Oxfam Trailwalker Brisbane has arrived! My backpack, boots and poles are ready at the front door for when I set off tomorrow morning at 3.15am to start possibly the hardest challenge for me to date…100km trail walk from Mt Glorious to Mt Nebo, non stop.[caption id="attachment_7033" align="alignleft" width="305"] Oxfam Trailwalker 2014 Map[/caption]
The actual start of the walk is 7am but we have to check-in at 4.30am before being bused up the mountain to the start point. We aim to complete the walk (am in a team of 4, Team Spirit) in around 30 hours, so we should be arriving at JC Slaughter falls at around midday on Saturday.
We have an awesome support crew who will be at 3 of the 6 checkpoints along the way (and the finish line we hope) - providing food, cuddles and much needed attention.
The first 2 checkpoints are unsupported but we do have toilets, first aid, water and hot drinks/snacks. Section 2 is in our opinion the toughest with plenty of hills and one particularly long and steep one. Section 3 in the longest – 17.5kms with a few sneaky hills at the end for fun.
We will see our support team for the first time at Lake Manchester around 6pm Friday night (checkpoint 3) – this is the 45km mark. Hamburgers and spag bog are on the menu before traipsing off for another 30km kms when we see them next – this time walking through the night and also through quite a few river crossings. We have another bush checkpoint halfway which we aim just to have a quick coffee and a wee before starting out again. We have a treat at the end of this part of our journey, some really short, steep, nasty hills that take some skill to climb down, especially if wet and in the dark (we will have headlamps on so don't stress too much)[caption id="attachment_7034" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Oxfam Trailwalker 2014 Gradients[/caption]
Once at Bellbird Grove we would have done just over 76kms - and would have been up at this stage by over 24 hours (feeling sorry for me yet?). It is at this point when teams fall apart and there is a very high drop out rate. However, we are a very determined team, who have spent the last 6 month training for this event so I am confident we will see it through to the end. Even if we drag each other for the remaining km's. With croissants in our tummies we will set of for the last few kms in high spirits I am sure!
The last 2 sections are mentally tough but we have done them a few times so know all the nasty bits. There is a bit of street walking which is hard on the old knees, a few steep climbs but I reckon there won't be much of my body that isn't in pain at this stage. It will be time to pull together as a team and get each other through to the end. We have discussed using ropes to drag each other along the trail so lets hope it doesn't come to that.
The weather forecast is looking a bit bleak and we may get a bit more rain than we would have liked – I guess this will just add to the challenge. Might take the focus away from the hills we have to climb and then go down again – that is the cruel bit.
Anyway enough of my rambling – I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have supported me in this journey. The Brisbane office have all got fat on chocolates at my expense but I secretly think they enjoyed it. It has been awesome and really appreciated. I probably haven't mentioned this to some so please feel free to sponsor us - every little bit helps. We are 88% of our team target so are really hoping to get to the 100% by the end of the walk.
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