Exercise: Oxfam Trailwalker 100km

Sorry it’s taken me a while to get this posted. Not sure why I haven’t done it sooner, but anyway, here goes!!

Lots of things happened in the week leading up to Trailwalker. Michelle was our support crew. That was until Mark fell off a ladder and ended up in Emergency on Sunday night with a badly broken shoulder. Michelle was still okay to crew, until she got the news that Mark had to have an operation at the end of the week.

Nothing to panic about, we had a back up in Shell’s partner Steve. This was Wednesday. Wednesday evening I got a text from Shells to say that she had been in an accident and the car was a write off (she was fine though…phew!!). Now as Shells and Steve share a car, that put paid to Steve being our crew. 😦

So our ever faithful Tiger Boy jumped in at the last minute and accepted the challenge to be our day crew 😀

So we all met up at Jells Park, bright and cheery on Friday morning. Not sure why, but this year seemed alot less hectic than the last 2 years. So we got ourselves registered, stood in line for the loos and headed to the start area.

Great to see Michelle at the start line to wish us well 😀

Plenty of people in front of us as we set off at 8.30am. And what a beautiful day for a walk. The sun was out and it didn’t take long to warm up.

So we got to checkpoint 1 without any dramas, although we did have to wait about 30 minutes for the loos at around the 7.5km mark. They were not in very good shape after the first 2 streams of TW’s had been through, that’s for sure. Felt sorry for the 10am starters if they had to use them too 😯

My Mum decided to ring me just as we were trudging up the hill at Churchill Park. It certainly took my focus off the steepness of the hill 😀

We got to Lysterfield Lake and decided that this was a good time to stop and have some lunch. Tony found us without any hassle, and he’d got himself a good car park space too. Unfortunately Cilla started to get blisters at this point, although she bandaged them as best she could.

Still couldn’t believe how good the weather was. We passed through Birdsland Reserve and Tony ran down to meet us at the bottom of the hill in Belgrave. He’d parked the car at Belgrave Station, so when we got to the car park we made a few adjustments, had a drink and a bite to eat and headed up to Grants Picnic Ground.

This was a quick stop as there was no support crew. It was also starting to get dark, so we hurried on up the Clematis Track and through Sherbrooke Forest.

Tony had parked at the Alfred Nicholas Car Park, so we put on some warmer clothes and our headlamps. We headed on over to Hacketts Road. Unbelievably, there must have been between 20-30 people arrive there at the same time, so it was pretty surreal walking up the road with tons of other people. Once again my Mum decided that this was a good time to ring and see how I was going 🙄

Finally arrived at Olinda and OMG, how busy was it there 😯

Everyone and their dog was parked on the side of the road, in all the car parks, and any other place they could find to park. It was just heaving! My parents, Nick & Alana, Tony, Steve and Mr & Mrs Wombat were all there waiting for us. Really gave us the lift that we needed as we were all starting to feel tired 😀

Cilla was now having some serious issues with blisters and her orthotics but fixed them up and kept on going.

We got ourselves ready for the next section, down to Mt Evelyn. And how lucky were we that Berny decided to come and keep us company for this section. I think that she pretty much talked for all of us through this bit as we’d all just about run out of talk due to tiredness. We were just putting one foot in front of the other. 😀

We passed the half way mark which gave us all a boost 😀

Mr Wombat had driven down to Mt Evelyn and then run back up to meet us. He’d run up the Melba Track 😯

We all made it up and down the Melba Track without too many problems, made easier by the fact that the TW people had put a rope down the side of the track to help people get down it without killing themselves 😯

David and Berny then jumped in the car when we got down to Mt Evelyn footy ground and went to get coffee 😀 How good did that coffee taste. There were a few other TW teams who were walking past as David and Berny were handing us our coffees and you could see the longing in their eyes 😀

Mt Evelyn checkpoint was where we met Michelle. She had taken over from Tony and was going to do the night support. A massive thankyou goes out to Tony. He was the perfect support crew. Couldn’t have asked for anyone better to help us on the day.
It was at Mt Evelyn that Cilla realised, after seeing the Podiatrist, that she wasn’t going to be able to carry on as she was in so much pain that she could hardly walk.

So TW Michelle, Shells and myself headed out into the night on our own. Michelle stayed with Cilla until her Hubby came and picked her up.

I think that the three of us went into our own little worlds at this stage. It was really cold out on the Warby Trail, and there weren’t very many people about either, so we just put our heads down and walked. Not much talking happened!

We were all very happy to see the lights of Woori Yallock. Michelle had walked out to meet us and walked back to the checkpoint with us. We checked in, got ourselves some warm food and a coffee, then sat in Michelle’s car with the heater on full blast until we eventually warmed up a bit.

Daylight was just happening as we left the checkpoint, and it certainly made me feel better. Didn’t take too long to warm up either. My feet were starting to hurt a bit by this stage, but luckily there were no blisters!

An uneventful walk up to the Aquaduct trail, with my Mum ringing me yet again as I was walking up a nice incline 😀 There were quite a few people on the trail, so spirits were quite high, although everything was now starting to hurt.

Made it into Warburton and Michelle’s Hubby was waiting for us. I think that the thought of the finish line being only 7km away kept us all going. A quick change of clothes and shoes for me, something to eat and drink and we were back out there.

My right knee was now giving me grief, and going down any incline was hell. Walking uphill relieved the pain a bit. Tanty Hill was climbed very slowly. It was hot out there. Michelle met us near the top of the hill and walked down to the finish line with us. My Dad also met us just near the end 😀

Walking across the finish line was just the best feeling. I didn’t cry, but there was certainly a big lump in my throat!

Everyone was at the finish to meet us. Berny, Tony, Michelle, Mark (who’d only got out of hospital that morning!), my Parents, Nick and Alana (a bit late as they thought the finish line was at Warburton, so had to turn around and come back to Wesburn 😀 ), Steve, Nev and even TW Michelle’s Uncle.

It was also Shell’s birthday, so we celebrated with cake and champagne 😀

So ends another year. My goal is to get me one of these (click on image to read info!)

I’d like to thank everyone who donated to our team, everyone who bought raffle tickets (Sara I will get your prize to you!!) and everyone who supported us with text messages and phone calls throughout the event. You made it all worthwhile 😀