Doing it tough: Beckenham resident to tackle ‘mental’ Oxfam Trailwalker for fifth time

The brother and sister team of  Mario Herewini and Polly Whakaari. Mr Herewini  once finished the walk hopping on one foot after suffering a bad injury
The brother and sister team of Mario Herewini and Polly Whakaari. Mr Herewini once finished the walk hopping on one foot after suffering a bad injury

WHILE he would not advise trying it, Mario Herewini can proudly boast he once completed the last 30 kilometers of the Oxfam Trailwalker on a single leg.

Mr Herewini, currently preparing to tackle the 100-kilmetre trek for charity for the fifth time, sustained a heavy injury to his foot midway through the event three years ago.

The Beckenham resident said by the time he reached the 70-kilometer mark of the event, he was forced to finish the race on one foot.

“I hopped for 30 kilometers – my foot was black after that. I couldn’t walk, I was taking 20 minutes to do a kilometer,” he said.

“Afterwards, I couldn’t even go to the toilet, I had to drag myself to the bathroom and lie there on the floor; I couldn’t go to work.”

Despite the event’s toughness, his sister and teammate Polly Whakaari said they look forward to raising money and training for it every year.

“It is very fulfilling. I think we’ve raised over $40,000. I’ve done seven, coming up to my eighth,” she said.

“I like the fact I’m able to do something for charity as well as keep fit. We train once a week and we do something together as a family.”

Mr Herewini said while on the surface it may seem like a walk in the park, it was one of the most gruelling things he had ever done.

“People say it’s just walking, but after 20 kilometers, you start feeling pain you never felt before,” he said.

“You get to 80 kilometers and you’re in a world of hurt. It becomes mental after about 50kms.”

The Oxfam Trailwalker takes place September 22-24 in Darlington.