Ready to do 100km at age 76

Chris Gorman, Rachael Smith, Therese Paul and Debbie Burns leave this Friday for the arduous overnight event.

Chris Gorman, Rachael Smith, Therese Paul and Debbie Burns leave this Friday for the arduous overnight event.

The walk attracts thousands of competitors to raise funds for Oxfam.

The walk attracts thousands of competitors to raise funds for Oxfam.

At 76, Springwood's Chris Gorman is the oldest competitor in this weekend's Oxfam Trailwalker and he's told event organisers he also intends to be the oldest finisher of the100 km overnight challenge.

He is part of the team the Western Motorcycles Sister and a Mister, a team normally consisting of four women.

But when one of the women pulled out this year, Chris's daughter Therese Paul, from Emu Heights (the team leader), managed to convince him to take part instead.

"One of the ladies had an injury and I was going on the walks with them because I love the walks and when she had to drop out, I asked them who they were going to get and they just looked at me," he said laughing.

He's been training ever since and the team has walked all the stages of the trail. They also completed an overnight walk to build up the endurance needed to walk almost consistently for 30-plus hours.

"You'd think you'd feel like a dead dog in the morning but when we did the night walk I found you came out and your adrenalin is up and you're raring to go."

The retired engineer says it won't be the hardest thing he has ever done. He's completed more than a dozen City to Surfs, numerous triathlons, ocean swims and a half marathon, but his biggest comparable challenge "was down in the Antarctic ... riding - more like running - on dog sleds for miles in 1961" while in charge of communications for a scientific research expedition.

He's prepared for any obstacle - hypothermia, dehydration, snakes and spiders.

"They've prepared us for everything" and said his age is just a number and he won't hold his team back.

"I don't think it [age] matters.

"I've always been fit, I've got no injuries. I'll get there, don't worry about it. The thing is just to do what you can do and gradually extend yourself."

A regular volunteer for numerous causes including St Vinnies and the East Timor Support Group, he's looking forward to contributing to Oxfam's efforts to help poverty stricken communities.

Oxfam Australia is part of a global movement fighting poverty and injustice and funds long-term, sustainable projects and also responds to emergencies.

The Oxfam walk was conceived as a military training exercise for Gurkhas based in Hong Kong. Since 1999, more than 55,000 people have participated in the event and have collectively raised more than $50 million for Oxfam Australia's work.

"Oxfam does so much good work," Mr Gorman said.

Mr Gorman hopes to "get people from the Blue Mountains to support us, I'm dragging the chain with meeting our $6000 target [because I started late] but now we're trying to go for 7[000]".

More than 2000 walkers will take part in the Sydney trail from Parsley Bay in the Hawkesbury River township of Brooklyn to Georges Heights Oval in Mosman.

To sponsor Mr Gorman's team go to: www Oxfam.org.au/trailwalker and search for western motorcycles.

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