Challenge Day for The Lakes College 47 Students participated and lead by 2 Teachers and 11 Parents and 8 Support Crew

The day started arriving at Brookfield Park at 0600 one hour before the race starts to gather the team together and ensure that everybody had what they needed for the day.

During the day we had several challengers to overcome some being the location of the first Check Point (CP) was and extra 3km from the years before. One of my fellow teams that we were walking with had a student who broke his wrist 2 weeks out for the challenge day had a fall going down one of the hills. After a quick assessment no further injury was sustained (his mum would have killed us lol).

As we made our way to CP2 the clouds started to roll in a looked like the rain was not far away and it did not disappoint. For the next 3 hours and between CP2 and 3 the rain continued. This didn’t diminish the team spirit and they kept pushing through the rain and fog. Late in the afternoon the weather improved and began to clear which brought in the cold air of night between CP4 and 5.

At CP5 some 11 hours after we had set off the fatigue had well and truly set in, sore feet legs and backs were just some of the team’s conditions, yet the kids all continued to push on. As the night came in the temperature dropped and still in semi wet clothing, they

pushed on to CP6. After some of team needed to visit the medic at location, we pushed off into the night with head lamps a blaze and heading for the finish line. 3Km out from the finish line we could the search lights from the park and could faintly hear other team crossing the line and knew our turn was not far away. The last 3km were the absolute hardest as it was on road surface and with sore feet made for a very uncomfortable experience.

Crossing the line to see family and friend waiting for us almost 15 hours after we set off was truly a humbling experience.

My 2022 Kokoda journey started in October of 2021. We started walking the kids after school doing laps around North Lakes of approx. 5k at a time. In February 2022 we start walk in the hills of Mooloolah Valley for 9km.

Overtime this would increase and would finish there doing 35km pre–Challenge Day trial 2 weeks out from Challenge Day. In the previous 10 months the student and I would have covered hundreds of km in training for this event and most students have also said that they will do it all again next year!

Bring on Kokoda 2023

By Tony Dell