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Oxfam Trailwalker raises almost a million dollars

Oxfam Trailwalker raises almost a million dollars for charity

25 March 2019

The fourteenth annual Oxfam Trailwalker this weekend has raised almost a million dollars thanks to fundraising efforts from over a thousand participants.

Local Whakatane team “Lazer Photos & Cameras Deranged Four” powered through the 100km to cross the finish line first in 16 hours and 45 minutes. Team leader Kendan Gibson said they ran most of the way to achieve the incredible time, and although some of hills proved tough, there was “never a moment” that he thought they couldn’t do it.

“Just the hills, we slowed down a little bit as the body tired out. Running back through the town, we really got our run going again, which was real cool. The supporters and that have been massive.

“I would like to thank our support crew first, they were amazing. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. And just the local community getting around the whole thing – it was a big buzz.”

A drizzly Saturday morning saw the 250 teams of four set off on a mission to finish either 100 kilometres in 36 hours or 50 kilometres in 18 hours to raise money for Oxfam’s fight against poverty. Many teams walked through the night, with the last team coming at an admirable 35 hours and 3 minutes.

So far, participants have raised over $950,000 towards Oxfam’s work to eliminate poverty and injustice in the Pacific and around the world.

Oxfam New Zealand’s Fundraising Events Manager Lizzie Quill said: “Every single participant who challenged themselves this weekend for a good cause should know they’ve made a real difference.

“People living in poverty often have to walk long distances to collect something as basic as water. Thanks to the support of our wonderful participants and those who have donated, we will be able to change lives in the Pacific through Oxfam’s projects. The amazing physical and mental challenge that teams have just been through is absolutely incredible, as is the support from the local community. A huge thanks to everyone involved in making this event possible.”

Teams will continue to raise money until the fundraising deadline on 30 April, supporting Oxfam’s humanitarian and long-term development work in some of the world’s poorest countries.

Oxfam Trailwalker has so far raised $950,000 and is edging closer to its $1 million target. Donations to teams can be made at oxfamtrailwalker.org.nz

Fastest times 100 km

1. Lazer Photos & Cameras Deranged Four 16h 45m (Whakatāne/Ōhope)
2. Don't worry BEE happy 17h 44m (Whakatāne, Tauranga)
3. Trail Rangers 18h 01m (Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington)

Fastest times 50km
1. WSP Opus Locusts 7h 43m (Auckland)
2. Legs Miserables 7h 52m (Auckland/Hawke's Bay/Manawatu-Wanganui/ Wellington)
3. We've Got the Power 7h 55m (Whakatāne, Ōhope)

Notes to editors:

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 to raise money for Oxfam’s fight against poverty. It is not a relay – the teams of four start and finish together.

The event was held for the fourth time in the Bay of Plenty region, with 100 kilometres of trail through Whakatāne, Ōhope and now Edgecumbe on a track that sees participants walking along coastal tracks, sandy beaches, farmland and native bush. It is the first time an event of this size has been held in Edgecumbe since the floods in 2017.

The leading fundraising team so far in 2019 is team ‘N X NW’ who have raised almost $15,000. In second place is team ‘1 in 4 on the Horizon’ who have raised an impressive $10,000. In total participants have raised more than $950,000 towards Oxfam’s work to support communities to lift themselves out of poverty.

Oxfam Trailwalker is part of an international series of 17 events held worldwide in 10 countries. Over the years, the event has raised hundreds of millions of dollars internationally for Oxfam's life-saving work.

The event debuted in New Zealand in 2006 and was held in Taupō for 10 years. The event was moved to Whakatāne in 2016 – the same year a 50 kilometre trail was introduced as an alternative to the traditional 100 kilometre trail.

The fastest time in the New Zealand 100 kilometre event is currently 11 hours and 13 minutes – set by team ‘Plucky Sods’ in Taupō in 2011. The fastest 100 kilometre team on the Whakatāne trail is team ‘Buff Wait There’s More’ with a time of 12 hours 51 minutes set in 2018.

Someone becomes an ‘Oxfam Trailwalker Legend’ upon starting their fifth Oxfam Trailwalker.

Set up by the legendary elite Queen's Gurkha Signals Regiment in 1981 as a military exercise to test teamwork, endurance and determination, Oxfam Trailwalker is the ultimate physical and mental challenge. It began in 2006 in New Zealand. Since then over 13,000 participants have lined up at the start line and raised more than $11 million.

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