No disappointment in the 24 Hour Hike
SIMON DIGBY, CHARLIE HUDSON AND MR STEPHEN RITCHIE IN THE 24 HOUR HIKE HEADQUARTERS.
BOTTOM: YEAR 9 WINNER MATTHEW WALKER, RUNNER-UP JAMIE TRAM, AND WINNER OF THE HIKE HRISHIKESH GORADIA.
A foundation benefiting Indigenous people in the Northern Territory will benefit to the tune of more than $25,000 as a result of the efforts of Scotch boys in this year’s 24 Hour Hike, held at Mt Disappointment State Forest on 5 and 6 March.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Scotch’s unique hike, which each year sets boys the challenge of raising sponsorship for the kilometres they cover through the bush. In all, 127 hikers, including five staff members, hiked an average of 64.6km over the 24-hour period. The furthest distance hiked was 111.8km, and 15 hikers each completed a distance of over 100km. Valued support came from boys and staff who ran outcamps, provided food and looked after first aid.
As a result, $25,487.12 in sponsorship funds has been promised to the Thathangathay Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of the Indigenous people of the Northern Territory’s Thamarrur region, by identifying and developing future leaders.
This year, TIM BARNETT (12SS) participated in his third 24 Hour Hike. Here are his impressions of an exhausting but ultimately highly satisfying experience:
Step by step, kilometre after kilometre, hour after hour – this year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 24 Hour Hike. Beginning in 1965, the hike has forged treasured memories for thousands of Scotch students, and many a dollar has been raised for many a worthy cause. Fifty years on, and it’s still going strong. What is it that makes this event so successful?
Participating in my third and final 24 Hour Hike, this year I finally managed to reach the coveted 100km. Slogging it out at the disconcertingly named Mt Disappointment, my team hiked 100.7 draining kilometres to raise more than $300 for the Thathangathay Foundation. Supported by the Sports First Aid support team and the hike committee, this year’s hike was enormously satisfying for my teammates and me. Indeed, the famous day-night quest to walk the magical 100km is perhaps the most gruelling and taxing activity I have taken part in at Scotch. Each year it’s a struggle, but hey – I keep coming back. The immense determination and willpower I have seen year after year is certainly a testament to both the nature of the hike, and the way in which it is organised and administered.
Personally, the sheer popularity of the hike is something I find astonishing. The fact that 120 students have the enthusiasm, motivation and energy to walk for 24 hours is just incredible. These students are teenagers, who have often had very little experience hiking or even reading maps. It’s a great feat, that these boys can learn on the job, push through the pain and complete such a momentous challenge.
The encouragement, the banter, the camaraderie: the hike is an amazing opportunity and an incredible experience. Don’t get me wrong, it’s excruciatingly painful, but on completion, it’s immensely rewarding,
The 24 Hour Hike is something special. I would recommend any student who is considering it to give it a go, take up the challenge, and see how they go. I will always recall nostalgically those long loops trudging through the night, seeing nothing but bushland for hours on end. The 24 Hour Hike has forged some of the fondest memories of my years of schooling. Call me crazy, but it’s something I will miss in my life after Scotch.
PHOTOGRAPHY: MR DYLAN COLEMAN.