The Kokoda Challenge 2009: The Analysis

By Rob

A couple of months ago, NBM's team competed in the Kokoda Challenge. To recap and reflect on this experience, I decided to take a look at our Tweets from our Twitter page over the course of the challenge and show you just what we were thinking at the time.

Before the Challenge

Before the event had begun, we were feeling pumped. We had done some good training and bought some top notch gear. As far as we knew, we were good to go.

Bring on the the Kokoda Challenge!

With a little more preparation

Testing twitter from sms. Adam

We were set to go. As we drew near the event, the gravity of the event became clear and a little trepidation set in.

All set for the challenge! I'm tired just thinking about it!! - Mitch

You should go to bed then Mitch - Adam.

The Challenge Begins

On the morning of the event, we awoke to a pretty nice day, no rain, harsh winds or any bad weather was forecast. We had packed everything we needed and we felt set to tackle the challenge.

What a awesome kokoda morning! Waiting for wez to pick us up. 96km here we come. Adam

We arrived at the event and unfortunately not everything was kosher, I suddenly realized that I forgot my pants. Luckily, I had my skins on and while they looked a bit strange, we managed to begin the race with a good start.

Off to a good start. Rob dropped everything including his pants.

The first part of the event was pretty straight forward, we were in unfamiliar terrain, but quickly approaching Polly's Kitchen our training ground for the challenge.

Over 10k in and Halfway to polly's can't wait to get there. Kokoda. Rob.

Unfortunately, on the way to Polly's we took a wrong turn which cost us valuable time.

Missed a turn off.. Had to do 1k extra. Now 97kms! Wez

Fortunately Mitch's dad and wife were waiting for us with refreshments and a refuel. Just around the corner, Polly's was also waiting. As expected, we smashed it and hurried towards the next checkpoint.

we just smashed pollies! All the training paid off. Need to move fast to make the hall before dark. Otherwise no lights. Adam

The Pain Sets In

On the way to the Hall we were struggling, but some nice flats allowed us to pick up our pace to reach the hall on dark.

At the enviro, the boys are struggling, need to keep pushing through. Kokoda Adam.

Making good pace along the flats. Should be at the hall just after dark. Kokoda challenge bring it on.

Mitch is thinking about something to eat. Apparently lentil soup is on the menu thanks to wez's mum!

At hall just on dark.

At a refreshing stop, Wez's mum and Eirin came, armed with lentil soup and general support. We wanted to stay a little longer, but the cold was setting in and we needed to keep warm and focused on our goal, we had officially walked over 50km.

After a nice break, we're back on the move. Over halfway. Kokoda. Rob

Conquering Syd Duncan Park

The pain by now was really setting in and some of us were close to OD'ing on Nurofen. We were aiming to reach Syd Duncan Park, which was about two thirds in. On the way, Wez's knee began to play up and he was struggling up the mountain. In addition, our light batteries began to dwindle and we were walking half blind through mountainous, rocky terrain – as you can imagine, not ideal for your knees or ankles!

After not too long, the pain became unbearable for Wez and he pulled out of the challenge.

68km in. Feeling awful but going to push thru. Wez is gone. His knee went. Kokoda. rob

The climb to Syd Duncan didn't get any easier. We were tired and wrecked, but we eventually made it to the major check point. Wez's mum and Erin were waiting for us with more food and support. I was feeling out of it and I think I fell asleep here. As good as this checkpoint was, Adam urged us to move on.

The Final Stretchp

Mitch and I began to struggle, but still, Adam's encouragement drove us on. We pushed past another checkpoint and at this stage we were really feeling it. At one stage we were about to pull out, but Adam convinced us for just one more check point. I'm glad we pushed through.

Unfortunately, we just couldn't do it. Our feet and legs were completely shot. We'd been awake for 24 hours and we gave it up. Our disappointment couldn't even be contained within 140 characters and yes, it was a low point.

Kokoda challenge is over for nbm, 82k only 13k to go, the boys couldn't do it. Disappointed. But there is always next year

Very disappointed we got so close but couldn't finish, i think my feet would have fallen off if i walked any further though! Mitch

The Aftermath

We ended up hurting for many days after

They didn't register our last check point? Mitch

my legs hurt - wez

Reflecting back on it now, 82kms was quite an achievement, one that, I'm sure, we'll all look back on for many years to come.


Tags: Kokoda

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