Hundreds go walkabout in New Plymouth to combat worldwide poverty

Hundreds of walkers in the Oxfam Trailwalker event made steady progress under clear skies and a cool breeze in New Plymouth today.
The charitable event is being held for the first time in Taranaki after previously being hosted by Taup and Whakatane.

More than 1300 walkers from over 300 teams entered in two separate routes, over 50km and 100km, made their way along streets, and roadways and across farmland after starting between 6am and 7am from Ngmotu Beach on Saturday.

Among the 100km walkers who started at 6am Saturday were a three-person team, Tribe Financial, from Auckland, who set the early pace to be the first team to the second checkpoint at the TSB Stadium, having covered 30km of the 100km route in 3 hours and 10 minutes.

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New Plymouth-based Running Girls crossed the finish line a few minutes before 4pm Saturday to take line honours with a total time of just under nine hours, and about 20 minutes ahead of the second placed , Hanson St Heroes, also from New Plymouth.

We were chased by the team of young guys who called us old girls, it kept us going faster, Running Girls team anggota Fiona Parkinson said.

New Plymouth-based Running Girls were first across the finish line in the Oxfam Trailwalker 50km event in just under nine hours. (From left) Lisa McCready, Fiona Parkinson, Katherine Rottire, and Helen Begg.

It was a really interesting course with lots of beautiful parts of the city to showcase to visitors.

It made us really proud that this was our place.

Parkinson said local knowledge helped the team, who have competed together in endurance events for 10 years, through some of the areas which other teams took longer to complete.

The team were also in a hurry to finish so they could see the Crowded House concert at the Bowl of Brooklands on Saturday night, she said.

The bulk of the 50km teams are expected to finish mid-evening Saturday while the first 100km team is expected to finish the course around 8pm Saturday.

The bulk of the 100km teams are expected to finish early on Sunday morning.

Support crews were kept busy at the first two checkpoints at Francis Douglas Memorial College and the TSB Stadium helping change teammates socks, feeding hungry appetites and applying relief to blisters.

All teams entered have raised money for the Oxfam charity towards combating worldwide poverty.


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