Ulster Way Article: Katie Launch’s Oxfam Ireland's Trailtrekker 2011 Challenge

Katie Launch’s Oxfam Ireland's Trailtrekker 2011 Challenge

Article Published on Oxfam.com and the Ulster Way

30th March 2011

Are you ready for the most exhilarating walk of your life? Oxfam Ireland today launched TRAILTREKKER 2011 in Dublin with Dr. Mark Hamilton of RTE from and Belfast’s Katie Larmour, one of the world’s most ambitious team challenges involving a non-stop 100km or 50km trek through the Mourne Mountains to Carlingford. This walk is tough but whether you choose the 100km or the 50km trek the experience will be exhilarating. A unique feature of this year’s TRAILTREKKER is the introduction of the 50km trek. Choose your challenge and help change lives in developing countries.

Taking place on September 10th-11th, the Oxfam TRAILTREKKER trail is a specially designed route that starts in Newcastle, Co. Down before traversing the Mourne Mountains, the Ring of Gullion and the Cooley Peninsula and finishing in the medieval village of Carlingford. This cross-border route encompasses some of Ireland’s most stunning landscapes and is steeped in Irish mythology.

Oxfam Ireland’s TRAILTREKKER is also part of a growing global phenomenon. There are now fifteen events in twelve different countries. Since TRAILTREKKER began in 1981 in Hong Kong, over 32,000 teams (128,000 individuals) have collectively walked over 11.5 million kilometres (the same distance as walking around the world 287 times!), becoming great ambassadors for Oxfam’s work and raising over £61 million.

TRAILTREKKER is now in its third year in Ireland and over the past two years it raised over £610,000 towards Oxfam Ireland’s work, helping to make real and practical differences to the lives of people in the developing world. £610,000 is the equivalent of Oxfam Ireland’s entire livelihoods programme spend in Malawi and Uganda in 2010. These programmes include everything from supporting projects that increase agricultural production in sustainable ways, addressing the consequences of climate change, strengthening access to markets for scale producers, especially women, and working with people affected by HIV and AIDS.

Oxfam Ireland’s Events Manager, Grace O’Neill says: “TRAILTREKKER will test your determination, stamina, dedication and camaraderie and anyone with a moderate level of fitness can train to take part. You’ll experience a massive sense of achievement, not only on a personal level but also as a team. Your trekking achievements will bring real change to some of the poorest communities in the world, as all the funds raised by TRAILTREKKER will enable Oxfam Ireland to carry out its work in east, central and southern Africa. Go on, choose your challenge and sign up today”.

For more details about signing up for TRAILTREKKER 2011, text “TREK” to 51500, or call 028 9089 5972 or visit www.oxfamireland.org/TRAILTREKKER.

Katie Larmour