“We apologise for the delay in transmission …”
After the last walk, I was away from the computer for a week so Darren put his two-bob’s worthonto our team’s blog page on the Oxfam website (and here).
So last week we were finishing our series of long training walks with some back-to-back walking, planning on 30 km on Saturday afternoon followed by 30 km Sunday morning.
As we were sick of travelling for an hour to get to the start point when we train on the trail, we decided to keep it local for this weekend, so chose to redo a couple of our earlier training walks but combining them to get the length we wanted.
We met at the Eltham Leisure Centre and Mike had the brilliant idea of modifying the suggested walk slightly to “make it a bit more interesting because we haven’t done that bit yet, and it would add a couple more hills to aid the training process”. That sounded okay, so with Mike as our new navigator we set off. After the 4th or 5th hill, and we’re talking real Eltham hills here, not little weak rises with pretensions of grandeur, Chris decided it was time to discuss the meaning of the word ‘couple’.
The information that Oxfam provides suggests that you have a drink every 15 minutes on the walk, so upon discovering that Chris’s watch could be set for all sorts of alarms, she is now officially the ‘keeper of the beep’. Each time her watch beeps, we have a sip of water. It works well.
We all have our roles in this walk, Chris is the keeper of the beep, Darren makes sure we eat when we should, Mike is our motivator and I write the stories.
At the halfway mark, we stopped for a hot chocolate in Diamond Creek, and bought a bag of hot chips (as you can possibly tell, we were a lot more relaxed about this walk than the previous couple), so we were able to ‘carbo-load’ as we walked back to Eltham.
The walk to Diamond Creek wasn’t enough to get our distance so we continued on and did a loop of the Lower Eltham Park and Lenister Farm before coming back to the cars at about 8 pm. A little bit of negotiation about what our start time should be the following morning resulted in agreeing to meet at 6:30 am.
At 6:30 in the morning it’s really quite dark. So … we got to try out our head torches again. We decided on a flattish section this morning because that’s what we’ll be doing during the event, lots of hills on day 1 followed initially by hours of flat on day 2. So out past Eltham Lower Park again, onto the Main Yarra Trail towards Warrandyte. This is a really pleasant walk, even for normal people, and once the sun came up, we were joined occasionally by people walking dogs, riding bikes or just taking early morning walks with their loved ones. Darren started channelling Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and coming out with pithy comments (many of which ended up as Twitter entries, see above). We were aiming for Donvale Christian College as it is the end point of the 50 km Upstream Challenge (which was where we managed to find a good map of the Main Yarra Trail) and it seemed like a good a place a any to aim for. We got there, we turned around, we walked back as far as Petty’s Orchard, who were having their annual Apple Festival which started at 10 am, and it was just after 10 am, and we were sure we needed a checkpoint break about now. So a quick detour to Petty’s Orchard, to taste the heirloom apple varieties, have a coffee and check out the stalls, before moving back onto the path and finishing our walk around midday.
That was our last big walk before the event, with our walks now being just little 1 – 2 hour events to keep our legs working rather than long training walks. According to the Oxfam website today there is 1 week and 3 days before the event starts so we are in repair and refresh mode so that we’re all ready for the walk on the 16th.
I’ve just discovered that you can keep track of the walkers during the event by looking up the team tracker on the Oxfam website.
* Go to the Oxfam Trailwalker website
* Click on Team Info
* Click on the spot on the right which says ‘view event results on TeamTracker’
* Type in our team name (100 reasons), or one of our names
Or … try the link below
This should get you to a page which, although it has nothing yet of course, will show where we’re up to, if any of us have had to pull out, and what time we checked in and out of each checkpoint.
Darren’s trying to find out whether the ‘Live Team Updates’ button on the right will be where any Twitter comments will be put as he can send them while walking, as well as some photos.
Oxfam Trailwalker Melbourne – 100 km – teams of 4 – 48 hours
To read more about my team go to www.oxfam.org.au/trailwalker/melbourne/team/520