On 20 March 2016 ReesLaw (ReesLaw Ramblers) entered the Toowoomba Kokoda Challenge which is an annual team endurance event through the National Parks of Toowoomba. The event is hosted by the Kokoda Youth Foundation and raises funds for the Toowoomba branch of the Kokoda Challenge Youth Program.
With none of our team ever having competed in a Kokoda Challenge before, we were a little uncertain about what to expect.
Our team members were: Stephen Rees (Principal), Peta Campell (Office Manager), Taleena Meyers (Conveyancing Clerk and Reception) and Sandra Ryder (Paralegal).
The ReesLaw Ramblers (L-R: Stephen Rees, Sandra Ryder, Peta Campbell, Taleena Meyers)
Due to the lateness of our entry, we were unable to arrange any team training. However, our team members are no couch potatoes where exercise is concerned with Steve regularly going on hikes ‘up hill and down dale’ in the Flagstone Creek countryside (not to mention his strolls in the Himalayas); Peta’s early morning runs, Taleena’s participation in Physie (which is a dance sport for girls and women) and Sandra’s early morning walks and climbs up Table Top Mountain.
We therefore assumed we would be ably capable of walking the 15kms we’d signed up for … if only we’d taken into consideration THE HILLS!
We assembled at the Toowoomba Prep College and set off at 7:00am to head down through Webb Park and into beautiful Redwood National Park for the first section of the challenge – along bridle trails and down towards the Warrego Highway.
Whilst walking down the steep hills, it was always at the back of my mind that we would need to come back up! And I was proved correct – many times! The steep climbs definitely tested our endurance and stamina.
The picturesque Redwood Forest Walk peaked at Prince Henry Heights before plunging down the northern side into picturesque Jubilee Park. After descending to the check point at the bottom we endured a gruelling leg burning return journey back up the escarpment to Webb Park.
The Spirit of Kokoda is Courage, Endurance, Mateship, and Sacrifice – mateship and endurance were definitely evident on the day – not only in abundance from our team, but from all the competing teams. It was a fantastic experience.
Now that our aches and pains and the memory of The Hills are receding, we’d consider participating again next year… but maybe with a little more training!
By Sandra Ryder
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