World's Toughest Team Challenge Makes North American Debut in Canada



    Oxfam Trailwalker asks Canadians "Are You Tough Enough?"

    TORONTO, May 26 /CNW/ - Forget Ironman. Forget the Amazing Race. Meet
Oxfam Trailwalker, the world's toughest team challenge. Making its North
American debut in Ontario the weekend of July 24th - 26th, 2009, Trailwalker
is considered one of the most demanding outdoor physical challenges on Earth.
    Starting at the historic Fort Willow Depot in Springwater, Ontario, teams
of four will hike 100 challenging kilometres along the Ganaraska Trail System,
ending at Wasaga Beach on the shore of beautiful Georgian Bay. But that's not
all - each team must cross the finish line - together - all under a 48 hour
deadline.
    Originating in Hong Kong in the 1980s as a training exercise of the elite
military unit, the Queen's Gurkhas, Oxfam Trailwalker has gained international
recognition and now takes place in Hong Kong, Australia, England, Japan, New
Zealand, Belgium and for the first time this year, events are scheduled in The
Netherlands, Ireland and Canada.
    Recommending that teams not rest or sleep for more than 3 to 4 hours at a
time, participants have a maximum of 48 hours to complete the challenge. As
well as requiring the utmost from each team member physically, each team must
also commit to raise a minimum of $2,500, in support of Oxfam's community
development and humanitarian relief efforts worldwide.
    "Trailwalker is a one-of-a-kind event," says Nicole Salmon, Director of
Development at Oxfam Canada. "It offers people an incredibly satisfying
personal achievement and is a great experience to share with friends and
family, while helping those most in need."
    Trailwalker also offers unique personal growth and training opportunities
for Canadian athletes and competitors, such as curlers Craig Savill and Brent
Laing. As 2007 World Champions, Savill and Laing are currently in training for
the National Trials in Edmonton, competing for the chance to represent Canada
at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. "Trailwalker is the perfect training
exercise for our team," says Savill. "It gives us the opportunity to improve
our athletic endurance and at the same time reinforces our ability to work as
a team - supporting and relying on one another."
    Hundreds of Canadian volunteers have registered to support the event and
help meet Oxfam's goal of aiding in the lives of women, men and children
living in poverty around the world. Globally, Oxfam Trailwalker is a positive
force for change. The Trailwalker Hong Kong event currently sells out with
almost 4,000 participants per year. "As the inaugural North American stop for
Trailwalker, Canadians can be thrilled to join the prestigious ranks of host
locations across the globe," says Salmon. "While Canadians have a keen
competitive edge, we are also kind and generous by nature. Trailwalker is the
perfect opportunity for participants to achieve personal development while
demonstrating compassion and support for those most in need."

    About Oxfam Trailwalker

    Oxfam Trailwalker began in 1981 in Hong Kong, and has since grown into
one of the world's leading sporting challenges. In just over 20 years, Oxfam
Trailwalker has become a major international fundraising event held in over
eight countries. Since its inception, the event has raised millions of dollars
internationally with thousands of people competing each year.

    About Oxfam Canada

    Oxfam Canada fights poverty and injustice in developing countries with a
strong commitment to women's rights and equality between women and men. Oxfam
Canada is a member of Oxfam International, a federation of thirteen autonomous
non-governmental organizations. Together, Oxfam works to tackle the root
causes of poverty, social injustice and inequality. Founded in 1963, Oxfam
Canada supports community programs that develop leadership, self-reliance and
active citizenship.
    For more information about Oxfam Trailwalker Canada, or to sign up a team
to participate, please visit oxfamtrailwalker.ca.





For further information:

For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: James
Loftus, DDB Public Relations, (416) 963-4538, james.loftus@can.ddbpr.com; Elyn
Kirby, DDB Public Relations, (416) 963-4539, elyn.kirby.arscott@can.ddbpr.com

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Oxfam Canada

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