OXFAM Trailwalker 2019
By Troy Browne, Medical Leader Surgical Services
on behalf of the BOPDHB team Don’t Worry BEE
Our team this year was named ‘Don’t Worry BEE Happy’, as we
were not going to worry if the bees were happy. Last year was a
bee sting extravaganza. I went for a 23 km test run about 18 days before race day (which
worked well – 2hr 36 with some good hills), followed by a 10km
three days later, which saw me back to limping. So, I packed it
up, and decided I could run 10 km straight on the day, followed
by a total of no more than a marathon over 100km in bits and
pieces. Our team supported this approach, and on the day all four
delivered in our own special way – by leading in every area where
we were individually expert. Patrick spiritually and motivationally
(with a ton of mobile music), Lauren as the coach to all, James by
demonstrating how easy it was, and me by knowing how best to
get the weakest body over 100km as fast as possible and still able
to run at the end.
The team this year included colleagues from last year, Patrick
White and Lauren Assink, with a newbie Senior House Officer
James Chancellor. James is very fit and noted where I fitted in.
We had an awesome support crew consisting of Business Leader
Surgical Services Dot McKeown and her daughter Kate. A highlight was stopping in about the middle to remember the
Christchurch massacre, with Patrick leading the prayer in fluent
Te Reo. Other highlights were rejoicing the marathon mark, the 58
km mark (only a marathon to go), and the 79 km mark (only a half
marathon to go).
This was my 4th OXFAM 100km, being a survivor of the epic OTW
2016 – an event off the scale by difficulty and weather – more than
a double whammy - two squared!! My only leadership was to state that if we passed the team ahead
of us, we should do it politely, and then run and don’t look back
(Mission Impossible style). We did pass them, and the other three
started running, and I got to enjoy running about 3+ km of the
Birdwalk track to the 100km mark. This track is no joke. Lauren
led this well, being an expert and knowing every inch of the track.
I recall messages being passed back to check on me, and I was
always close enough that I could hear them. Running this type of
trail at night is another story, as it is steep, made of tree root steps
and very unforgiving if you get it wrong. Luckily, our best falls were
on the flat stuff. I enjoyed mine on flat grass outside of Rewatu
Marae (55Km), and it was interesting to see Patrick hit the beach
sand at Ōhope (76km).
This was the 100km fundraiser for OXFAM NZ
2019. An event that I have become addicted to,
and strongly support.
My challenge was that I dropped a massive tree on my left foot 4
January this year. This meant I simply could not train and limped
about until about two weeks before this ‘walking’ event which we
intended to run.
My other challenge (apart from the tree) was that my colleagues
were always going to be fitter than me (despite Patrick being
older). I have learned that being a member of a strong good team
will always result in good outcomes.