Participants in one of the world’s toughest team challenges went the distance as they set off on Oxfam’s TRAILTREKKER challenge event on Saturday (26th September).
Trekking by day and by night through the Mourne Mountains, the Ring of Gullion and the Tain Way, 93 teams of four people were each walking the 100km route inside 30 hours. The cumulative mileage of participants, support crews, event organisers and 120 volunteer marshals was enough for their collective efforts to exceed the 40,076km that span the Earth!
Appropriately, TRAILTREKKER attracted teams from all over the world, from as far afield as Brazil and Hong Kong, as this international event was staged in Ireland for the first time.
TV’s Dr Mark Hamilton did the countdown for teams at the start at Kilbroney Park in Rostrevor, as Jim Clarken, Oxfam Ireland’s Chief Executive, himself taking part in the challenge, gave suitable motivation to teams as they began the epic event: “Step by step you are making a difference. Thanks to your marvellous dedication, TRAILTREKKER will raise in excess of €250,000 for Oxfam’s overseas projects, helping to overcome poverty and injustice in Eastern and sub Saharan Africa.”
Willie Slattery, Head of State Street Ireland, the event’s key sponsor, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who’s participating, and also the support teams and hundreds of volunteers who worked so hard to make this event possible. State Street’s sponsorship of these Oxfam events extends around the world. We have been sponsor of events in Melbourne, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Brussels, the Netherlands, the UK and Hong Kong. It’s this spirit of giving back to the community, both at home and globally, that has brought us here today.”
The Trailtrekkers also competed for awards for teams with the fastest times, team spirit and for the highest fundraising total, with an additional prize being awarded for the event’s star volunteer.
Pictures by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye