MONAHAN + ROWELL Lawyers (M+R) were the first law firm across the finish line in the Melbourne Oxfam Trailwalker challenge.
Team captain James Tucker led Nadia Spiller, Andrew Brennan and Aida Lee on the 100 kilometre trek which they completed in 23 hours and 26 minutes.
The trek, which took place on 23-25 March, began in Jells Park in Wheelers Hill, continued into the Dandenong Ranges, and ended in the expansive Wesburn Park.
“I loved it. For about six months leading up to the event there was a level of training I enjoyed. But the actual event was so far over and above anything we had had to do before. The feelings that we had and the experience as a result was certainly something you don’t often get to do,” Tucker said.
Those feelings ranged from nervous apprehension and excitement through to exhaustion as the event took place on an uncharacteristically hot 36 degree Celsius day.
“When it rained later that night it gave us a new lease of life. We finally were cool and ready to attack the last 40-50km or so,” Tucker said.
But the team had doubts on the final stretch about whether they would make it across the finish line.
“Towards the end we were just really feeling it was too much and unsure how much further we could go individually and as a team. Certainly we all appreciated [crossing the finish line] but it was too exhausting to think about. It was such a relief to put on some warm clothes and celebrate with some champagne,” Tucker said.
The team began training six months before the walk with weekend walks and daily walks up and down the stairs of the Rialto building in Melbourne, where the firm is located on the 31st floor. Tucker said they sustained more blisters and injuries during training than the throughout the actual event, except for one team member who had a rather unpleasant experience.
“One of the girls had to endure a fairly painful trip to emergency and get pins through her toenails to release the pressure under the toenails,” he said
Stopping only at checkpoints, the team didn’t sleep throughout the challenge.
This is the first time that M+R was involved in the event and the team managed to raise $1575 through the Oxfam website and around another $3500 through donations and other fundraising activities.
Altogether, 592 teams took part in the challenge and 539 completed the walk. So far a total of approximately $1.5 million has been raised for Oxfam Australia through the Challenge. A Sydney Oxfam Trailwalker is scheduled for 24-26 August.