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Reviews - Warts and All

We Are Thrilled
Just a note of thanks and acknowledgement for all the hard work you put in for Saturday’s amazing event. The weather was perfect and the track, although torturous at times, was no harder than expected. At the end of the day, our practice paid off with a 9 hours 41 minutes finish time, so we are thrilled. I’m so glad to have gone the extra mile, and will definitely be recommending it as the challenge of the year for 2011.

Every good wish
From Tina (Foot Soldiers)

Amazing Walk
Just wanted to say thanks to you and Sam and your incredible team for the walk on Saturday. I hope the Lord has provided some rest for you as from today. It was an amazing walk, well constructed, interesting scenery. The weather was AMAZING. WOW!!!

Couple of highlights for me:
* Having you fire the starting gun, and then clap and cheer us on as we took off. You and team have done incredible hard work, but you were thanking and honouring us walkers in that simple act. We were partnering as Kingdom people. It was truly moving for me.
* The chances I had before, during and after walk to explain why we were walking, and what this issue matters to God’s people.
* Pitstop support, checking in, food, etc was very very smooth.
* Water provision when we crosses Mountain Hwy after Doongalla appreciated because we drank more than we expected - thanks
* Having the chance to do an event like this with my wife and 20 and 18yr old daughters.
* My legs, hips and hamstrings. This is my issue, not the organisors. Nothing else.

I would have given up at pitstop 3 if it was a regular training walk, but… we were going to make it. My two team members who dropped out at 30 and 40k marks were in incredible appreciation of [the] event!
Pastor Andrew Harper

Fantastic Event
On behalf of “Harden Up” we would like to thank you once again for organising such a fantastic event. Can you please pass on our thanks to the hundreds of people that you must have roped in to help out. They were brilliant! It would have taken a huge amount of effort to pull this off so professionally. The trail was great and much, much better than Oxfam. It was marked really well, especially the last part. I believe the part we were walking just as it got dark could have been marked a bit better, we would have got lost at one point if we were not able to follow the group in front. Mind you, we did not do any of the walk in training and did not really study the map but it looked like there were a fair few people less prepared and experienced than us and we were concerned about them.
Jezz (Harden Up)

Totally Amazed
This was the first time I have ever commited to do such a walk. I was totally amazed with the fantasic oganisation and smooth running of the event. I walked with 3 other ladies in team "Maarit". The day has been personally very rewarding for me, knowing that I have participated in such a worthy cause and sucessfully without and injury walked 50k's. Keep up the wonderful work you are doing.
Kind regards, ELizabeth Guy

Withdrawal Symptoms
We're all having withdrawal symptoms from the day now that we've GONE the extra mile. :-)

Vision Impaired Oldies
The day was exciting...weather was perfect (thanks for organising that!). My fellow walkers said that markers were a lot better this year. My only recommendation is that the signs at each turn be a little bigger (for vision impaired oldies). Other than that it was a great day.
Thanks, Sep :)

Painfully Fun Time
The walk was very well thought out! :) Had a painfully fun time!
Joan Tan

Well Organised
Congratulations on a great event. It was so well organised, very friendly and supportive. You should be really pleased. I’m looking forward to next year.
Regards Kerrie Dowsley

Event Will Get Bigger
I participated on Saturday for my first time (but only did the first 15 km) and wanted to let you know that I thought it was a really well run event and what a beautiful day! The pitstops were well organised and the volunteers along the way were fantastic .. thanking the walkers and giving encouragement. I am sure the event will get bigger and bigger. I would like to offer my suggestions as well ...
* To have markers every 5 km so people can see how far they have come.
* We had some people we invited to be involved say no because they felt they could not do 50km. I would advertise that people can do a 15km, 25km or 50km walk - so people have an option if they are not up to the 50 km. [Editors Note: we advertise the relay and family walk aspect of the event for those not wanting to walk the full 50kms]
* We were recently involved in the Maroondah Hospital Walk Run which was a 4km walk or 8km run and they provided a medal at the end in a showbag ... for those that reached the 50km mark I think they definitely deserved a medal or some other form of recognition at the finish line.
* I would also sell T-Shifts - giving people the option to buy these when Registering before the event .... to raise money and give more promotion of the event if people wore them on the day. Congratulations on such a great event.

