You're Only Ever As Good As Your Support Crew - Oxfam Trailwalker 2010

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April 12th 2010
Published: May 4th 2010
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1: Kapa Haka send-off for 7am start 40 secs
You're exhausted. The legs ache, and you keep stumbling on tree roots because your feet no longer lift themselves high enough to step over. It's only just above 0 degrees celsius but you would happily lie right there on the damp ground just to get some sleep. Behind you are a geothermal field, forests and "That Hill", yet you're still not even at the half-way mark. Now you're thinking the "2 km away from the next checkpoint" call sent to your support team should be amended to "Tell the St John's team (ambulance) to come and meet us".

Then, before you are even in sight of the next checkpoint you hear it - the sound of French horns ....... and you know that of all the approximately 1000 participants out there on the course, the call is especially for your team of four. It is a call so sweet, lifting your spirits and helping you somehow forget temporarily how cold and exhausted you are. Energy and smiles come from somewhere deep, and you find yourself jogging into the checkpoint area with heads held high, and applauding your cheer squad.

Some teams barely stopped at checkpoints - after checking in they would hit the road onward. For us they were a necessary and much appreciated opportunity to rest and refuel. Perhaps more important though was the injection of moral support we received from checkpoint volunteers and our own support crew.

The Oxfam Trailwalker is a pretty special event - teams encourage other teams, and members of the public are enthusiastic in cheering participants on - be it the passing traffic along a road section, or the cafe dwellers across the road from the final stretch along Lake Taupo.

For many it's a one-off they agreed to in a momentary lapse of reason - yet others become hooked, and for reasons difficult to explain to someone who has not previously participated in some form, that 'Trailwalker high' becomes a source of inspiration they ride until the same time the following year.

Team Oxymorons:

Friday April 9th
Eight Oxymorons (and more gear than could fit in the Tardis) left Auckland - Taupo bound and it all became more real.

Excitement lifted another notch after arriving at the Great Lake Centre for final registration and safety briefings, held in four different sessions to accommodate all the teams.

Saturday April 10th

04:45 Everyone was up and about at Camp Oxymorons - final preparations and a huge breakfast before the compulsory 06:30 arrival at the start.

06:30 Half of the teams have been on the course for half an hour already. The 07:00 start teams are put through a warm-up run by the Les Mills team, and are then treated to a waiata "Tutira Mai Nga Iwi" (Maori song) and kapa haka performance. A karakia (Maori prayer) was also said for the safe passage of Trailwalker participants.

06:54 - "amazing amazing atmosphere"

07:03 - " 'I would walk 500 miles' - on our way"

3 km - "beanies and fleeces have been swapped on the go for sunglasses"

7 km - "just passed Huka Falls, camera crew and cheer squad."

15 km - "Kilometre markers are like Survivor mail drops. Shared an Easter egg yummm!!!"

Checkpoint 1 - 10:31 (17.6 km)

The first checkpoint was where we began to understand just how important our support crew was to become.

10:57 - "just about to leave checkpoint 1. were met by trumpet fanfare from our awesome support crew :-)"

25 km
- " Quarter of the way there :-)"

Checkpoint 2 - 13:36 (30.4 km)

14:20 - " Feet iced and leaving checkpoint 2 - spirits good. Farewelled again by French horns and cheer squad."

Checkpoint 3 - 17:35 (46 km)

- "Checkpoint 3 - blisters, to pop or not to pop, that is the question. getting ready for night cold."

45 km
- "About to leave checkpoint 3. May the Red Bull give us wings, and may our support crew win an award."

- "50km!!! party photos at the halfway mark. morale great."

A milestone we were very glad to see, and one definitely worth celebrating!

- "good honest chocolate and a break at the aid station. 8km til spag bol."

Sunday April 11th:

Checkpoint 4 - 01:01 (65.1 km)

64 km
- "checkpoint 4. did plenty of star gazing on last leg. now huddled in car with spag bol."

Unfortunately our team leader was forced to withdraw at this stage. She had bravely battled injury and more, and even when she was about to be taken to hospital was apologising for letting us down. Not at all - we had seen what she had dealt with. She was definitely in our thoughts as we continued - look in the photos for her colourful scarf which was carried right to the finish line in turn by the remaining team members.

