Four teams from ReadyTech hit the trail for the Oxfam Trailwalker in Melbourne in March, working together to raise over $10,000 and overcome all the challenges that come with walking 100kms.
The Oxfam Trailwalker is Australia’s original charity team endurance event. With the aim of raising funds to tackle poverty around the world, it brings together hundreds of teams in Melbourne over two days in March, setting them the significant challenge of walking 100kms for a good cause.
This year ReadyTech entered four teams of four in the Melbourne event. Raising over $10,000 in total, the 16 staff from ReadyTech, JobReady, VETtrak and HR3 who took on the elements (including hail) to participate this year have not only done well to support Oxfam, but have a great story to tell.
So what was it like to walk the walk? We sat down with JobReady’s Brendan Miller for a debrief.
Q&A: Brendan Miller, Customer Experience Officer, JobReady
Why did you decide to take on the Oxfam Trailwalker?
I was initially just doing the training walks with some of the team on weekends for fun. Because of some leave restrictions I had no plans to walk in the actual Melbourne event on the day. When someone from ReadyTech’s Team 4 unfortunately had to drop out ahead of the event, some strings were pulled and I was asked if I wanted to join. Oxfam’s poverty mission is also a cause that meant a lot to those involved from ReadyTech – it’s just a really great charity event to get out and support.
How did the ReadyTech teams do?
Everyone did fantastically well – everyone was really determined. Even the people who eventually had to make a decision to drop out put everything they could into it. There were four out of the original 16 that had to retire due to some really rough deals – serious blisters for example. There was one person on my team whose knees literally gave up on him, meaning he had to use his walking poles as crutches for a while. People just put in an amazing effort, and it was a great chance to meet and bond with people from other ReadyTech offices. Together we were able to raise over $10,000. A big thanks to the amazing support team – without them we wouldn’t have been able to get through it.
What were the highlights for you?
Definitely crossing the finish line together with ReadyTech Teams 1, 2 and 4. While Team 3 managed to finish a little quicker than the rest of us, completing that final leg as a larger group was a fantastic feeling. Other than that, there were some harder sections getting to Checkpoint 2 – there were quite a few hills and inclines very early on – and it felt pretty good to get to the top and put those behind us.
What about most challenging moments?
The longest part of the trail was the 19kms between Checkpoints 5 and 6, which we did between 3am and 8am in the morning. It turned out to be really bad rainy weather – so it was dark, cold and with the constant rain absolutely everything was wet, including our shoes and socks. We even had a short burst of hail. Morale was not very high. I personally started listening to music to keep myself sane, and unfortunately, it was at Checkpoint 6 where some of our people needed to retire.
How does walking 100kms actually feel?
It really didn’t feel that long. I guess because you’re awake for it from beginning to end – aside from the short sleep some of us had at Checkpoint 5 – the whole thing goes by really quickly. The worst part was that most of the latter part of the route was concrete – a lot of walkways and tarmac, rather than the bush we had at the beginning. It really ruins the feeling in your feet – it makes everything numb. I managed to finish without any blisters and my muscles weren’t too sore. I live about 3kms away from the office, and although it was only two days after the event, I walked to work on Monday morning!
The big question: would you ever do it again?
Yes! I’d definitely think about doing the Sydney Oxfam Trailwalker. Apparently it’s the hardest route out of the three events in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, so I’d be keen to give it a try. Hopefully for that we’ll be able to another group of ReadyTech teams together!