Sport

Good mates walk and run for benefit of others

By Fraser Walker-Pearce

A 100KM journey walking and running. All in the name of charity.

Two brave Echuca-Moama men are taking on the Oxfam Trailwalker event, which is back bigger than ever this year on a new and improved course in Melbourne’s east.

Starting on Friday, March 29 at 6am, Echuca’s own Steve Gray and Dr Sam Kennedy will join with two mates from the Yarra Valley, Matt and Steve Davis, to take on the extraordinary challenge to raise funds for Oxfam’s push to deal with poverty.

The time dedicated to walking and running that sheer distance is not lost on Gray, who said there had been more than a few practice walks along the way.

‘‘We’ve done a few big walks in the lead up, up to 40km at a time and we will do a night walk over a couple of the sections which will add to about 50km,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re doing it for Oxfam, they’re a charity helping people around the world who are under-privileged to get things like fresh water and food and helping better themselves.

‘‘It starts at Lysterfield Park, east of Melbourne and we head up over Mount Dandenong, following the Yarra River and ending up at Westfield Reserve in Fairfield.’’

The 100km journey is expected to take the four-man team between 15 and 18 hours.

‘‘I imagine there’ll be a bit of running but mostly a lot of walking involved in that time,’’ Gray said.

‘‘We’ll start at 10am probably near the back. We hope to finish at 4am Saturday morning.’’

And with hundreds of teams getting involved both with fundraising and completing the event, Gray’s team ‘Three Tree Guys and the Doc’ have lofty goals for their own fundraising.

‘‘On top of the entry fee of $700 we wanted to add on our fundraising goal of $2100,’’ he said.

‘‘We started fundraising last week and have already surpassed that number as we’re at $2500 at the moment, and we want a bit more before the event starts.

‘‘There are donation tins around town, but otherwise if people would like to donate they can head to the website and search for our team. That’s where they will find the donate button, otherwise we’re listed as team 159.

‘‘I actually have a 50th birthday party we’re attending in Bendigo on Saturday night so I might have to ask if they have a large couch or a wheelchair handy I think,’’ he laughed.

For information, or to donate to the Three Tree Guys and the Doc, visit trailwalker.oxfam.org.au and hit the donate button.