Checkpoint 5 - 03:37 (71.4 km)

Checkpoint 6 - 05:23 (79.1 km) -

79 km
- "checkpoint 6, and hopefully the last blister repair stop."

Checkpoint 7 - 08:26 (86.5 km)

- "At the last checkpoint. Everyone excited about the party finish."

At this stage the finish line is so close......yet so far away.......

Checkpoint 8 / Finish - 11:35 (100 km)

100 km
- "Oxymorons finished !!! Shattered but happy. Thanks to the best support team here :-)"

Total time - 28 hours 35 minutes

Perhaps some of you question whether it "really was 100 km". The truth is - no, this year it wasn't. Courtesy of a fallen tree which couldn't be moved in time, a detour was put in place adding an additional 100m to the distance. No problem, what's another 100m when you've gone that far......besides, it was the source of a few jokes out there on the course - so I think we got good value for the extra 100m.

To all of the Checkpoint volunteers - thank you for the enthusiastic welcomes and words of encouragement.

To all of the road marshals (particularly those who braved the long cold night) - thank you for your part in keeping us safe. Rest assured, next time we will do our best to get to you before your supplies of lollies run out :-)

To whoever left the party hat at the 50km marker - thank you for correctly anticipating how much that stick in the ground and piece of plastic would mean to all who followed.

To all of the Oxfam NZ volunteers - thank you for such an amazing experience.

To those who sponsored us , lent us equipment (or even a car) - many thanks.

To our hosts in Taupo - thank you for your wonderful hospitality. (They thanked us for invading their home by getting up at 5am to cook us a huge breakfast!)

To everyone who sent text or Twitter messages during the event, and everyone who joined our support page on Facebook - don't underestimate the worth of those words. They were always a welcome distraction.

@mikeNZ - thank you for your support of our team before, during and after the event. The encouragement and advice was much appreciated.

We are most in debt though to our wonderful support crew who pampered us at every checkpoint, sent frequent messages of support, and gave the best cheer squad performances - without ever getting a decent break themselves. Quite simply, we could not have done it without you. There may have only been four of us on the course, but there were eight Oxymorons at NZ Trailwalker 2010.

Twitter: j0trouble

"It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves."
"...even the mediocre can have adventures, and even the fearful can achieve."
- Sir Edmund Hillary

More photos below....

サポート隊がないと無理です  - 2010年のオックスファム・トレイルウォーカー


次に、次のチェックポイントが見える前に音が聞こえて来る - フレンチホルンの音だ。。。。参加者のおおよそ千人の中で、特に自分のチームの4人のためなのが分かる。





キャンプオクシモーロンズでもう皆が起きている - 最後の準備をして大きな朝食を食べた。06:30までにスタートに着かなければならなかった。



07:03 「‘500マイルを歩くでしょう(歌の名前)’ - スタート!」

07:40:13 3キロメートル(km)- 「 歩きながら帽子とセーターをサングラスに着替えした」

08:37:42 7km - 「フカ・フォールズ(水落)、カメラマン、応援団体を通ったところだ」

10:07:42 15km - 「キロメートルのマーカーはサバイバー(テレビ番組)の郵便受けのようだ。チョコレートを一緒に食べた - おいしかった~~!」

チェックポイント1 - 10:31 (17.6 km)

最初 のチェックポイントでサポート隊がどんなに重要か分かるようになって来た。

10:57 - 「フレンチホルンを吹いている我のかっこいいサポート隊に迎えられた!もうすぐチェックポイント1を出発する。」

12:50:53 25km - 「四分の一出来た (^-^)」

チェックポイント2 - 13:36 (30.4 km)

- 「足を氷に入れた。チェックポイント2を出発している - 皆は上機嫌である。またフレンチホルンと応援隊に見送られた。」

チェックポイント 3 - 17:35 (46 km)

18:14:08 45km
- 「足のまめ - 弾けるか弾けないかどうだろう。。。夜の寒さに対する準備をしている」

18:32 45km ― 「もうすぐチェックポイント3を出発する。レッドブル(スタミナドリンク)が私たちに翼を授けてくれますように (^-^)。我のサポート隊は賞品を貰いますように。」

20:52:22 50km - 「50km!!! 中間点で祝い写真を撮った。上機嫌である。


22:55:30 57km - 「おいしいチョコレートを食べながらちょっと休んでいる。後8kmでスパゲティが食べられる」


チェックポイント4  - 01:01 (65.1 km)

