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Go The Extra Mile 2017 is now history, only the fundraising prizes are left to be awarded and this will take place after May 30th when the fundraising officially ends. All in all, the event was a tremendous success, with 192 walkers/runners starting at Jells Park at 7am on Saturday 6th May – the morning was mild, the coffee was good and enthusiasm and energy levels were high. Amongst our walkers were some special people, the Hon Alan Tudge MP – Member for Aston and Minister for Human Services, a team from our travel partner Mission Travel, as well as several first time GTEM participants and many returning ones – what an awesome group and we sincerely THANK each and every one.

The Backgrounder

As 7am approached the group were reminded of why they were walking, they were reminded of the Ugandan orphans and widows in the Village of Hope, and the children with disabilities in the Home of Hope, that had been praying for the walk and for the walkers. Every dollar raised on this walk would go towards building hope for these wonderful children and releasing them to dream again.

As the sun rose the walkers left the start line and headed on their way, a couple had to leave at the Family pitstop and the rest arrived at Pitstop 1 to be greeted by the LightFM Saturday morning crew, who were broadcasting live from there. It was fantastic atmosphere with giveaways and music and some found it hard to leave and continue the walk, but others pushed through determined to not let anything distract them from the goal of finishing. Seven more walkers left the walk at Pitstop 1 for various reasons.

Pitstop 2 the halfway mark, was a little more subdued and the opportunity to refuel the body was taken along with an inspection of blisters and footwear. A further ten walkers retired at this Pitstop but 173 continued to Pitstop 3 – a little rain was being encountered along the way, but this was not dampening the spirits of our walkers who now had the finish line in the sights. At Pitstop 3 we had another twenty-one walkers retire and 152 continue, another 3 walkers retired before they arrived at the Finish Line.

The finish line was fully setup and ready to go this year well in time for our first participant to come across in a record time of 4 hours and 52 minutes – CONGRATULATIONS David Spencer. He was followed by Luke Vandenberg (5 hrs 50 mins) and Greg Newport (5 hrs 56 mins) – the rest of this group of 149 who finished the 50kms kept coming across the Finish Line until 9:01pm a creditable 14 hrs 1 min after the start.

We also want to THANK our amazing team of volunteers who took care of our pitstops, pointed the way along the track, delivered first-aid, assisted at road crossings, performed welcome massages at the finish line, put up markers, put up glow sticks, took them all down again and helped setup and pack up – this event would not have happened without you – THANK YOU!


While the “big story” is GTEM 2017 and the money being raised – it is the little stories that really make this event a success –

  • the story of a walker who finished the walk, went home had a shower, changed and then came back with a pizza to share with his friend who was volunteering at a way finder spot.

  • The story of the group of walkers who stopped to assist a walker that was knocked over by a bike, not caring for their own walk progress.

  • The story of the guy who finished and then came back after shower and having something to eat, just to chat and encourage other finishers and to help pack up at the end of the night.

Then the special story of Winnie one of the first children to come to the Village of Hope in Uganda back in 2009 – who graduated from a Hotel Management course with high achievement on the Friday night as we were preparing for the walk, and on Saturday while the walk was on, she was speaking with the rest of the children at the Village of Hope and encouraging them to work hard, to be disciplined and to trust God, and that they will see their paths changed.

This truly is the Cycle of Poverty being Broken!!!

We need to make special mention of the 70 plus people who put up their hands to volunteer with the event. Their assistance made for an amazing day - and all walkers were grateful for the encouragement that they received along the way.

A big "thank you" to you all for your tireless and amazing efforts.

The effort of all our walkers to raise over $80,000 has been phenomenal, these funds make a significant difference to the lives of the children that we have placed in our care.  Even though the walk is finished for this year, we will continue to "Go The Extra Mile" to do what we can to change the world of as many children as we can who are living far below the poverty line. 

HopeBuilders would be grateful for your continued support of any of the projects on an ongoing basis and we invite you to consider joining us on a trip to visit the work that is being in Uganda. We have teams that visit regularly throughout the year. 

For more information please contact us via email at


We will have all the photos available for you to access on our website ASAP.

Let's Do it Again in 2018

We look forward to seeing you all again next year (proposed date 5th May 2018). Wwe thank you ALL once again for your continued support of GoTheExtraMile. We hope you will tell others about us and maybe bring them along for the next walk in the park!


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