Kokoda spirit drives teams
THE spirit of Kokoda - mateship, endurance, courage and sacrifice - was forged by the Australian troops from the 39th and 42nd Militia on the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea during the Second World War.
That spirit will buoy a group of Gympie adventurers who will hang up their day jobs, dentist drills and stethoscopes to take on Australia's toughest endurance event next month, the Kokoda Challenge on the Gold Coast.
Anna Reid, Tania Hall, Tim Topalov, Hayley Sutton and Cathy Milgate will be members of two teams that will trek a non-stop 96km course that leads along fire trails, crosses 12 creeks and summits 5000m of vertical elevation.
The goal is to finish as a complete team of four in honour of the spirit forged on the Kokoda Track in 1942.
Regardless of fitness level, age or background, people from all walks of life participate in the Kokoda Challenge for the personal achievement and as a way to honour the Kokoda legacy and help local teenagers gain a brighter future for themselves and their families through The Kokoda Challenge Youth Program.
While Tania and Anna both said this week they were a bit "scared" of the huge challenge they were undertaking, they were also excited.
Anna and her sister will wear the war medals of their recently passed grandfather.
The Gympie crew say the hilly Gympie terrain is ideal for training.
The teams, called River Rats and Team LMS need to raise $1500 each just to enter the Challenge.
They are seeking sponsorship.