9 November 2023

Down comes the rain, Menslink walkers' spirits remain high (although their feet are very wet)

| Genevieve Jacobs
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people standing on hill

Menslink walkers are more than halfway through their 140 km trek around Canberra. Photo: Supplied.

It’s day three, the Menslink Great Walk 2023 participants have reached the Arboretum and, as tradition dictates, it is pouring with rain.

Not quite as much rain as in the past, but yes, people are wet and cold and wondering why on earth they signed up for a 30 km per day walk around the Centenary Trail.

They’re getting the answers every night when they sit down to share dinner and hear first-hand stories of the impact Menslink makes on the Canberra community by helping young guys who are struggling and their families.

“It has been a very clear reminder that Canberra is a community,” says Kim Marshall from the Canberra Southern Cross Club, which will host the end-of-walk event at Snapper & Co this Saturday (11 November).

“You get to understand how hard it can be for some people in our city but also how much good we can do if we all put in”.

A few people have got lost, fuelled by an over-enthusiastic approach to navigation, some blisters are starting to emerge and there have been a couple of well-deserved breaks.

There’s even one walker doing it in sandals. Peter Russell from International SOS is not long back from walking the Camino in Spain but made the fatal mistake of switching shoes.

Faced with the possibility of pulling out, he instead donned his Teva sandals and socks (which would be nice and wet about now) and cracked on with the walk.

The weather still has some challenges for the crew: tomorrow’s temperatures could peak at over 30 degrees so the walkers are planning an early start to beat the heat. Say hello to them if you see them on the course – it’s a long, hard slog and the work they’re doing to raise funds is vital to Menslink’s ability to keep providing services.

Ahead of the walkers is a Lake Circuit and celebration. Laura Cunningham from Centrered IT will be celebrating her husband’s 40th birthday and can’t wait to see her kids. She’s still at the top of the fundraising table with more than $30,000 in the kitty for the work Menslink does across the community.

The $350,000 target is tantalisingly close, with the tally now standing at $286,061. With two more days to go, can you help them reach their goal?

Here’s where to find a list of all walkers and the funds they’ve raised. Donations of any amount can be made. You can leave a message or remain anonymous if you prefer.

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