Challenging myself

@RawBill1 (8542)
Gold Coast, Australia
July 24, 2012 3:51pm CST
I have decided that next year I am going to compete in a physically and mentally tough endurance event called The Kokoda Challenge. It is held on the Gold Coast close to where I live and is known as Australia's toughest endurance event. Participants hike or run the 96 kilometre course through the mountains and hills along fire trails, crossing 12 creeks and summiting 5000m of vertical elevation along the way. The goal is to finish as a complete team of four in honour of the spirit forged in 1942 by Australian Second World War soldiers on the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. Mateship, endurance, courage and sacrifice are what it took the soldiers to beat the Japanese when they were massively outnumbered and that is what it takes to complete this challenge. I have wanted to do it for a number of years but have never really looked into it. But this year, only a week and a half ago, friends of mine completed the course and I tracked their journey online. It took them 36 hours to complete the course. Watching them challenge themselves and succeed has inspired me to put my own team together for next year. Bring it on! http://kokodachallenge.com/kokoda-challenge
4 people like this
18 responses
• United States
24 Jul 12
That sounds like a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun at the same time! Good luck with your training and enjoy it. You and your team will have an amazing time I hope you do very well. Me? I'm doing a 5k walk to raise money for Walk MS (Multiple Sclerosis research fund raiser) in a couple months. Not *quite* a 96km trek through mountains and such. ;) Good luck! ~Mandy
2 people like this
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Jul 12
Thanks for the good luck wishes Mandy. Your trek sounds just as rewarding as you are doing a great thing for charity. At least you will not have to walk through the night like I will be! It will be an awesome adventure and I am looking forward to the training almost as much as the event itself!
@petersum (4526)
• United States
24 Jul 12
Yes mate, do it while you still can! Too many of us don't have stories to tell the kids about. You sure miss a little excitment later in life when memories are all you have left. Good luck to you!
2 people like this
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
25 Jul 12
Thanks! That is why I like the idea of challenging myself. To be able to have great memories later in life, you must first get out there and live a little outside of your comfort zone. My potential team including myself will all be aged between 40 and 45, so although there are plenty of younger people who have completed it, there are also plenty of older ones that have successfully done it too. So I should be able to do it once and then come back again and again with fresh goals to better my time each year.
@GardenGerty (90000)
• Marion, Kansas
24 Jul 12
What a great challenge, I wish you luck.
1 person likes this
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
25 Jul 12
Thanks, I think that I may need a little luck for this one. It will also take a lot of training, but luck will play a part for sure. I am hoping that it will not be wet and muddy like it was this year.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (90000)
• Marion, Kansas
25 Jul 12
So send us some of the wet and mud. I would be glad to have it.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Jul 12
Ok, I will see how much I can squeeze into an envelope and send you some tomorrow.
@debrakcarey (19925)
• United States
24 Jul 12
Wow, sounds awesome! Can you keep us posted on your training regime? I won't wish you 'good luck' cause this definately will take some grueling training and perseverance. I'm rooting for you and your team!
1 person likes this
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Jul 12
Thanks Debra. I am sure that some luck will come into play such as weather and the condition of the course, levels of water in the creek crossings etc, but yes, hard work and perseverance will be more important than luck. I plan on updating everyone here as the year progresses and my training gets busier. Also when I lock in the team. So far I just have a few friends who are interested as they (like me) have always wanted to do it. Only time will tell if they really are as keen as I am or not.
@p1kef1sh (45647)
24 Jul 12
Well done. I admire your guts. I once worked with a Swiss woman who did various Irin Man challenges. It takes total concentration and devotion. Good luck Bill.
1 person likes this
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
25 Jul 12
Thanks mate, I really appreciate your kind words. It is definitely a physically demanding course, being that distance up and down steep hills, crossing creeks and all that, but it is also very mentally demanding. Having to last out the night in the bush and push on through possible injury and fatigue will test me for sure. It is going to take some training! Good excuse to get out and spend more time in nature I reckon.
@ANTIQUELADY (36491)
• United States
24 Jul 12
Bill. wish u thry best w/this journey. Sounds like u are really taking on a challenge & i admire u for that. GOOD LUCK!
1 person likes this
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Jul 12
Thanks. It certainly will be challenging. I will keep everyone posted on how my training is going and the planning. There are a lot of logistics involved as you need a crew who can follow your progress online and meet you at checkpoints for food, water and any repairs!
@arpazia (191)
• United States
24 Jul 12
wow,that sounds Intense. I would love to hear about how it goes! Good luck and you can do it!
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
25 Jul 12
It certainly will be intense. My friends who just completed it this year both said that it was both the hardest thing that they had ever done, but at the same time the most rewarding thing they have ever done as well. You will have to wait a year to find out how I go, but I will no doubt update my training progress throughout the year so stay tuned!
