A team of 4 Challengers from NSW have recently completed an epic fundraising walk down the coast of Sydney!
The team’s first step was to plan the route: 35kms from Palm Beach to Manly. The girls chose to organise the walk themselves, rather than joining a charity walk, which proved very cost effective as there were no overheads or registrations to pay.
They then planned 5 practice walks covering each section of 10kms, and eventually built up to a longer walk of 20kms, which they completed about a month before their final hike.
The girls ran into challenges along the way. In January they had to deal with some quite adverse weather, blizzard-like conditions one week and then 35 degrees the next!
But their preparation hikes taught them what they would need for their 35km challenge. The list included plenty of water and a few light snacks, light rain coat, hat, bandaids, sunscreen, insect repellent and salt for leaches.
The team used apps including Map My Run GPS and an online map as well as a good old paper map in a plastic bag in case there was no internet along the route. As a safety precaution they also downloaded the emergency app used by triple zero in NSW in case of an accident, but that fortunately was not needed.
The girls also had a support car for their walks which held supplies including an esky, ice, extra water, lots of watermelon, grapes and sushi as well as a few towels etc in case they needed to dry off!
The final walk was planned in April school holidays in an attempt to get the best walking weather. Starting at sunrise to maximize daylight, the girls did 4 segments, 3 x 10kms and a final quick 5kms home. Each 10kms took about 2 hours and they had a half hour rest at each break point, not too long to get stiff but long enough to recharge in the shade. The support crew walked intermittent legs with the girls which helped to motivate them especially in the middle of the day when it got hot. The whole walk took a total of 9 hours!
As for sponsorship, they kept it simple. One girl raised quite a lot by getting her interstate family and friends to sponsor online. The other girls just asked family and friends and recorded the pledges on paper.
In total they raised a few thousand dollars between them, but the teamwork and team building was probably the greatest advantage…the practice hike will be a walk in the park after this effort!