Swallowing spiders all in a day’s walk

It’s taken them seven months but Team S.C.A.M. made it to the end! This year’s Oxfam Trailwalker events recently came to an end in Perth. And while the four team members – Jirsch Sutherland Partners Sule Arnautovic and Andrew Spring, together with fellow team members Craig Perring and Rhys Comley – had plenty of adventures along the way (some good, some not so good), they survived to tell the tale.

The intrepid group began the journey in Melbourne in March and they recently wrapped up the Quadfam in Perth. For the final Trailwalker they started their 100km adventure in Darlington, in Perth’s hills district. The team then travelled along the Railway Reserves Heritage Trail through to scenic Swan View.

 All up, Team S.C.A.M. participated in all four 100km Oxfam walks this year, including:

  • Melbourne 100km Oxfam completed in 20.37 hrs
  • Brisbane 100km Oxfam completed in 21.55hrs
  • Sydney 100km Oxfam completed in 23.50hrs
  • Perth 100 km Oxfam completed in 19.42 hrs

The odds at the outset of all four team members completing all four events in under 24 hours was calculated at greater than 20,000:1 (based on actual results).

“And that doesn’t factor in our above average kilogram count and sedentary standard day-to-day,” says Andrew. “This is a modern-day miracle!”

Impressively, Team S.C.A.M. finished third out of 83 teams in Perth – a personal best! – and they’ve raised in excess of $10,000 for Oxfam this year.

 Swallowing spiders and enduring searing heat

Oxfam Trailwalker is one of the world’s most life changing challenges. Teams of four take on 100kms of bush trail – day and night – within 48 hours. Teams must start together, stick together and finish together, making it a gruelling test of physical and mental strength.

“We highly recommend the experience – that is of course if you like sleep deprivation, addiction to pain killers, permanent foot scarring and enormous physiotherapy bills,” laughs Andrew.

Navigating 400kms of Australia’s exquisite walking trails certainly came with a few challenges, namely swallowing spiders, dodging snakes, and listening to Craig’s endless tales of local flora and fauna.

“All equally horrible,” Andrew says tongue firmly in cheek. “We encountered all types of weather – searing heat, drenching rain and blinding fog banks – but being cold to the bone at 3am was almost a breaking point.”

Living up to its reputation as a life changing challenge, the team says it’s proud to have helped Oxfam Australia tackle global poverty.

“Equally, we are proud to have achieved something we thought we could not,” says Andrew. “Hopefully we have also provided some element of inspiration for our friends and family to challenge themselves in some way because if we can do it…”

Jirsch Sutherland