Walking a 100 Km is no mean task and we at GOQii have been doing this for the last three years.
Every year the excitement for the 100 KM Oxfam trail walk begins 2 months in advance. This year was no different with several teams from GOQii participating with close to 50% being first timers. First timers to the event included both our players as well as GOQii employees.
This adventure trail walk is no run of the mill trail walk, it comes with a purpose. 140 teams in total came together for a good cause-‘Walk for Equality’ and to physically challenge themselves to walk 100 kms within 48 hours on a route that included tar road, mud path, open fields, stones strewn roads and forest routes. Each team had to raise a minimum of Rs 80K for Oxfam.
Considered as the World’s 3 most difficult trail walks, the Mumbai trail walk is held every year amidst the lap of nature in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra. It starts from a place called Garudmachi in Tamhinighat and ends in Lonavala.
By now many would have realized that walking isn’t that taxing as much as it is to raise funds. Many come up with interesting and innovative ways to raise funds. Few teams in GOQii also came with innovative ways to raise funds such a selling lunch and snacks to their fellow colleagues at office. While some I know did some odd jobs for their friends in lieu for donation to Walk for Equality.
GOQii collectively with all its teams raised approximately Rs 16 lakh for Oxfam. That’s a great achievement for all of us at GOQii. It is not only about fund raising funds but, also all GOQii teams finished well within 48 hours the required time to complete the 100 km trailwalk.
If I have to describe what the trail walk is like, I would say it is a test of your endurance, physical fitness, mental strength, team spirit, leadership skills, crisis management and the power to make the right decisions. It is also a test of one’s own ability and confidence.
Manjot Singh from the business development team at GOQii and who was participating in the 100 km trail walk for the first time this year says, “I feel like a million bucks having completed the 100 km trail walk. I did this purely for myself and to test my own abilities. And, today I feel victorious and above all confident as an individual.”
Similarly, for Maaline D’Souza who is part of GOQii’s customer support team the 100 KM trail walk was a challenge that she took upon herself. She says, “I never thought, I could do it. But, yes with regular practice and the right kind of will power I completed it without much issues”.
She adds, “The 100 km journey cannot be stated as easy. It is a mind game where I truly needed my mind to be constantly pushing me than my body. In short, this was the best achievement of my life. It has made me more confident as a person”.
Clearly, most who I spoke to on the trail on why did they were doing the 100 km trail walk? 2 or 3 motives came out clear. For some veterans on the trail it was to overcome their fear and also a chance to get fit. For people who were on the heavier side, it was to prove to themselves that they can do it. And, for some others who had already attempted this before once or twice, it was all about improving their timing. Another observation I made on the trail was that older people pulled the feat much better than the younger individuals. Secondly, Women on the trail were more resilient than men.
For first timers it was a mental battle that they were trying to fight with themselves. For most their bodies are given away but, it was their mental strength that held them through the 100 km pushing them every inch to complete the race. Some like Parth from the tech team of GOQii it was accountability. Accountability to his friends who had donated for the good cause that he was walking for.
At Check point 7 to 8 when Parth was almost on the verge of giving up due to pain, it’s his friends’ words that rang in his mind and pulled him through and of course the motivation that he got from Vishal Gondal, CEO, GOQii who walked with him a neat 10 km of the total 11.6 km trail. “A lot of my friends donated to the cause because I was walking. How could I let them down? I have to complete,” Parth said while on the trail and continued his journey. Like Vishal always says, “this is not a 100 km trail walk… it’s a life’s journey.”
Check point to 7-8 trail was also a grueling trail in the sun. The trail followed the old bullock cart path that village communities used earlier, up a gradual slope and down across a vast open pasture and scrub land. Some parts of the trail open up to spectacular valley views. And then ultimately getting on to tar road which was hot during the day.
For few other GOQii employees it was a great first time experience where most understood how to work in a team, take collective decisions and above all learn to heave patience.
None of this would have been possible without GOQii’s efficient support team led by Krishna Kumar aka KK who made sure that every participant was comfortable from the time we landed at Garudmachi on Dec 8, 2016.
Dr Ashwin Nanda, from GOQii’s team of doctors says, “It was quite gratifying for me to be of help to all GOQii participants”. It was Dr Nanda’s first trail walk experience. He says his biggest learning was do not ever give up on anyone. Help everyone get through.” For old timers Sunny Rajani and RutaSatam, being support is always a pleasurable.
But, what had changed this year from last year, Rajani says, “This year we were more organized and prepared for all eventualities if any had to occur.” And honestly, the support crew plays the most important role in this entire 100 km journey.
Altitude Quest, on the trail support crew were a boon in disguise. The AQ team was there to provide massages and taping of the feet when required after a tired trail walk. .
Last but not the least kudos to three of our GOQii teams led by players performed wonderfully. ‘Go Spirited’- the team that comprised of all four women players- Bela Gupta, Anitha Rao, SuranjanaKumaresh and ReenaKansal was not only the fastest woman’s team completing 100 km in 34 hours but also the fastest veteran’s team. The two other GOQii teams that made it to top 10 was AnuragBiesn’sGOQii-Veer tum Badhechalo who completed in 24 hours and GOQii Alpha led by Kamal Karnatak with a completion time of 28 hours.
That’s GOQii #betheforce…..
Over all 100 km within 48 hours that included tar road, mud path, open fields, stones strewn roads and forest routes.