Thank You
Thanks very much for a fabulously well organized event. An exhausting but wonderful day, I especially found the 1000 steps a particularly energy sapping and painful encounter, which seemed as though it would never end. In the other up and down sections of the walk I was greatly aided by a pair [of] sticks picked up from the bush as substitute walking poles. The sticks allowed me the use upper body strength to help go up steep hills with less effort and break the downhill impacts on the leg joints and reduce stress on the leg muscles. So I could highly recommend them to first time and not well prepared walkers such as myself. Having a walking buddy was really good for morale and ensuring that we had two sets of eyes especially during dusk on the tags a glow sticks which very so helpful. Thank you again and many blessings on your work for the Dalit children!
Regards, Joe Kovacs

Talk of Facebook
What a great way to end the event by reflecting on the whole day! Here's my thoughts so far: The day didn't start at 6am that Saturday morning. It started last year as 4 girls called themselves Micah68 and signed up for the first Go The Extra Mile. We managed to finish it in 10.5 hours. We needn't publicise it officially but i think our excitement and experience of last year's event caught on over the year and we ended up multiplying Micah68 from 1 team of 4 friends to this year 5 teams (Kewties, DAYAKs, Last Minute & Cruisers) of a total of 30 friends by the Friday night of the big day! This year the team strategy for finishing the trail was different as we were all at different paces so I had moments of the journey where i was sometimes with my team mates and sometimes on my own. The lonesome moments were beautiful being able to be engulfed in God's magnificent creation and just worshipping Him! With each step I claimed that Satan was being crushed under OUR feet (Romans15), that poverty and injustice was being defeated as all the walkers were stepping out to do this. All 30 of us crossed the line! The last man from our group was not the last but the first in spirit as he had cramping at 20km but kept on walking and hobbled to the finish line at 930pm! You should've seen the comments and status on facebook of all of us who did it! I couldn't keep up! It was the talk of facebook 'town'.. Thanks so much for organising this event once again. So many of us who chose to challenge ourselves have had so many listening points of the day which have paralleled with our personal journies with God. Thanks so much for serving us! May the Dalit kids be blessed in Jesus Name because of the fruit of your labour!
Sue-Lee (Micah68)

Didn't Like Steep Descent
Loved the event - first time this year. Really liked the check in and check out of each check point, plus the mobile phone numbers and buddy system. Made me feel very well cared for in an event that could easily otherwise leave people feeling like they are just walking without any real support - well done. Didn't like the steep descent on 'view track', well my knees did struggle a lot with that hill. Otherwise liked the paths chosen, very scenic.
Thanks again, Gavin

Awesome Experience
This was the most amazing an awesome experience I have had. I have never done anything like this before and was a bit, well maybe more than a bit, nervous leading up to the day. Especially as it was just me and the girls. I wouldn’t have worried if I had Geoff there to help. That power of two and all that. Anyway I had a great day and we are all now talking about next year. Geoff and Jack are contemplating the night walk in November, I will be contemplating bed! Some of the highlights watching the sun come up over the wetlands. Watching the moon go down. Seeing all the cockies in a dead tree with the full moon behind them but with the sun coming up. Spending some time with my girls. Making a new friend, Trevor. Being at the finish line to see those who walked the 50km finish, in particular Michelle and Bronwyn, 2 of my favourite and inspiring ladies, Seeing the fellowship of all both Christians and non Christians working together cooking sausages for those at the finish line. Seeing kids who have been up since who knows when and their enthusiasm for life.

Bit Anxious About Walk in Dark
Firstly thank you for organising this fantastic event and for your obedience to the call to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Team "Are we there yet" had a fantastic day. The event was well organised with plenty of supplies at all the pitstops. We just enjoyed the conversations with all the volunteers as they encouraged, applauded, joked and laughed and handed out the all important lollies as they directed us on our way. The atmosphere of the whole event was just fantastic. We were a bit anxious about walking in the dark, but overall it was not as bad as we thought. The glow sticks were placed in very strategic points although when we got to one intersection you could tell that someone had taken it away, but this didn't seem to hold us back at all. We had a friend who decided on the day that she would walk one section with us. Beiling joined us at Doongalla and was just going to walk to the thousand steps. However, she was such an inspiration and blessing to the team that we encouraged her to do the remaining final section with us as well which she did. Talk about going the extra mile for your friends. Hopefully next year Bee will be and official member of team "Are we there yet" We have been so inspired by this walk and the wonderful opportunity to help the Dalit children in India that we are seriously considering doing the 50km walk in Brisbane in August. Our families live in Brisbane so we are going to try and form a team with as many members as possible. I will email some of the photos we took on the day as you suggested. Blessings to you
Kind Regards Melanie, Carmen & Pierre AKA "Are we there yet"

I was blown away...
I’ve participated in runs in cities around the world, and I was blown away by how well this walk was planned and carried out. The organizers thought of every last detail, from hot soup at pit stops to glow sticks lighting the nighttime path.

