Team soldiers ahead for service mates

SETTING OFF: Former SAS Erik Pavlik (right) and Quentin Masson and his son William Masson set off on a 1600km mega walk that ends in Birdsville.
SETTING OFF: Former SAS Erik Pavlik (right) and Quentin Masson and his son William Masson set off on a 1600km mega walk that ends in Birdsville. David Nielsen

FOR the next month a team of former SAS soldiers will walk 1600km from Ipswich to Birdsville.

The Ipswich to Birdsville Megawalk is being run as a new fundraising initiative of the Queensland Branch of the Australian SAS association, the Wandering Warriors.

The massive trek started on Saturday when Erik Pavlik and Quentin Masson left the Ipswich RSL, with Mr Masson's son William in tow, to walk the first 30km.

A second team then took over after the first 30km leg. A combined 105km to Gatton was walked on Saturday alone.

More walkers from Brisbane left Anzac Square on Saturday morning.

The group of 12 ex-SAS members will combine to walk the 1600km.

Most of the walkers are in their 50s and 60s, with the oldest being 75.

They will be followed by another dozen people acting as support crew as they walk through some of Queensland's most remote terrain.

They plan to reach Birdsville by Thursday, September 5, putting them in the south-western town in time for the famous Birdsville Races.

The Walking Warriors aim to raise funds for charities looking after wounded soldiers and SAS members, including Wounded Heroes, the Commando Welfare Trust, Project Excalibur, Soldier On and the White Cloud Foundation.

They were waved off by Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale who praised their efforts for the defence community in Ipswich.



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