Challenge Team Member Jenna Baril Completed Oxfam TRAILWALKER NZ In Less Than 28 Hours!

Not that we ever doubted that we couldn’t make it, even though at 80km’s into the walk our mind and our bodies were telling us to give up, I am so proud to be able to tell you that that training and preparation for this challenge had paid off!

With only four hours sleep the night before, by the time we flew into Auckland, shopped for remaining food supplies, drove to Taupo to attend the event briefing, and then packed and slept for the 7.00am start, we were surprisingly buzzing and ready to go on 31st March 2012. We were steady at 5 kilometres an hour, maybe even faster when we were going downhill, but the Lord of the Rings scenery of New Zealand certainly made this event worthwhile.

Thanks to the efforts of our friend Matthew Cottam who designed our team shirts, we also received a lot of recognition and compliments on our personal branding throughout the race.

The Oxfam Trailwalker certainly puts into perspective the ‘reality’ of how hard it can be for individuals living in poverty, and the lengths they have to go to (or walk to) to receive fresh supplies and clean drinking water. It really is a physical and emotional challenge, which I believe is to be expected after walking that distance, but it certainly makes you value what we often take for granted in our daily lives.

Ten blisters was certainly the worst count that I had received on my feet to date, which involved some limping up and down hills, but somehow our team managed to run across the finish line if you can believe it! And we were told that we looked ‘fresh’ after only one hour of sleep!

We completed the TRAILWALKER in less than 28 hours, which means we beat our last record in Sydney by almost 10 hours! Such an incredible achievement.

The best tips that I can give anyone who wishes to take part in such an event is:

  • Allow months in advance for training – both in a gym and outdoors
  • Great footwear is the key, and extra socks
  • Blister repair kit – always handy
  • A healthy balanced diet along the way – Carbohydrates/Salts/Sugars and high energy snacks is the key, trust me you will burn it during the walk!
  • A team that works together and motivates each other throughout the event, start as a team and finish as a team

As this is not only a personal achievement but a team achievement, I couldn’t have made it without the amazing efforts of Katie Brand, Joel Stocker, Ryan La Motte and our support crew Lynn and Greg Brand. Their efforts exceeded my expectations and I would not have wanted to do this with anyone else.

To look up the results of our team, or to donate to Oxfam, you can visit our team page The Bush Ramblers.

What are your goals and challenges for 2012? Have your say below.