We Did It! 96km, 33hrs 40mins no sleep …
Mateship. Courage. Endurance. Sacrifice.
On Saturday the 15th of July 2017 I completed the Kokoda 96km Challenge at the Gold Coast. I filled in for a team member that dropped out of team ‘Rebels with a Cause’ with my good mate Kym that I have done the Sunshine Coast Marathon with twice, plus Chere and Christian were the other two awesome team members. Jacqui, Sean, Adam plus Ray were our sensational support crew, we could not have done this without them!
I felt pretty good the whole way and handled the no sleep ok, the main issue was pain / pressure under my feet. I’d done 50km on Fraser Island 2 weeks prior and 80km 3 weeks prior to that, wearing in two pairs of shoes. I started out with my trail runners for the 1st 28km, switched to my waterproof boots for the next 50km which were a god send for overnight in the rain and mud slop, then I borrowed a pair of Kym’s light trail runners for the last 15km; even drugs didn’t numb the pain at this stage!
I was so impressed with the team, my feet pulled up blister free with only a few hot spots and dead skin from two weeks earlier but the others copped terrible blisters the whole way and all our feet were treated by the medics with band aids and Elastoplast to assist with the pain to continue to the finish line. There will be a few lost toenails. (Chere’s busted feet below next to mine, YEOUCH, Careful Viewing! What a Champ!)
I burnt over 17,000 calories, my polar activity monitors says I hiked about 171,000 steps and I enjoyed a 13hr sleep on completion. My feet were a little tender and slightly swollen with fluid the next day.
Talk about the experience of a life time!!!
A Massive thanks to all the Volunteers, Organisers, Traffic Control, SES, Medics, our Sensational Support Crew, Photographers, those who Donated and our Amazing Team Mates!!! Feeling Blessed!
Kyms review the night after, July 17th, 3:12am:
Lying here in absolute agony I thought I’d write a post about The Kokoda Challenge 96km.
I was originally part of the support crew for my gorgeous friend Sunshine but when a place became available I got into the team. I had no idea WTF I was in for. I got a nasty cold on the Wednesday before and spent the whole thing popping Cold and Flu tablets and blowing my nose! I pulled my hammi ten days before and hurt my knee on the Monday before. Definitely the odd were stacking up!
I honestly didn’t do much training for it, which wouldn’t surprise many of my friends. I completed the Brisbane Kokoda 30km six weeks ago and did a few walks and about two swims. Training for events is something I am not good at and I’m just lucky I have the mental strength to pull these sorts of crazy shit off.
I really shouldn’t have started because of my cold but I couldn’t let the team down. I thought I’d pull out when it got too hard physically and then be their support.
It was all going ok, although it wasn’t easy, and I was enjoying it. Making it up Polly’s Hill was ‘fun’ but then it started to rain. We put on our rain coats and kept going but everything was turning to mud.
As night fell we turned on our headlamps and I started to feel like James Bond on a mission It was kinda fun being in the bush at night and I could see why people do this for fun. Then it kinda stopped being fun and was just bloody hard work with lots of bits I didn’t enjoy. I was going to pull out at 15km to go as my feet were excruciatingly painful. My blisters even had blisters! A quick fix by the podiatrist at the last support check point and a few pain killers and we were off again.
Finished in just under 34 hours. NEVER doing it again!!!
Kym is now planning next years event ….