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Final countdown to New Zealand's Oxfam Trailwalker 2007 in Taupo's spectacular scenery - April 14-15

Janna Hamilton -- 11/04/2007

In November 2006 an article was published in NZine urging Kiwis to enrol for the Oxfam Trailwalker to be held in April 2007. Now it is the final countdown to Oxfam 100km team challenge. More than 1000 participants are squeezing in last minute training sessions before they descend on Taupo this weekend (April 14-15) for Oxfam Trailwalker - the world's greatest team challenge that helps overcome poverty and injustice. The event involves 250 national and international teams of four people tackling a 100km off-road course on foot within 36-hours. The event is tough, summiting through some of New Zealand's most spectacular scenery, including Huka Falls, Craters of the Moon, plenty of native bush and views across Lake Taupo.


oxfamtrailwalker
A 2006 competing team pictured against the waters of Lake Taupo with a mountain backdrop
Photo source Oxfam New Zealand
Click here to view a larger version

"Oxfam Trailwalker is about ordinary people doing extraordinary things," says Oxfam's Executive Director Barry Coates. "It is an event that encourages people to test their limits and provides a great motivation for doing so."

Teams range from social, corporate to highly competitive. Last year's winners, the 'Cosmo boys' from Hong Kong, ran every step of the way crossing the line in 11hr 48min. The first New Zealand team home represented NZ Army and clocked in at 13hr 42min.

This year's title is looking like a contest between team 'Tenon 1' and a team of fire fighters 'After Midnight' from Auckland. Hamilton mixed team '4 Coasters' is also looking strong with all four competitors primed from racing in last month's Coast to Coast endurance race.

One in every twenty participants is travelling in from overseas, including 43 from Australia and one each from Albania, American Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Singapore.

Oxfam Trailwalker is not just a demanding physical endeavour; it is a challenging team event. The event is not a relay - each team of four must start together (6am or 8am start times), continue through the night, and finish together, hopefully within 36 hours!

To reach the start line, teams will have to have completed months of training and fundraising. Each team is challenged to raise funds to help overcome poverty and injustice.

Last year's inaugural Oxfam Trailwalker NZ was an astounding success, with 187 teams collecting nearly $900,000. Oxfam's Water for Survival Programme benefited greatly from these funds. With one in five of the world's people drinking unsafe water and 4000 children dying daily from the resulting diarrhoea, Oxfam is working on long-term water projects in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, India, Ghana and Tanzania.

For more information about the event, please visit http://www.oxfamtrailwalker.org.nz/

- Oxfam NZ is a leading New Zealand international aid, development and advocacy charity organisation. The Trailwalker originally begun as a military training exercise for the Nepali Ghurkhas 25 years ago and is now Oxfam's top fundraising challenge in Australia, Britain and Hong Kong. It's in its second year in New Zealand. Internationally the event has so far raised more than $50 million for Oxfam's humanitarian, development and campaigning work.

- Among participants there are 14 account managers; 16 accountants; 19 sales people; 26 nurses; 3 midwives; 29 managers; 20 lawyers; 3 policemen; 8 firefighters; 1 ambulance person; 3 journalists; 11 IT specialists; 53 students; 20 teachers; 2 DOC workers, a zoo keeper, a radio DJ and many more.

- There are 39 all male teams, 69 all female teams and 151 mixed teams participating. The average age of all participants is 37 years with the oldest registered participant aged 71.

Editor's comment
If you have competed in a taxing challenge like Oxfam Trailwalker please share your ideas with other NZine readers. To do this you need to be a member of NZine. Joining is FREE and can be done very quickly.

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