If tackling 96 kilometres of the Gold Coast’s toughest terrain on foot sounds daunting to you, you’re not alone. Over 500 flocked to the Kokoda Challenge Expo on the weekend to get a taste of what they will face at this year’s 48- or 96-kilometre Kokoda Challenge, dubbed ‘Australia’s toughest team endurance event’.
Founded in 2004 by Doug Henderson OAM and wife Anna, the Kokoda Youth Foundation uses event proceeds to change the lives of teenagers from diverse backgrounds through a 14-month life skills program, honouring Australian veterans when they walk the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea.
2018 ‘Kokoda Kid’ Tamara is currently taking part in the community service aspect of the Kokoda Youth Program and said she couldn’t thank Challenge participants enough for their contribution. “It’s just unbelievable how many people get involved in the Challenge; it is a really incredible experience,” she said. “We travelled to Papua New Guinea last year to take on the real Kokoda Trail and it was absolutely extraordinary.” Tamara is now studying nursing after finishing Year 12 last year.
Kokoda Event Manager Jo Parker said it was amazing what participants took away from the Challenge once they crossed the finish line. “Our checkpoints are filled with beautiful volunteers who will be clapping you on no matter the time of night,” Ms Parker said at an Expo workshop.
Also on hand to offer tips and tricks during rotational workshops were Scott Whimpey from First Aid Accident & Emergency, sports physiotherapist Britt Caling, nutritionist Delina Rahmate, Wild Earth Equipment representatives, podiatrist Chris Hope and many more.
Jo Parker encouraged participants to stay aware of their pace, download the online training guide available on the Kokoda website and have a great support crew ready. “Courage, Endurance, Mateship and Sacrifice; that’s what it’s all about,” she said.
Videos, powerpoint slides and workshop information will soon be available online for those not able to attend. This year’s Gold Coast Kokoda Challenge will be held on 20 - 21 July.
Interested in taking on the challenge? Visit https://www.kokodachallenge.com/events for more.