Contributed by Jeanine Glen
Team Go Run Girls, Jeanine, Maree, Katrina and Laurie set out on the 20th of March to conquer the ever amazing, Oxfam Trailwalker 100km Challenge. Raising money to help end global poverty. With all the teams combined this event raised over $1.14 million dollars toward this goal. An incredible united effort.
Below is the Team's race summary written by member Jeanine and recap from what was a challenging but enjoyable weekend.
This whole adventure started with a chat in our Go Run Girls group about the Oxfam Trail events and how fantastic they were. Raising money for such a good cause as well as pushing ourselves to complete an 100km goal.
Next thing we new Maree owner and head coach at Go Run Girls was asking Katrina, Laurie and myself to join her on the 100km adventure around Taranaki. We set about asking our friends and family to help us as support crew, which you need in this event as they do not have any aid stations. Laurie and Jeanine's husbands took on this role as our pit crew at check points along with Jeanine's daughter's and Maree's daughter.
We have all done ultras before so knew what was ahead of us but hadn't worked in a team setting together before. To get prepared we had Zoom meetings due to all of us living in different areas of the North Island. We also kept up our Facebook chat to organise how we would work together, what we would need in aid stations, what where our strengths and weaknesses and how we could all best support each other.
Thank goodness we had those discussions! We would later on find out one of the team members would need a lot of support so this chat had come in super handy. We went into the event all ready to work together, help each other and of course have lot's of fun!
The one thing we didn't need to have a chat about was what tights we would wear as we are all Zeenya colour addicts so the hardest part there was choosing a print. As you can see, we went for a half and half team colour range.
The night before the event the excitement built as we had dinner with our support crew and the Buff team. Team Buff went onto win the event that Maree's husband Stefan was part of. We did our final prep of checking over maps, talked about any extras we needed to buy and discussed the plan to our support crew about check points and what we'd like ready for us when we got to them. There was such a buzz between us all that the day was upon us and gratefully Covid-19 lockdowns hadn't got in our way like it had sadly with many other events.
The morning of the event we checked in and then went for many, many nervous toilet stops before the 6am startline. When we started off we may of got a little lost for a few kilometers along with some other teams. I must admit we were super thankful once we got back on the course again and after that we kept a closer eye on the markers and the map we had been given. Our wonderful Kat had printed out a larger map so she lead the way with directions with great skill and many laughs as we did get confused many times in which way to go.
We were steady with our pace of power walking and jogging all the while having lots of fun and laughs. Check points went smoothly with Geoff and Chris having everything we needed ready for us in our own containers so it was easy to find. They even made trips to get us burgers and then later on as it grew colder, hot chips.
So how did we collectively pass 100km together? We made up a game of who ever patted the most animals got more 'points' as we are all animal lovers. This was a fun distraction for us at last remembered count we'd patted 14 dogs, 1 horse, gotten one bee sting, found one rat climbing a tree and learnt many facts about cows and bulls from our on-hand farmer Kat. Laurie may have won the dog patting competition even running backwards sometimes to get extra points while making up many fantastic songs with her wonderful singing voice. Maree was our fantastic run coach along with being our reminder for us all to eat and drink so that everyone kept up their energy levels. I'm often called camp mother as I love to organise/prep and carry everything just incase someone needs anything. Having a team that communicates and has different strengths was really important in this event as some teams were out there for 36 hours.
Other than the odd sore knees and blisters, all was going well until the 70km mark. Going up a hill I had my first ever asthma attack from seasonal allergies. Luckily Laurie new exactly what to do and could help me. We were in the middle of nowhere so we took it slow. I'm so grateful for the team supporting me to safety of the nearest town 13km away. This is where I got medical help from the ambulance crews .This was sadly the end of the event for me at 82km as I could not carry on being so short of breath.
Laurie, Kat and Maree went on to push hard and win the first women's team across the line. With a top 7 finish, we were all back together with our pit crew to cheer them across the line. In total it was a huge 19 hours and 40 min out on course.
Our Go Run Girls team had a fantastic adventure exploring a new area of New Zealand and rasing money for charity, about $3100 at last count.
This event is for all abilities with lots of support from other teams along the way if you want a chat. You have 36 hours to do 100km so why not give it a try! The Go Run Girls Team will always be happy to help if you have any questions on the 50km or 100km event. This was my 3rd Oxfam 100km event and I vow I'll be back to finish off what I didn't finish this year for sure.
We all came away with our bodies in pretty good nick aside from some blisters, a couple of sore knees and both Laurie and I are recovering from our lung issues. We are so proud of how we did in the event and hope to inspire some other ladies to give it ago next year.We hope to see you out on the trails.
GRG team 2021
To get in touch with Jeanine, connect with her on Instagram or contact Maree at Go Run Girls. If you're thinking this challenge could be for you in 2022 - then they'd love to see you conquer it!