Home' Army News : August 4th 2011 Contents FEATURES 27
Army August 4, 2011
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By LCpl Mark Doran
RAIN, mud, blisters and fatigue were
just some of the difficulties faced during
the Kokoda Challenge on July 16-17.
Teams from Army HQ, 6RAR, 20 STA
Regt, 41 Bty and the Warrant Officer and
NCO Academy at Canungra took part in
the 96km trek in wet conditions on the
Army HQ team leader Col Christopher
Mills said the challenge was a terrific expe-
rience for his team and the support crew.
"We encountered conditions signifi-
cantly tougher than initially expected, as
the wet weather quickly turned the track
into mud," Col Mills said.
"We were exhausted at the end of the
challenge, but we had a feeling of achieve-
ment having crossed the line.
"I would encourage Army personnel to
be involved in the next Kokoda Challenge
if they want a challenge and a unique team
It took the Army HQ team members
26 hours to complete the course and
they raised about $2600 for the Kokoda
Challenge Youth Program in the process.
Maj Andrew Donaldson and Maj Tim
Conn made up the Army HQ support crew,
manning the checkpoints with food, water
WO2 Joanne Cook said it was going
downhill which caused most wear and tear
on their knees and feet.
"I was very proud to have completed
the walk and glad I did it with such a great
team," WO2 Cook said.
"We all supported each other during
the challenge. The terrain was difficult and
slippery from the rain so we had to focus
for the whole distance -- you couldn't just
"The support crew were very helpful
and couldn't do enough for us when we
arrived at the checkpoints."
Donations can still be made on the Kokoda
Challenge website at www.kokodachallenge.com.
ATEAM of five JTF 633
members based at Al
Minhad Air Base in the
United Arab Emirates
has raised more $5000 for the
Kokoda Challenge Youth Program
by each running 96km in 18 hours
and 20 minutes.
The team, consisting of Cpl Beau
Hill, 2HSB, Flt-Lt Stu Munro, Air
Support Command, LAC Matthew
Lamberth, Combat Support Unit
RAAF Base Laverton, Cpl Bronwyn
Maclean, 9FSB, and led by Maj
Wayne Bullock, HQ 1 Div Health
Branch, finished 18th out of 300
The organisers of the challenge
were so enthused by the concept of
a Defence team participating while
deployed in the Middle East that
they allocated the team the race
number 39, in honour of the 39th
Militia, which famously fought to
repel the Japanese on the Kokoda
Trail in World War II.
According to Maj Bullock, who
had completed the event twice
before, running on treadmills cre-
Defence teams raise money for charity with 96km trek
ated a number of unique challenges
for the team.
"Running outdoors is a lot more
pleasant, as you can take advantage
of such elements as the wind and
evening temperatures to keep cool
and the interesting scenery and other
competitors to keep you motivated,"
"However, being in a desert
where current daily temperatures are
in the high 40s, running outdoors
was not an option."
Safety was also an important
consideration, as a small stumble on
the treadmill could have resulted in
a serious injury.
"We were very grateful for the
support of our fellow JTF 633 mem-
bers, especially medical staff who
were present during the run and
carefully monitored our health and
wellbeing, and catering staff who
met the team's dietary needs," Maj
Asked if he would be running
next year, Maj Bullock replied, "one
thing is certain -- I am never running
that far on a treadmill again".
All money raised by the JTF 633
team was donated to the Kokoda
Challenge Youth Program, which
supports disadvantaged chil-
dren from Australia and Papua
While Australian teams took to the
mountains of south Queensland to walk
and run the distance of the Kokoda Trail
for charity, one team put in the hard yards
from the Middle East, Leut Alistair
Blisters for charity
Stepping up: JTF 633 Kokoda Challenge team members (from left) Cpl Beau Hill, Flt-Lt Stu Munro
(sitting), Maj Wayne Bullock, LAC Matthew Lamberth and Cpl Bronwyn Maclean prepare to spend 96km
on a treadmill at Al Minhad Air Base in the UAE.
Photo by PO Damian Pawlenko
set off at
the start of
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