A Supply Chain Cover team braved the elements to complete the 2014 Melbourne Oxfam Trailwalker in May.
The trailwalker is a 100K team walk event to raise money for Oxfam. More than 750 teams of four members participate, walking from Wheelers Hill to Wesburn, through the beautiful Dandenong Ranges National Park.
The team comprised of Director of Supply Chain Cover James Lee, Will Kitchen, Andy White and James Freeman.
Below is a taste of the team’s experience:
After getting dropped off at 7am by support team member Doug, the team started off very well, with great team spirit and tracking ahead of our schedules times. When we met our first support crew at Checkpoint 3, Juile and Sam, we were tracking beautifully. Some homemade soup lifted spirits even higher. James Lee was lucky to get his feet taped by a nurse who happened to be standing next to us. This showed the great vibe out on the track!
We carried on in good time to meet Genevieve at Checkpoint 4. Once again some coffee and food kept us in good shape. A hug from Genevieve also didn’t go astray!
When we left Checkpoint 4, it quickly got dark and colder. We hit the 50km mark in this stretch which was extremely exciting!
Between Checkpoint 4-5 James Freeman was having some foot/shoe issues, but quickly sorted them out so we carried on to Checkpoint 5 to see Caroline and Hamish, who had been to Big W especially to buy us chairs! The bodies were starting to take a beating at this point, but the wheels were still on!
We left Checkpoint 5 running a bit behind schedule so cranked it out to Checkpoint 6….this may have proven to be our biggest mistake. As we arrived at 6, Andy White was suffering nausea and vomiting. Andy is clearly the strongest and fittest of the group, and this shows just how different walking is to anything else and why you need to do this event to appreciate it. Unfortunately Andy had to farewell us at this point. We could not have made it that far without him though, especially his motivation and banter!
The next 21km stretch to Checkpoint 7 was the worst of all. We had many kms to walk up hill, followed by a km of gravel road. We were all starting to break down at this point, including having micro sleeps and as for the feet – they were stuffed.
When we arrived at Checkpoint 7, having completed 93kms, the wheels were really starting to fall off. James Freeman was almost hypothermic, with terrible blisters, and seemingly delusional! The medics took him in to their custody, and would not release him!
James Lee and Will joined up with another team of two, and commenced the final 7kms. This 7kms was extremely hilly on rocky terrain, to the point you were almost rocked over at a right angle to get up the hills. After some swearing and complaining, we finally saw the finish line. After 25 hours on course, James and Will crossed the finish line. It was a great feeling, although probably not properly appreciated at the time.
All in all, it was a massive effort from every single one of us! While only two of us crossed the line it would not have been possible with out the efforts of all.
A huge shout out to everyone who supported us, especially those who donated, and those who were made up our support crews. We are yet to confirm whether this will ever happen again!
Congratulations to the team for completing the course and raising over $4,000 for Oxfam.