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Oxfam Trailwalker veteran to set pace for new 100km record

Oxfam Trailwalker veteran to set pace for new 100km record

7 March 2018

This weekend will be his fifth time taking on 100 kilometres for Oxfam – but Zebedee Stone isn’t just trying to get his ‘Oxfam Trailwalker Legend’ status with this one, he’s trying to run the fastest 100 kilometres Oxfam Trailwalker New Zealand has ever seen.

“We thought a really good goal would be to try and break 12 hours. We thought that would be a significant challenge, but hopefully doable for a bunch of runners,” says Stone, leader of team ‘Buff Wait There’s More’, sponsored by Buff.

But knowing that the fastest ever 100km Oxfam Trailwalker New Zealand time sits at 11 hours and 13 minutes – set on the Taupō trail by team ‘Plucky Sods’ in 2011 – meant their 12 hour goal was revised.

“11 hours 13 minutes – that’s become our stretch target, to try and beat that one.”

Oxfam Trailwalker is the charity’s biggest annual fundraising event, where teams of four walk or run 50 or 100 kilometres to raise money to help fight poverty in the Pacific and around the world.

So far, more than 170 teams have raised over $398,000 towards Oxfam’s work to eliminate poverty and injustice in the Pacific and around the world.

Stone is no stranger to Oxfam Trailwalker – he preceded Wright as Oxfam’s Fundraising Event Manager from 2012 to late-2016 and was the man behind the event’s move from Taupō to Whakatāne.

“Getting a chance to come back and participate is really cool and something that I’m really privileged to be a part of. This is really a very special event and cause.

“The connection to the community in Whakatāne is really strong. It’s a really cool spot of the country that not many of us get to explore, so I’m looking forward to spending some good hours out there.”

Stone will hit his 500th kilometre for Oxfam this weekend, but it will be the first 100 kilometres that he has run.

“That’s the bit we’re most nervous about - knowing whether or not we’ve done enough training. But you’ve just got to back what you’ve done and see how it goes after that.”

“It’s about the cause. I feel really strongly about what Oxfam do and I believe in their work so that’s always a really good motivating factor as well - to know we’re running for something bigger.”

Time, and conditions on the day, will tell if Stone and his team can smash their goal. But for now, it’s a restful, easy week for them. Well – trail runners-style easy.

“We are having a last little outing as a team but it won’t be for too long - might be a couple of hours’ run rather than six or seven.”

Fundraising Event Manager, Amanda Wright, is looking forward to seeing teams challenge themselves this weekend.

“A massive thank you to all participants, support crew, volunteers and community groups. What an incredible thing it is to have so many people united by the same cause. Thank you for showing your support for our event, and for our Pacific neighbours and the most vulnerable people in the world.

“We want to wish all the walkers and runners out there the best of luck in reaching their goals. Know that every step you’re taking is not only towards the finish line, but towards a better world. We’ll see you out there!”

Oxfam Trailwalker is being held this weekend – March 10-11, 2018 – in the scenic Whakatāne. Teams of four walk 50 kilometres in 18 hours or 100 kilometres in 36 hours to raise money for Oxfam’s work fighting poverty in the Pacific and all over the world. You can contribute to this incredible challenge by supporting and donating to your favourite team at http://www.oxfamtrailwalker.org.nz/

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 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.

· Oxfam Trailwalker is part of an international series of 17 events held worldwide in 11 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 ‘Young and the Breathless’ with a time of 14 hours 32 minutes set in 2017.

· 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 12,000 participants have lined up at the start line and raised over $10 million.

ends

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