ish line in 12 hours and 51 min­utes.

They shaved almost two hours off the pre­vi­ous Whakatāne record of 14 hours and 32 min­utes. Af­ter a light­ning start the team led the trail all day, and ran to the fin­ish line to an erup­tion of ap­plause from the crowd.

Team leader, Zebedee Stone, was elated with the team’s achieve­ment and said mak­ing it through the gru­elling dis­tance was ex­haust­ing but re­ward­ing.

“I’ve walked Ox­fam Trail­walker a few times so I knew how chal­leng­ing it is. Run­ning it was def­i­nitely harder, but we’ve re­ally en­joyed it and the wel­come we’ve re­ceived from Whakatane, our sup­port crew and the event vol­un­teers has been fan­tas­tic.

“I feel re­ally strongly about what Ox­fam do and I be­lieve in their work, which is a re­ally good mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor - to know it’s for some­thing big­ger.”

Ox­fam New Zealand’s Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Rachael Le Mesurier, said: “This is an in­cred­i­ble achieve­ment for the team and a mo­ment they will look back on for years to come. It’s al­ways a real thrill to watch the first team cross the line and the at­mos­phere from lo­cals and vol­un­teers cheer­ing them on was buzzing.

“The warm wel­come re­ceived from Whakatāne has been bril­liant so far, as al­ways, and will play a huge part in buoy­ing the spir­its of tired walk­ers. A heart­felt thank you to the Whakatāne District Coun­cil and the lo­cal com­mu­nity for their sup­port.”

The first team to cross the 50km line was Auck­land team Tak­ing It Easy, in 10 hours 31 min­utes.

Once the feet have re­cov­ered and the legs have re­vi­talised, teams will con­tinue to fundraise un­til the cut-off in April. Ox­fam Trail­walker has so far raised almost half a mil­lion dol­lars to sup­port Ox­fam’s hu­man­i­tar­ian and long-term de­vel­op­ment work in some of the world’s poor­est coun­tries.

Pho­tos on this page show en­trants in the 2018 event at Whakatane. Pho­tos by Ar­tur Fran­cisco/Ox­fam

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