@Hatley (157464)
• Garden Grove, California
24 Jul 12
Hi Rawbill do it and you will have great stories for the grand kids plus you will feel great about yourself I am sure.I remember reading something about this during world war two; I graduated in 1944 at 17so I was fifteen then but remember a lot of things about that time too.they beat the Japanese even though they were outnumber hugely.So this should be a great challenge and hope you will ace this challenge
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
27 Jul 12
Hi Hatley. Yes I will definitely have a story or two to tell from this adventure. My ultimate goal is to get to the real Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea and do that one. Then I would have few stories to tell! You can do a similar challenge over there or take it more leisurely with a guide. I think I would rather take the guided tour as they tell you a lot about the history of the battles and everything which I am interested in. I am a bit of a history buff.
@allen0187 (26022)
• Philippines
25 Jul 12
good luck with this bill. i'm sure you'll do well. you have a good full year ahead to train and prepare for this one. i looked at the site but haven't read much into it. kinda pressed for time so i'll be reading this one when i have the chance. it does remind me of the tough mudder challenge we chatted about a couple of weeks ago. keep us updated with this one bill! cheers and happy mylotting!!!
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
25 Jul 12
Thanks! I thought that you would be interested in this event after our recent chats. This would be less physically demanding than the tough mudder challenge as you do not have all the obstacles. You just have to walk (or run) for a very long distance up and down hills. If you check out some of the photos from the event, you can see that it can get muddy though and some of the steep hills were very hard to get up and down apparently. I saw some competitors coming through a checkpoint absolutely covered from head to toe in mud! My friends took 36 hours to complete the challenge, but the first team across the line did it in 11.5 hours. The winners also won last year and did it in ten hours that time, in drier conditions though!
1 person likes this
@allen0187 (26022)
• Philippines
28 Jul 12
hi rawbill. yup, this one really interested me from the get go. like you said, it seems that this challenge is easier than the tough mudder because of the lack of obstacle courses. however, no obstacle can be as hard to complete as that set by mother nature. not to wax poetic but that's the way i see it. also nice to know that the funds generated by the event is spent on the youth. really impressive!!! 11.5 hours over that grueling terrain is indeed impressive. any idea if teams are allowed to train on the same terrain as that of the course? i see that there is a training section that only participants can log into. just curious though as i think teams who'll be able to train within the same terrain can build familiarity and set up a plan as to how efficiently maneuver through the terrain. again, keep us posted with this one bill. good luck!!!
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
28 Jul 12
Some of the course is on public fire trails in state forest areas so those parts can be trained on so that you are familiar with the terrain, but a lot of the surrounding hills are fairly similar in steepness and the type of earth so that would make it easy for local teams to get an idea of what it would be like no matter where they train. Some of the course is through private property though so it is not possible to train on the entire course. Plus I am not sure whether they stick to the same route each year or not. It might alter slightly depending on the weather maybe. The team that have won the last two years are from Sydney, so they would not train on these local tracks, but they do these types of events regularly I think, so they are fairly experienced at the terrain and distance.
• China
25 Jul 12
It is an event of great significance.When you follow the path that martyrs trod,you can't help cherishing the memory of them and it will bring home to you what mateship,endurance,courage and sacrifice mean.I admire you for your spirit of challenging yourself .May you succeed!.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Jul 12
Thank you for your support. I am confident that I will indeed succeed. It will take hard work and lots of courage, but nothing compared to that of the Aussie World War 2 soldiers on the real Kokoda Track. I am really looking forward to the challenge.
• China
27 Jul 12
I seem to see you making your way with difficulty through dense forest.You are streaming with sweat and are panting.Hope you will stand the physical and mental test.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
27 Jul 12
There will definitely be sweat even though it is in the middle of winter. Panting is a definite as well.
@MsTickle (24957)
• Australia
29 Jul 12
Hi Bill, I reckon that recognising the challenge and making the decision to take up the gauntlet means you are already half way there. You will certainly succeed and I for one, will be behind you cheering you on. GO MATE GO!!!
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
29 Jul 12
You are right there my friend. Accepting the challenge and putting it out there that I am going to do it was one giant step. I have been wanting to do it for a while but had never made that step. It took friends of mine to inspire me to take this desire to the next level. Thanks in advance for your cheering, I am sure that it will help.
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (24957)
• Australia
30 Jul 12
Like you, I have also been inspired by friends and acquaintances lately to undertake endeavours I would normally hesitate at. I've found it's a great way to go. My hope is that maybe I have inspired someone to act too.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
31 Jul 12
One of the reasons that I do what I do is that I hope to inspire people to act and better themselves.
