For this Oxfam Trailwalker Team, admitting ‘de feet’ wasn’t an option as they tackled 100KM of rugged Australian trails and bush land to raise much needed funds and awareness for those affected by poverty in the world. Not only does this event support a great cause, it’s also one mighty challenge, so it’s right up our alley here at ioMerino. Christina and her team ‘Never Admit De Feet‘ faced their fair share of cold mornings and nights, nasty falls, broken head torches, fatigued brains and much more during this adventure, but say their ioMerino thermals were an ‘absolute life saver’. Here Christina tells us how the day panned out for their team, and also gives us the lowdown on what kind of training and preparation goes into a massive feat like this.
Written by Christina Hodge, ‘Never Admit De Feet’ Oxfam Trailer Walker 2017 competitor.
“It’s 4:30am, our team of 4 and support crew are already up with coffee in hand making the final preparations for the big day. Running through our checklist: first aid equipment – tick; support crew boxes – tick; spare shoes, ioMerino thermals, drinking packs, head torches and socks – tick. So far, so good! Time to pack the car and drive the 100km out of Sydney to the start line for a 6am kick off!
On the 19th of August our team “Never Admit De Feet” along with almost 500 others participated in the Sydney 100km Oxfam Trailwalker Challenge! The event involved a grueling hike, run, walk and hobble from Parsley Bay at the head of the Hawkesbury River to Tania Park in Manly near Sydney’s city center all in the name of charity! Oxfam hosts this Trailwalker event every year to raise money to provide lifesaving services and facilities to those who cannot access these themselves.
This year represented the 3rd time a number of our team had participated in the 100km hike. Knowing what the event had in store we prepared and trained hard! Every spare weekend we trained in the mountain areas around Canberra where we live to get our bodies into gear! On these cold winter mornings we would slip into our ioMerino thermals and woolen multi sport socks before heading out in the frost! The thumb holes in the ioMerino thermal shirts were an absolute life saver protecting the exposed patch of skin between our jumpers and our gloves on the -5 mornings!
For event day we were incredibly lucky heading off in the sun of the dawning day with no wind or rain in sight. The first 50km went well, tracking for a 24 hour finish. Then night came. We donned our ioMerino thermal gear and head torches, and trooped out into the night. The track was wilder than last year requiring us to tentatively test each section, slowing our pace and challenging our fatigued brains! We had a number of broken head torches on course requiring us to walk close to together to use each other’s lights. We also had a few falls requiring the nifty hands of our team physio at the midnight and 3am stations to bandage us up. However the encouraging words of our incredible support crew and the feeling of putting on a fresh set of ioMerino thermals got us back out on track. So when morning broke we were all in one piece and were able to cross the finish line as a complete team of 4 with our spirits and smiles intact!
After many photos and a team celebration I could wait for nothing more than to peel off my wet shoes and pull on my woolen ioMerino multi sport socks to cushion my bruised and battered feet. In the end our team finished in just over 26 hours and raised over 3 thousand dollars. All proceeds contributed to the 2 million dollars raised during the event for the incredible work done by Oxfam around the world. We would like to thank ioMerino for sponsoring our team and thank our support crew and donators for their generosity! Until next year, Never Admit De Feet!”.
If you’d like to read more about Never Admit De Feet’s experience with the Oxfam Trailwalker or even donate towards the cause, click here.