Four sailors from the ship’s company of frigate, HMAS Anzac, have tested their sea legs, taking on a 50-kilometre walk for charity through the spectacular scenery of the Perth hills.
The OXFAM Trailwalker series is held each year in the vicinity of Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
A period of ship maintenance afforded the perfect opportunity for health maintenance and to hit the trail in support of a good cause.
Heavy thunderstorms and winds in excess of 60 knots battered Perth in the lead up to the event, resulting in race organisers taking the unprecedented step of cancelling the 100-kilometre walk that had originally been the goal.
Not to be deterred, the team elected to take part in the alternative ‘short’ walk of in 24 hours.
This still substantial undertaking was not without purpose, as the team raised $3,000 for charity in the lead up to the event.
In the early hours of Saturday morning, in the pouring rain, Team Anzac took the first of over 70,000 steps setting out as one of 243 teams from across Western Australia.
Team Leader, Able Seaman Communication and Information Systems Scott Thomson said he didn’t think the team fully understood the scale of what they were about to do until crossing the starting line.
“Fifty kilometres in under 12 hours is enough to make most people break a sweat just thinking about it,” he said.
Throughout the trail, sailors tackled numerous obstacles, including rocky trails, steep inclines, slippery surfaces and many blisters and much chafing.
Able Seaman Communication and Information Systems Joshua Kedwell said they couldn’t have done it without another team behind the scenes.
“It would have been an even more daunting challenge had it not been for the support crew,” he said.
“We had a team of three Anzac sailors, who provided the walkers with fresh clothes, hot food and some much-needed motivation at each of the four checkpoints spread throughout the trail.”
After 11 hours and 31 minutes, Team Anzac crossed the finish line together.
“A tremendous achievement for all, the team should be proud of their grit, determination and camaraderie throughout a challenging day,” Leading Seaman Thomson said.
Despite shaking legs and blistered toes it was smiles all around for the team, who are all looking forward to an opportunity to take on the longer distance next year.