The 96km Kokoda Challenge Gold Coast is commonly referred to as the toughest team endurance event in Australia: 96km of winding tracks through the Gold Coast hinterland, 5,000m of vertical elevation to climb (and descend!) and 13 checkpoints to get through. It is definitely an event that will prove you can go above and beyond what you think your limits are and do something truly extraordinary. Teams of four tackle 96km (the distance of the Kokoda Track) through the Gold Coast hinterland within a time limit of 39 hours (in honour of the 39th Militia, who were the first Australian response unit at Kokoda). The School Cup of the 96km Kokoda Challenge sees teams of 5 (4 students and 1 teacher) starting with the open 96km teams at 7am at Firth Park, Mudgeeraba. Teams make their way through 13 checkpoints (only 4 of which are accessible by Support Crew) over 39 hours to reach the finish at Nerang Velodrome.
The School Cup of the 48km Kokoda Challenge sees teams of 5 (4 students and 1 teacher) starting at Numinbah Valley Hall (Nerang-Murwillumbah Road, Numinbah Valley), the halfway point of the main 96km event. Teams make their way through 7 checkpoints (only 2 of which are accessible by Support Crew) over 33 hours to reach the finish at Nerang Velodrome.
The Kokoda Challenge Gold Coast was held over the past weekend and Trinity had 5 teams complete the 48km challenge and 2 teams complete the 96km challenge. A total of 25 students, many of whom had competed in our Inter-house Athletics Carnival on Friday and, in some cases, were Age Champions!
Our 96km teams in the Stan Bisset cup.
Our 48km (52km this year) teams in the Jim Stillman Cup.
The gruelling conditions were made even tougher by the heavy rainfall on Saturday evening (whilst the rest of us were all cozy and warm indoors). The 5 teams doing the 48km challenge started at 11am on Saturday morning and all finished in the early hours of Sunday morning whilst the 2 teams competing in the 96km challenge started at 7am on Saturday morning with one team finishing at 5pm on Sunday afternoon (34 hours after starting) and the other finishing at 9pm on Sunday night (38 hours after starting).
Special mention must go to Mrs Rachel Kimlin for her team being named as the First All Girl School Team to finish. This is just reward for Mrs Kimlin's ongoing commitment to the training of our students and a great deal of organisational effort on her part, not to mention the great group of girls, Bonnie Pearson, Maddy White, Sennah Kilvington and Ellie Dodkins that were involved. The really great thing about this team was that it comprised of a Year 12 student (Bonnie), two Year 10s (Madeline and Sennah) and a Year 9 student (Ellie). Fantastic to see such a mix of year levels all coming together to form this amazing team.
A massive thank-you goes to Mr Michael Togher who did the 96km Challenge with a group of students, to Mr Jason Breese (stepping in to take a 48km team at the last minute), Mr Brodie Gentle (who had the first Trinity team to complete the event in just over 13 hours), and Mrs Joelle McCully (who has juggled her culinary work with students to take a team). A huge thank-you too to incredible Trinity mums Mrs Tanya Clark (48km) and Mrs Stacey Brown (96km) who both led teams over the weekend and a special mention for staff members Natalie McAuley, Susan Haines, Jason Breese (again) and Kelly Haines and parents Lisa Watt, Denise Procopis, and Gretchen Gillie who all assisted by taking teams in the Brisbane Kokoda Challenge last term.
In the words of Mr Michael Togher "it was also truly wonderful to see other staff members at the start and finish lines of these events; there simply to support our staff and students. It is certainly a reminder of what a great community we have here at Trinity".
We will add more photos as we gather our team photos from all team leaders.