Oxfam Trailwalker, Lake Taupo New Zealand 2014

Oxfam Trailwalker is the ultimate team challenge. It is part of an international series, with an incredible 18 events being held around the world in 10 countries. Over the years, the event has raised more than $190 million internationally for Oxfam's life-saving work.

Oxfam Trailwalker is the ultimate physical and mental challenge. But with training it is totally achievable!

It'll be one of the hardest things you ever take on, but the sense of achievement you'll get when you cross the finish line will blow you away. It truly is the experience of a lifetime.

Oxfam Trailwalker began in 2006 in New Zealand. Since then over 10,000 participants have lined up at the start line and raised over $10 million. Thousands of people take part each year as participants, support crew and volunteers. We had a team of 4 women walkers and 4 men (our partners) as our check-point team, all of us friends from all around the world who met and lived in New Zealand at the time.

We decided to do this walk and dedicated months of training to be able to walk 100 kms in 36 hours or less. We raised $3000 for the Oxfam foundation by selling my artwork, selling baked goods at bars, and asking friends and family for donations. It was an extremely difficult process to train and raise the funds for this event. We learned a lot about working together and each other’s limitations and strengths.

The actually race day was hard to put into words. There were so many stages to that day, it felt like it took place over a week. It was hot, dry and long. We had the best check-point team we could possibly have. Our partners cooked us food, took care of our pains and injuries, and made us as comfortable as possible at every stage. They even dressed up in onesies and walked with us for small portions of the hike telling us jokes dressed up as a bunny rabbits. It was a team of 8 effort and everyone contributed 100%.

Speaking on behalf of the girls, I don’t think we’ve ever put ourselves through anything as mentally and physically demanded as that before. Finishing that race was, beyond words or feelings. Our team of 4 had turned into 2 nearing the end of the race due to injury taking a toll on our teammates. The remaining 2 of us had to join another team for safety in order to finish. It was a mental challenge at that point more than anything. When we got to the finish line and saw the rest of our team we somehow mustered up the energy to run across, embrace the hell out of them, cry our faces off and get sprayed with champagne. It was over, it was one hell of an accomplishment that we will never forget and we are happy to put it on our resumes.