100km trek for charity and challenge

2 Jul
Tarnia Wither's team at the finish

Tarnia Wither’s team at the finish

By Elouise Hill, Bond University Journalism Student

A Gold Coast woman has completed a 100km trek in less than 35 hours to prove that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

Tarnia Wither and her three teammates finished the Brisbane Oxfam Trailwalker held on June 20 in 34 hours and 45 minutes surviving on zero sleep and 100% will power.

“I set myself a huge challenge and I wanted to see if my mind and my body could take me there,” said Tarnia.

“It was the most awesome, rewarding and most horrible, painful thing I have ever done – all at the same time.”

The 31-year-old trained for three months before the Trailwalker, with some sessions lasting 10 hours.

trek“The last three months we trained six days a week, all over the Gold Coast and parts of the trail itself.”

With months of physical training behind her, Tarnia said her mind proved to be her strongest asset during the challenge.

“The biggest thing I learnt is the fact that your mind and body are two completely separate things,” said Tarnia.

“When your body is telling you to stop, you can find pieces in your mind that tell you to keep going, and you can actually keep going.”

Marketing and Fundraising Coordinator of Oxfam Trailwalker Alan White said the idea of the Trailwalker is to challenge poverty and getting people to fundraise to support the challenge

“People are walking 100km in 48 hours and that’s really difficult,” said Mr White.

“Then you’ve got people in poverty-stricken communities that are doing that every day.”

Mr White said the funds raised from the Trailwalker go towards Oxfam’s long-term projects to provide communities the resources to lift themselves out of poverty.

“There are lots of endurance challenges that people can partake in but this is something that really makes a tangible difference,” said Mr White.

“It’s a life-changing challenge for not only people who participate here, but for the people who benefit from the programs in the long-run.”

The Oxfam Trailwalker aims to raise $1.6 million to go towards Oxfam’s sustainable living programs in poverty-stricken communities.

The final 2014 events will be held in Sydney and Perth in August and October this year.

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