@momof3kids (1903)
• Singapore
25 Jul 12
Sounds terribly fun! I am sorry but I want to be a wet blanket here. I havent known you too well to know if you are in a condition fitting for the event. But since you are taking a year to get ready, I am 100% sure you will achieve what you are set to do. Do take the necessary precautions. Here where I live I hear even people in their twenties die because their hearts cant support their marathon activities. On the other hand I do personally have a friend who is very active taking part in a marathon or two. She is 41 years old I think. I see her taking part in her facebook page and feeling a little envious of the fun she is having.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
25 Jul 12
I know that there are lots of dangers involved in running marathons and recent studies show that they can actually be harmful to hour health instead of good if you compete too much. But this is a walking event for me. I have no intentions of running it. The leading teams do run the event, but most are hikers like me. I have plenty of experience hiking these mountains, but just not for this distance all at once. I am reasonably fit too and have almost a year to train for it. I am really looking forward to it. One of my lifelong goals is to do the real Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea., which is 96 kilometres long. This is just an imitation of the real deal, but will get me used to it so that I can take on the real one soon before I get to 50!
1 person likes this
• Singapore
26 Jul 12
O my I am excited for you. That friend and I are friends because I have a little adventurous spirit in me too. Now I only share it with my son who is also an adventurous nut. Imagine what you can tell your children and grandchildren....ooo I do envy you!!
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Jul 12
My daughter shares my adventurous spirit with me. I can see her doing this challenge also next year as the local schools put together teams and do the half distance challenge. The school that she is going to next year competed this year so it would be great to have her there being a part of it as well. She has done some adventures with me, like climbing to the top of Australia's highest mountain and going on 72 kilometre bike rides.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
28 Jul 12
WOW! I think it is pretty nice that you are challenging yourself. Do not be afraid to try something new. You might even succeed in it! Good luck with this challenge. It seems like a pretty tough course. But is this a contest or something? Is it like an obstacle course contest? We do not have anything like this in our country. Hope you do well there! Happy mylotting!
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
29 Jul 12
There are no man made obstacles, just the ones created by nature like steep muddy hills, rocky ground, rainforest, creek crossings and the like. There are awards for coming places in your division, but most just do it for the challenge of completing it without even thinking of trying to come first or anything. You get awarded a certificate just for completing, which in itself is rewarding enough as it is such a long way.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
28 Jul 12
Wow...that sounds like an amazing challenge. I like the way it is based on team work too. If you have the team it sounds like you have as good a chance as any. It's neat that they have a kids version too. Great for physical fitness and teamwork! Good luck! I'll be cheering for you and your team.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
29 Jul 12
Thanks in advance for cheering us on Jen. It certainly is a great challenge and the teamwork aspect of it is one of the most rewarding parts of it I think. Once you complete something like this with other people, you create a long lasting bond with them for years to come.
@abbey19 (3129)
• Gold Coast, Australia
25 Jul 12
Good on ya Bill! If it's something you've always wanted to do, then go for it! It will be an unforgetable experience.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Jul 12
It certainly will be unforgettable. Difficult situations are always those that we remember the most and this will certainly be difficult to complete! My friends said it was the hardest thing they had ever done, but one of the most rewarding as well.
1 person likes this
• China
25 Jul 12
It is a very tough challenge according to your describe,before do this I think your need to do more practice,I can see that after that you must be regenerated both in physically and mentally,actually I very interest in your challenge,after this pls come back to mylot and share your experience with us,thank you in advance.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
25 Jul 12
If you want you can add me as a friend here as I will be keeping everyone up to date on my training progress along the way, as well as the report on the actual event. I would not take on this event now without training, but I am confident that with nearly a year to go, I can slowly build up to it. I already am reasonably fit and have walked long distances through these hills plenty of times before, but only ever 23 kilometres at the most at one time. So I have a lot of work to do, which is great because I love being out in nature.
@drannhh (15002)
• United States
24 Jul 12
Good for you! I have a cousin who does this sort of thing, usually as a charity for Children's Hospitals. Well, you have a year to prepare. That is excellent.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
25 Jul 12
All registration fees go to charity in this challenge. All teams also have to do some fund-raising themselves such as getting sponsors. Most teams raise over $2000 which all goes towards helping the youth of today. Yep, just under a year to train. The most I have walked through these mountains is 23 kilometres and that was mostly flat. This is all up and down hills and obviously a lot further!
1 person likes this
@pergammano (7756)
• Canada
24 Jul 12
Wait....hold it, dearheart! I will have to FedEx you a whole case of Garlic Lady Garlic...grown in the beautiful Gulf Islands of B.C., to add to your immune boosters and BULL strength...LOL! Enuff to share with all! WOW! Pretty impressed buddy, can comment more when I view the link. I send you great CHEERS, as this means you have no residual effects from the "bike wipeout!" And that is also great news!
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 Jul 12
All is good with the bike injury now. I am still not perfect but perhaps never will be in that shoulder. But I am back to competing in archery again and not far off my best. Not quite there strength wise, but getting there. Yes, some garlic would be awesome. I might need it to ward off the vampires too as we walk through the dark and dangerous rainforest mountains during the night.