Friday, 9 June 2017

Oxfam Trailwalker Madrid 2017

I have been a member of Oxfam for several years now, but only last summer I learnt about the Trailwalker. As you can read in their webpage:

Trailwalker is the greatest team challenge of the world fight against poverty. The challenge consists of four member teams walking 100km in less than 32 hours. The members of the team must start together, stay together and finish together.
The aim? To fight poverty and injustice around the world. That is why the teams commit themselves to obtain donations for Oxfam Intermón. Each contribution improves many lives, so encourage your family and friends to help. 


Trailwalker was originally a military training exercise for the Gurkha Regiment in Hong Kong. In 1986, it became an Oxfam event for fundraising and since then it has grown to become one of the most important sport challenges, held annually in different countries around the world.

100km in less than 32 hours and obtaining at least 1500€ in donations requires some work, so after talking with my family and convincing a group of colleagues at work and friends, we managed to set up a team around November 2016 for the Trailwalker Madrid 2017. Below is the team webpage (as per June 2017, after having finished the race and having obtained 1830€ in donations).

The Trailwalker Madrid 2017 webpage is very well organized, with loads of tips on training and fund raising. We tried to read all of it and get organized as soon as possible.

Fund raising

For fund raising we didn't organize any events, and mainly we just created a poster to put up at work and to distribute it via:
  • e-mails to work colleagues and friends
  • WhatsApp messages
  • word of mouth
The poster looked like this (version in Spanish):

We also created a Facebook page (, so that people could follow our training and fund raising progress.

I have to say that fund raising was more difficult than we had anticipated and full of surprises (in some cases total strangers donating large sums of money, while no money coming from people we were 'sure' would help us). In any case, at the end we managed to go well past the minimum required of 1500€ and collected for Oxfam a total of 1830€.


All the members being quite busy at work, we decided that we would train individually most of the time, but try to meet once per month to do a team session together. That would mean six training sessions together (December - May). Simone had some trips and could not join all the sessions, but he is the fittest of the group, so he was going to cope well anyway. The six training sessions were:

Training 1: 

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 Training 2:

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Training 3:

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Training 4:

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Training 5:

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Training 6:

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Race day

After all these preparations, we were quite ready for the Trailwalker, but we were always assuming that the weather was going to be hot and dry (which suits us nice, living in Tenerife). But as the race day got closer, the forecast was of rain (a lot of rain and storms), which made me quite anxious and concerned about blisters, my main issue in all the previous training days.

As it turned out, the weather was quite good throughout the race, except for some rain and hail in the first hours (there was also quite a heavy storm the following day, more or less about 30 hours after the starting time, but we managed to avoid this one completely, having finished in about 27.5 hours).

The race started on June 3rd, at 09:00. Not being a competitive race, the atmosphere was really friendly and supportive of each other. In total there were six intermediate stops, where everything was very well organized and Oxfam provided water, fruits, coffee, etc. plus physiotherapy and feet care services, and our support team was always ready to prepare us some meal or get us anything that we might need.

In total it took us some 27.5 hours to complete the 100km. Our original plan was to try and do it in 24 hours, but in the end our stops were a bit longer than planned, and towards the end we started having some serious blister issues, which forced us to go much slower. Here it is the final route (more detailed stats can be seen at:

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Some memories from the day:

Overall, this was a fantastic experience, even more when we know that all the effort we made was for a good cause. For the Trailwalker'17 edition (consisting of three races: Girona, Euskadi and Madrid), all together we were able to raise for Oxfam Intermón a total of 1059384.53€, which will be used to help improve the quality of life of many people around the world (

Well done everyone involved and many thanks to all our supporters!!