01:48:41 65 km
- 「チェックポイント4.前のセクションでよく星を見つめた。今、車の中の暑さでスパゲティを食べている。」

チェックポイント 5 - 03:37 (71.4 km)

チェックポイント 6 - 05:23 (79.1 km)

05:58:18 - 79km
「チェックポイント6、足まめを手当てするのは最後になりますように (^-^) 」

チェックポイント 7 - 08:26 (86.5 km)

08:53:25 - 86.5 km

チェックポイント 8 / ゴール!  11:35 (100 km)

11:48:43 100km
- 「チーム・オクシモーロンズがゴールした!!!本当に疲れ切って いるけど嬉しい!最高のサポート隊のおかげで! -‘ありがとう’」

総計時間 : 28時間35分

たぶん、これを読んでいる皆の中で「コースは本当に100キロメートルかな」と思っている人がいる。実は、今年のコースは100キロメートルじゃなかった。間に合わずに移動出来なかった倒れた木のため遠回りがあって、コースは100メート長くなっていた。大丈夫 - もうこれだけ遠く歩いたら余分な100メートルは問題にならないでしょう。

― チェックポイントのボランテイア全員へ - 元気よくのよいお迎えと応援の言葉、ありがとうございます。

― 各道路上での責任者全員へ - 参加者の安全を手伝ってくれて、ありがとうございます。来年責任者が配るお菓子がなくなる前に着くように頑張ります (笑)

― 50キロメートルのマーカーに飾りを置いておいてくれた人へ - あそこで皆が祝いしたいことを正しく予想して、ありがとうございます。

― オックスファム・ニュージーランドのボランテイア全員へ ― こんなすばらしい経験、ありがとうございました。

― チーム・オクシモーロンズに寄付をした人と備品(又は車)を貸してくれた人へ - 本当にありがとうございました。

― チームのタウポのホストへ - ご親切ありがとうございました。(彼らの家を押し寄せたお返しに、朝5時に起きておいしい朝ごはんを準備してくれた!)

― イベント中ツイッターのメッセージやメールを送ってくれた人、チームのフェイスブックの応援ページに参加した人へ - ありがとうございました。チーム全員はあなた達の言葉を大事にしました。

― @mikeNZ - イベントの前も、イベント中も、イベントが終わった時も我のチームを応援してくれて、ありがとうございました。アドバイスはとても役に立ちました。

― しかし、チーム・オクシモーロンズが一番感謝している団体は我のサポート対だ。全てのチェックポイントで甘やかしてくれたり, よく応援するメッセージを送ったりした。応援合戦があったら、優勝するはずだった。彼らはイベント中ほとんど休憩する機会がなかった。簡単に言うと、君たちがいなかったら完歩できなかった。2010年のオックスファム・トレイルウォーカーニュージーランドにサポート隊も合わせて8人のオクシモーロンズがいたよ (^-^)


- エドモンド・ヒラリー卿

Additional photos below
Photos: 76, Displayed: 27


2010 Oxfam Trailwalker NZ- 2010 年のオックスファム・トレイルウォーカー・ニュージーラン&#124892010 Oxfam Trailwalker NZ- 2010 年のオックスファム・トレイルウォーカー・ニュージーラン&#12489
2010 Oxfam Trailwalker NZ- 2010 年のオックスファム・トレイルウォーカー・ニュージーランド

The warmup has already started, but we're more interested in taking photos - ウォーミングアップがもう始まったが私たちは写真を撮るのを優先する。 Photo credit/写真: Carl Wells

4th May 2010

Wow, well done !
Well done Jo ! :) . Cheers to you and your team ! ... I'm now getting more and more excited about our trip to NZ in September. Lake Taupo is definitely on our must-see list !
4th May 2010
2010 Oxfam Trailwalker NZ - 2010のオックスファム・トレイルウォーカー・ニュージーランド

Well done! :) I reward you, by making your photo one of the first I use the new photo comment system to comment on.
4th May 2010

Well done on a fantastic achievement....and a great cause as well. Hope your feet have recovered!
5th May 2010

Well done
I once walked from London to Brighton in the UK for Oxfam so I can empathise with the effort needed. Never again, though! John
5th May 2010

Must be crazy
Thanks for the comments :-) The crazy thing is I'm actually keen on doing it again next year!

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