But even more impressive were the attitudes of the dozens of volunteers who eagerly offered their smiles and encouragement along with lollies and coffee. They clearly cared about each walker’s well being and motivation for being there, which was the most striking aspect of the event, the meaning behind it. The goal was not just a 50-km endurance hike but a chance to channel energy and effort to combat oppression. We endured blisters and sore knees to heighten awareness about a people group suffering generations of injustice.

Years ago, when I first heard about the plight of the Dalit children in India, I was overwhelmed by this problem, which seemed too complex and distant for me to help. As a Christian I knew about God’s concern for the poor and oppressed. I was familiar with the teachings and life of Jesus, how he was outraged and broken-hearted about injustice, how he spent time with outcasts and undesirables and how he lifted up the ignored and disdained. I wanted to try to do the same; I just wasn’t sure how.

Throughout my life I’ve repeatedly wished that I could just run hard enough or walk far enough to resolve someone’s despair – to make someone’s cancer go away, relationship heal or grief ease. Then I discovered someone had arranged just that. I could walk till my legs were exhausted and it would, miraculously, help thousands of children in another country. I found a way to support those who were already in India helping and doing a great job of it. I no longer had to ignore the tug to right what was wrong or lessen the burden of others. In some small way, I could contribute to a cause that was following Jesus’ controversial, counter-cultural approach to love: choosing to be with, care for and empower the least of these.

When I first heard about Go the Extra Mile, I didn’t know if I could walk 50 km in one day. Now, three days after the event, I don’t know how I couldn’t have. I thought making it through the day would be a great achievement, and it was. But as my body quickly recovered, I was left considering the far-greater, and more lasting, accomplishment, bringing hope to those an ocean away.

The event will take off...
To the Extra Mile Team,

Kate and I would like to thank you for a great event last Saturday. We loved it. We had trained on the course and thought it was beautiful, especially from checkpoint 2 to 4. There were plenty of challenging hills, which we enjoy.

The course was well marked and the map book was mostly easy to follow. You had fantastic volunteers, so supportive and good lollies! Also they were in good positions and not too far apart.

The checkpoints had good supplies of appropriate food and drink. Also the distance of 50km is challenging but not too threatening. Training is manageable for this distance.

The posters and information sent on registering were helpful to promote fundraising. The charity was worthy and great to see 100% of donations going to the children. Your team should be congratulated.

Kate and I believe this event will take off over the next few years....that's why we are so proud (and really shocked) to have won the inaugural event. We believe you will get better runners and lots more participants next year! We will definitely promote your event among our running and walking friends.

See you next year!
Robin Lennon

Special thanks to the glow stick girl...
I wanted to say that Saturday's event was fantastically run, all the pitstops were well organised with plenty of supplies. All the helpers along the way were fantastic support - so encouraging.

The markers were great especially the glow sticks at the end - walking in dark was a great challenge. A special thanks to the glow stick girl - without those I would have been very scared, so thanks heaps. Also thanks to the other walkers it was such a positive feeling to be part of such a bigger picture, which is easily forgotten when on training walks.

A special thank you to Pete and Samantha you guys are just the very best you put in so much work and never without a smile you should both be very proud of yourselves. And of course the 5 little elves who helped in every and any way they could. So Thanks xx

The hills killed me...
Great job on Sat. Really impressed in the quality of the event. The up and downs of the hills killed me.

I struggled to finish section 3 not so much because of fitness, as the pain in the feet, ankles, legs etc. I have a hip thing that kicked in in that stage. Still pleased with 38 klms.

Great event...
Hi all, Great event on Saturday. Our team really enjoyed the walk. Big thanks to all the volunteers who made the day a success.

Fantastic event...
Just a short note to sincerely thank you and your organisation for a fantastic event. My team mate, Kerrie Dowsley, and I have participated in the Oxfam 100km Trailwalker in 2006 and 2007. Yet we found the “Go the Extra Mile” just as challenging, if not more so, especially section 3 with the constant hills.

