For St Andrews Lutheran College on the Gold Coast, Kokoda Challenge means a little more than just an event.
The school have a Kokoda program that educates students on the history of Kokoda, how to train, nutrition for the event and team building for preparation for both the Brisbane and Gold Coast events.
In the school's 12 year history, 24 of 30 teachers have been repeat competitors. In this time the St Andrews Lutheran College has won the Stan Bisset Cup (GC96km) 9 times, the Jan Stillman Cup (GC 48km) 6 times, and the Clarrie Meredith Cup (Bris 30km) 3 times.
Junior Sports Coordinator Casey West believes what you get out of Kokoda Challenge cannot be understood until you do it.
"Most people say it is the best thing they have ever done,"
"This is certainly my view," she said.
"The sense of achievement, teamwork, understanding of self and others you feel is just incredible."
This year, SALC11 took out the Clarrie Meredith 30km Brisbane School Cup in 4 hours and 8 minutes, and SALC2 took out the Jim Stillman 48km Gold Coast Cup in 6 hours and 36 minutes.
Having participated in 10 Kokoda Challenge events, SALC2 teacher Paul McGilveray believes the event is completely life changing for the majority of participants.
"We take some students who have never run or walked more than 3km and turn them into almost super athletes, and each year they blow me away with what they achieve," he said.
Only allowing for students in grade 10 - 12 to enter the events, their in-school program reinforces the Spirit of Kokoda and in particular the value of mateship. Participating kids know not to leave your team mates side, strengthening the importance of finishing the Challenge together.
This sentiment has proven itself, but more so this year with a 100% completion rate for for all teams, which is an achievement in itself!
With a host of grade nine students waiting in the wing for their opportunity to participate in 2020 Challenge Events, this is definitely a school to keep your eye out for on the track!