Cooloola Coast Coppers finish the Kokoda Challenge

By Michael Brantz

It took almost 27 hours, a cold sleepless night and a few personal demons, but Team ‘Cooloola Coast Coppers’ comprising Al Gerrard, Rob Martin, Marty Baldry and myself crossed the finish line of the 96km torture test that is the Kokoda Challenge at about 10am on Sunday the 14th of July.  Finishing as a complete team of four in this event is a big deal, as about 50 per cent of teams lose at least one team member along the way due to the endless procession of massive hills, sleep deprivation or injury.

I must say a big THANK YOU to our support crew of Tracey and Sarah, who were amazing.  They also worked through the night to keep our spirits high by giving us hot food, coffee, words of encouragement and by kicking us out of our chairs if we looked like getting too comfortable at any checkpoint.

While we didn’t quite make our goal time of 24 hours we did manage to achieve our fundraising goal amount of $1500 for the Kokoka Challenge Youth Program, which helps make a difference in the lives of wayward Australian teenagers.  Thank you to everyone who helped us raise this amount by making a donation, buying a raffle ticket or donating prizes to our wheelbarrow.  Special thanks to Bruce Geissmann from Rainbow Beach Hardware, Fishing & Camping who not only donated the wheelbarrow, but also worked tirelessly selling raffle tickets on our behalf, and then to top it off made a donation as well.  Thanks Bruce!!

The raffle was drawn on the 7th of July and the winners were as follows:

            1st Prize –        Wheelbarrow full of goodies               Rod Parker

            2nd Prize –       Barge Voucher to Fraser Island          Darren Grieve

            3rd Prize –       $40 Gift Card                                      Rebecca Duggan

So thanks again to everyone who helped out in our endeavour.  If I can talk the other boys into it we may be back next year for another crack at 24 hours.