I found the steep downhill gravel View Track (?) very arduous, as my knee had gone as we commenced the uphill channel 10 track when departing checkpoint 2. Fortunately, a gentleman by the name of Terry was kind enough to loan me his hiking pole and he was certainly my saviour, my beacon of light!
I felt that section 3 was more intense than any section of the Oxfam, due to having 14km of hills. Whereas my recollections with Oxfam is that you do have the hills, but then the track would plateau out, therefore giving you a chance to recuperate.

Just noticed the results on the website and am impressed with the breakdown of times. As I am with all the volunteers at the checkpoints and even the photographers were a welcome face along the trail. Glenys at checkpoint 2 and another lady in a black jacket who kindly made us jam sandwiches, were an absolute delight and all was very much appreciated.

I am looking forward to seeing the photos and reliving all the pain and glory. I will forward them onto those who have pledged support in order to ensure their sponsorship follows through. Once again Peter, many thanks and I will look forward to next year. Considering I only had 2 week’s notice, I have pulled up okay. Although I will make sure I train and prepare more next time.

Kind regards

God is alive...
To Event Organisers, I just completed the 50km walk4charity event in Melbourne. Thanks for organising such a meaningful event and giving us the opportunity to make a difference in a fun and exciting way!

We had a chance after pit stop 2 to trek and pray for the Dalit children and family. It was good for us to open our mind, heart and soul to what is happening to people in India. God is alive and moving - we can feel Him!

I am looking forward to the next run or walk in 2010! much love,

Micah68 team

I especially enjoyed this challenge...
Great Challenge. Great walk. I know the walking tracks around the hills but discovered some new ones. The thousand steps don't get easier at the 38km mark.

I especially enjoyed this challenge as I did it with my 21 year old son. We don't usually walk together so it was great to spend some with him walking.

Hi there, thanks for the opportunity to walk for a great cause.

The third leg was very tough...
Hi there, thanks for the opportunity to walk for a great cause. It was a very difficult walk but the achievement of finishing was huge. Thank you for a very well run and organised marathon. The third leg was very tough but when we thought about whom was going to benefit from us going through it allowed us to try and enjoy the scenery more than the pain.

We had our third pit stop at the top of the 1000 steps which was the only way I made it up. Thanks again for the challenge.

Well done...
I thought the event was great, a real challenge. If i have any feedback it would be to shorten the course for the younger/older/less fit personell as it was tough at times up and down many hills through the ranges.

The track in parts could have been mapped and marked better, at times we got lost but having my partner skilled in navigation we found our way to the end.

Apart from that the event was excellent and I look forward to it again in the future. Well Done!

Congratulations! Awesome event! Hope you and the family are recovering well!

Great bunch of volunteers...
Congratulations to the organisers of 'Go The Extra Mile'. The event was brilliantly run, especially for an inaugural, and you managed to secure a great bunch of volunteers for every aspect of the walk.

The atmosphere that you created at the end of the walk made it all worthwhile for me and, I am sure, many others. Well done!

Kind regards

The trail was amazing...
Here are a few random reflections from the event: It was the perfect event to raise awareness & money for the less fortunate, take on a challenge & get fit. The event was very professionally organised (as I would have expected).

The trail was amazing - very beautiful & super tough which I loved (despite my pain)! It was lovely to have the children at the end clapping & laughing as the walkers came in to finish. A great way to celebrate with the children. Each pit stop was good, having snacks & drinks there meant less to carry on the trip - for which I am VERY grateful for!

I am very grateful for the experience & I felt very encouraged & supported before & during the walk. I felt very taken care of by my support team & also the organisers of this event & the volunteers. Thank you.

PS. It was kind of creepy having photographers at every corner photographing me but it is something I can put up with...

Mel :P

Not enough glowsticks...
- trying to get people to donate and to see our donations tally was difficult at first until some changes were made to the tabs on the walk4charity website

- toilet announcement at the start of the event should have been earlier so that we could be back in time to hear the rest of the announcements.

- food/drink and lollies provided was very good.

- marshall's lanyards with distance and time info very handy along the way.

- not enough glow sticks in the last 10km. We walked 2 hours in the dark with a torch and were often worried we had gone the wrong way, they needed to be more frequent.

- I would definately participate in the event again.


Put me down for the next one...
Thank you for inviting me to help, it was a real joy, what a great effort from organizing a DREAM & seeing the Lord turn it into REALITY.

Put me down for the next one.

Andrew (Volunteer)