Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Oxfam Trailwalker 2010: Machines and Mechanics Edition

What I witnessed this weekend was absolutely humbling. Several of my friends participated in the local Oxfam Trailwalker race. That's 100 kilometers of hiking within one weekend for charity.

Since I am physically unprepared to handle such insanity, since training in Hong Kong during the summer would be a disaster for me, and since I don't have a whole lot of $$ to spare, I wanted to do some good, donate my time, and support my friends

more after the jump...

Being a part of the support team is equivalent to being in the pit crew for Nascar. It's really anything required to keep the teams fueled and moving. We brought their bags to various checkpoints so they could change, layer up as the night wore on, fed them, and made sure they had enough water. My day was roughly 20 hours of schlepping, but it was a great experience observing these machines GO!

We also made some very inspirational signs :)

We supported two fast teams: Scramblers and Fukwas. I have no idea how they maintained a quick pace for so long. Some of those trails I haven't even attempted yet because they're too hard for me! And when the sun goes down and it's pitch black... running down trails and stairs with only a headlamp? I have a hard time in full daylight! I would have definitely hurt myself.

Because we were always moving and supporting two teams, we didn't have a whole lot of downtime. We expected a lot of sitting and were prepared with books, magazines, and even tv shows, but it ended up being more moving than I expected. Thankfully our leader was hyper prepared with excel spreadsheets and even a powerpoint presentation! But there's really no other way to do it when managing so many people.

Support team was tired and cranky by 6 AM. I can't even imagine how the real teams were hiking for that long! Scramblers came in sub 22 hours, and Fukwas arrived sub 24 hours. Absolutely amazing!

The first place team arrived just under 12 hours. How is that even humanly possible??

To celebrate, the next day both machine teams along with their mechanics enjoyed a gorgeous day at Top Deck at the Jumbo Floating Restaurant. My first time! The food was good, the company was great, and the free flowing champagne was fabulous!

Many of my pictures didn't appear on the blog... perhaps the file size was too big.

I'm not entirely sure how the trailwalkers got out of bed to celebrate the next day. I think I was more tired than they were! They really are machines!

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