A beautiful autumn day of 22 degrees was forecast, and delivered, for our third Rotary Team Challenge, along the old KEP Track and Heritage Trail from Northam down to the Old Railway Station at Swan View.
Participants included the 75km & 50km mountain bike riders, 50km walkers & runners and 22km runners & walkers, starting at various times throughout the day, with the earliest being the 50 km walkers who left in near darkness at 6.00am from Bakers Hill.
The 75 km riders left Northam at 11.00am and after a few minor mishaps, such as getting trapped in the water corporation area just out of Northam as only the front gate was unlocked, having to climb over a barbed wire fence to get out and having the odd puncture, the riders arrived in good spirits in Bakers Hill just in time for lunch at the famous Bakers Hill Bakery!
A few of the riders, and lots of their support teams, fuelled up at the bakery, as indeed did I, and the comradery and good humour of the riders shone through and the team spirit amongst them was what our event is all about.
This year we had 152 people register for our event which is simply amazing as we have doubled our participants each year, and the popularity of our event has meant many are coming back again to take up the challenge while supporting a very worthwhile charity in Multiple Sclerosis.
This year we had teams from Mundaring Rotary, Perth Rotaract, as well as 4 Rotary foreign exchange students, who decided at the last moment to take part with you’ve guessed it NO BIKES! We were able to secure 3 Mountain Bikes at short notice and the 4 lads tag teamed their way for the full 75 km from Northam to the finish, and had a great time.
In addition this year we had 3 large teams register with 13 from the Vault Gym, 13 from the Fat Dads and 15 from the all-girl team the Frenchies. We also had corporate teams from Schindlers Lifts and Kone Lifts compete, and we are hoping for more friendly corporate rivalry in future years.
The 22 km option from Chidlow to Swan View is proving to be the most popular with participants as it has spectacular views and even a 340 metre long dark old railway tunnel to add to the fun so a head light is required if you take the tunnel challenge rather than the longer route around the tunnel.
Of course there are many people to thank for the successful running of the event and the rotary members from Osborne Park and Mundaring, and other volunteers, did a fantastic job manning road crossings, checkpoints, registering the in and out times of competitors as well as checking on their health and providing water and fruit along the way. A huge thank you to all who helped on the day.
The finish this year at the old railway station at Swan View was absolutely brilliant with a wonderful atmosphere as competitors came over the finish line to be greeted by wild applause, smiling faces and even a medal.
Help was also on hand at the finish from podiatrists and masseurs to relax the tired muscles and feet of the competitors. Special mention goes to the Rapid Relief Team, who not only supplied all the water on the day, but provided tea and coffee, cakes and a sausage sizzle and drinks at the finish.
Our state member of parliament in Chris Hatton, the MLA for Balcatta, was on hand all afternoon to help with the medal presentations, putting up the MS arch and stayed till after dark helping us pack up all the gear – a truly selfless act which was greatly appreciated by our club and its members.
Thanks also goes to our many sponsors who allow us to run the event in a professional way and cover the costs of staging this wonderful challenge and support such a worthwhile charity in Multiple Sclerosis Their sponsorship also allows our club to continue our major project – sending used medical equipment and beds to hospitals in Cambodia, as well as a wide range of other worthwhile rotary projects.
Finally we thank all the participants who challenged themselves and raised nearly $74,000 for MS, a truly remarkable achievement you can be proud of. We hope you will spread the word amongst your friends and work colleagues and be back next year, as we believe the opportunity to help those less fortunate than ourselves brings out the best in all of us.
Thank you all so much for taking our challenge and making this an event we can all be very proud of.
Fundraising Director 2014 – 2015
Rotary Club of Osborne Park