Training for HOPE

THE STORY: Is it possible to get to every Metro Railway Station in Melbourne in under 24 hours? This was the question me and a friend once talked about in Year 12, promising that one day we would give it a shot.

THE EVENT: Seven years after first talking about it, I formed a team of students to see if it could be done. On paper it was possible and there were stories of individuals who had gone out and managed such a feat, but we were attempting it as the first large group.

We stayed at Pakenham Caravan Park the night before, ready for our 4:23am train.  The group barely got to sleep before getting up to catch the first train. At least nothing could go wrong at 4:23am in the morning…or could it!

No more than 5 minutes into the journey, our train hit a branch. We were delayed for 10 minutes which forced us to miss our connecting train to Cranbourne (which had a 2 minute stopover) and head straight to Stony Point where trains only ran every 90 minutes.

My dream was already in tatters but my team was amazing. They made it through the rest of the day on energy drink, lollies and Grill’d burgers while entertaining our fellow passengers by busking for HOPE Worldwide. The most popular busk being the VIP red carpet service which was offered to anyone who wanted to dismount the train in style. During all this, someone had to remember to hop off the train at each station and take a photo to prove we had been there.

Daniel, one of our team members went back and got photos of the Cranbourne Line as the rest of us continued our journey. Just before midnight we arrived at Lilydale. Everyone celebrated, our team made it to every station, but deep down I wasn’t satisfied. None of us had actually been to every station, we split the group, and in my mind that was no different to everyone starting at separate stations and then meeting in the city.

I suggested riding a push bike 50km from Lilydale to Cranbourne, but common sense, a caring wife and the desire to go to sleep prevailed. The mission would remain a dream…

Two years later I ran a “Networks excursion” for my Further Maths class. Seven Train Stations had been added since the last attempt to make this task even harder. The Age and Light FM were there to cover our progress.

Better prepared this time, students raised money before the trip by asking family and friends to sponsor them based on how many stations visited. I was more determined than ever, nothing could stop us this time…except late trains!

We fell an hour behind schedule at one stage before miraculously recovering to complete all 217 stations an hour ahead of schedule.

You can check out our journey below

THE PURPOSE:

  • To raise money and awareness for HOPE Worldwide.
  • To work as a team to complete a difficult task.
  • To bring fun and laughter to public transport.
  • To meet new people and step out of your comfort zone.
  • To see what’s possible, JustCause’

THE PICS:

 

 

 

 

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