Oxfam Trailwalker 2011 – REPORT

Namban Rengo was well represented in the 5th Oxfam Japan Trailwalker event over the weekend of 14–15 May. The grueling 100-km challenge starts in Odawara and traverses rugged mountain ranges through the volcanic caldera of Hakone National Park before finishing at Lake Yamanaka. Less race than physical challenge that pits man (and woman) against nature, Trailwalker was held about a month later than usual this year because of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Teams of four must complete the course within 48 hours, signing in together at eight check points along the way.

Trailwalker is becoming more popular with Namban members year by year, and this edition featured at least 15 club members across six teams. James, Juergen, Yoshi and their friend Ko-san were the first team to finish in an incredible 16 hours and 44 minutes. Phil, Don and Ed finished in 4th place in about 21 hours. A team featuring Martin came home in 22 hours. Gareth, Paddy, Peter and Chika finished in 29:14 and Mary, Jaynie and Caroline with their friend Susie followed a mere 10 minutes later in 29:25. Fabrizio finished near the 30 hour mark.

A squadron of club members came out to support the competitors along the way, and many competitors expressed deep gratitude for their moral-boosting presence, citing failure to complete as a likely consequence had these hardy supporters not made the journey!

Congratulations to everybody, not only Namban folks, who competed in and supported this grueling and very worthwhile fundraising event!