There must be something about pushing your mind and body to the limit, because Jirsch Sutherland’s own Team S.C.A.M. is back for another go at the 100km Oxfam Australia Trail-walker event this year.
After several members of this year’s team completed the 100km Sydney walk in 2016, this year the awesome foursome signed up to do all four 100km Oxfam walks, attempting the 2018 QUADFAM Challenge.
The dedicated group – Jirsch Sutherland’s Sule Arnautovic (aka The Tortoise) and Andrew Spring (aka Calves), together with Craig Perring (aka The Alleged Captain) and Rhys Comley (aka The Hare) – have already done the Melbourne (20hrs 37 mins) and Brisbane (21 hours 55 minutes) walks this year, with another two gruelling walks to go in Sydney and Perth.
While the team is helping to raise money for charity and shedding some light on an important cause, the challenge is also a relationship building exercise for those involved.
Managing Partner Sule Arnautovic said the team expected Sydney to be the hardest walk of the four and one of the biggest challenges was staying motivated.
“We’ve worked hard to keep our training ongoing and also keep our bodies on track because of injuries,” Sule says. “I have a knee injury at the moment, so I’ve been racing time to be fit enough to do any of them.
“But humour keeps us going – there’s been some funny moments along the way; for one me losing my marbles, also known as ‘Bonking’ (also referred to as ‘hitting the wall’: this is what happens when your body runs low on glycogen to burn as a fuel source) as a result of starting too fast in the Sydney Oxfam, Craig getting angry at the team for skipping a scheduled checkpoint in Melbourne and Andrew running out of water on a training walk!
“Basically every walk has a moment of humour… It usually involves ‘Bonking’ but it’s preferable when it’s actually happening to another team, not your own. We can’t wait to finish in October, we’ll have a big donor party and we’re also thinking about going to Bali with our families to celebrate and have some much needed R&R.”
Snakes, spiders and many laughs
Team Captain Craig Perring says the challenges have been vast, but the experience great.
“All of the walks are different and hard, often people underestimate what walking 100 kilometres can be like, the fun doesn’t kick in until about the 70 to 80km mark. It’s also super hard to keep training when you have to roll out of bed on a Saturday at 4.30am and it’s a lot of time taken away from our families,” Craig says.
“But generally speaking we have a good laugh on the track, there’s sometimes some light swearing, and we also whittle away the hours by solving the world’s problems as we walk. Although I’d like to add: what goes on in the bush…stays in the bush!
“That said, we really do get to see some beautiful things, sugar gliders for instance (which are so rare!), brown snakes, black snakes, massive schools of fish and loads of other cool wildlife out on the trail.
“We’ve had quite a few injuries, and there’s a huge mental aspect to this too. We’ve seen a lot of people break down out there, but we so far always finish as a four-strong team and cross the finish line together. That’s the most important thing.”
Andrew Spring also adds: “This is the hardest thing I would never endorse! Buyer beware…”
By the end of their journey Team S.C.A.M. will have walked 400km (excluding 100s of kms of training) and raised much needed funds for Oxfam to help find sustainable solutions to poverty around the world.
Seems there’s some truth in the old adage then, the team that laughs and plays together, stays together.
Go Team S.C.A.M… we wish you well for the challenges ahead!
You can donate to Team Scam here: https://trailwalker.oxfam.org.au/my/team/30227