They are a group of four friends — Christopher Coulston, Paul Raddon, Paul Loriggio and Anil Kumar working for different organisations in Hyderabad. They share a passion for walking and biryani, with the former having a slight edge. That’s why they call themselves The Hyderabad Perambulators! Living up to the name, they’re participating in the 100 km Oxfam Trailwalker India event on February 7.
“I have always enjoyed walking and trekking, especially in Wales and Scotland, so was excited (and slightly nervous!) by the idea of the 100km challenge in India”, says Christopher. “I spoke with friends in Hyderabad and both Paul Raddon and Paul Loriggio were keen to join. It turned out that Paul Loriggio had already completed the Oxfam Trailwalker twice in the UK”, he added.
Teams of four walk 100 km in 48 hours or 50 km in 24 hours at the Oxfam Trailwalker events. “Whether we still enjoy walking after 90 kms remains to be seen”, quipped Christopher. Jokes apart, the effort is a test of physical endurance, requiring mental strength and team spirit as well. The greater goal is to raise funds to fight injustice.
“We’re walking the 100km trail and we’re also aiming to do it in 24 hours. The main challenge has been getting together as a team to train. We’ve therefore walked a lot individually, in pairs and as a threesome, and also all together a number of times. We’ve covered almost 300 km each now, completing over 100 km of training treks in January. Some of these were in Hyderabad, including a trek to Golconda Fort,” says Paul Raddon.
“The OxfamTW Challenge is an excellent opportunity for us to give back to India while taking in some spectacular scenery and pushing ourselves physically and mentally,” adds Christopher.
“We decided that we would register for the 100 km challenge in September last year and our training programme started then, building up the number of walks and distance covered”, says0 Anil Kumar.
Oxfam Trailwalker India attracts runners, marathoners and fitness enthusiasts as well as homemakers, CEOs, students, doctors, and even cancer survivors.“We have been using social media, posting about the Trailwalker Challenge on Facebook, LinkedIn, Insta and WhatsApp, giving updates on our training progress. We’re also focused on raising awareness and we talk about how the fundraising supports those in need in India. Our posts have garnered more than 10,000 views so far,” says Paul Loriggio.
The event is currently being held in 17 locations across 10 different countries. Rigorous impact assessments are done to ensure that the event is sustainable and the waste generated enroute is effectively managed....