The second event of the Kokoda Challenge was the grueling 96km course held on the weekend of 14-15 July, 2018.
The team for the Gold Coast event were: Greg McGrath (Team Leader), Amy Kirkegaard, Lance Alderton and Adam Dombroski.
And now it’s over, we believe they deserve a medal! Hats off too to the support team who were there to cheer the team on and provide some much need refreshment over the 32-hour event. They were: Joanne McGrath, Kelly Webb, Michelle Tuite and two friends.
Here’s a report on how the day went:
Our team of four began their preparation for the walk on Saturday at 3.30am, with some getting-up to have breakfast and others driving to the Gold Coast.
The team should be commended for their determination and courage. They continued on through the night, despite the temperature dropping to around 1 degree.
The terrain was steep and uneven. Despite her best attempts, by the 48 km checkpoint, Amy succumbed to defeat due to severe blistering on her feet.
At checkpoint 1, Adam’s already injured knee started to give him grief due to the incline and decline of the high hills, some reaching 500 metres high. At checkpoint 10 – 76 km in – he called our team to pick him up, as his knee could no longer conquer the upcoming hills.
They both did so well.
As you had to finish as a team of four, they joined two ladies who had also lost their team mates along the way.
Lance and Greg continued on, despite being totally depleted of energy, sore and tired. By 3.30pm on Sunday, they were victorious, having reached the finish line some 32 hours after they started.
Amazing. A true inspiration
We asked our Team Leader Greg McGrath (Operations Manager, North Qld) what inspired him to get involved with this event. Here’s what he said:
What made you sign up for the Kokoda challenge?
Having two teenage children really helped me appreciate the proactive approach this charity takes towards the development of youth within our society. Having moved over from NZ to make this beautiful country home for myself and my family, it was a personal choice to display my appreciation towards the diggers for what they went through when protecting this country.
How hard was it?
I can confidently say that this was the most challenging thing I have completed. Although I am not naturally an emotional guy, this event took me on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. I went from the highest of highs to some really dark places throughout the 32.5 hours.
What was the best part of the day/night?
- The beautiful weather.
- The strength and mental toughness my team mates displayed throughout the challenge.
- The support crew. They had to sacrifice time with their family, friends and also sleep. They were at the support check point with massive smiles, hugs, first aid and food which gave us that boost to make it over the finish line.
Would you do it again?
When I crossed the finish line, my initial reaction was ‘never again’.
After further reflection and a subsidence of the pain, I have already started to build a team for next year and have set a training plan for the coming 12 months. My goal for next year is to complete the challenge within 25 hours, shaving 7.5 hours off this year’s time.
And finally, a big thank you to our sponsors
We’re pleased to say the total amount we raised from all events was $5,519.25.
We’d like to thank all our generous sponsors for supporting our fundraising efforts. Thanks go to:
S & S Painting – Andersons flooring – Supreme Kitchen renovators