The St Mary's College Kokoda team ready for the challenge
The St Mary's College Kokoda team ready for the challenge

Students walked 13 gruelling hours straight

THE 48km Kokoda Challenge has become an annual feat for staff and students at St Mary's College and this year students set a new record.

The event attempts to emulate the conditions faced by Australia's World War II diggers in Papua New Guinea, and this year the challenge involved walking for 13 hours in Brookfield, over bushland and hills.

Student self-nominate to become a Kokoda trekker, forging the Mighty Mary's team. Training sessions are held frequently to build up endurance and grit. Preparation hikes included team challenges at Lake Manchester and Flinders Peak.

After months of preparation, the group of 12 tackled the event for the third consecutive year last weekend bright an early at 7am on a chilly Saturday.

To change things up however, the College opted to compete in the event in Brisbane instead of the Gold Coast. The trekkers were thankful for optimum conditions with no rain, or lightning like last year's event.

For the second year, Deputy Principal Marcus Richardson led a team of the trekkers.

"I feel an enormous sense of pride to witness students push through the physical pain and rally together to cross the finish line," Mr Richardson said.

"After the 30km mark, it really is a mind game. This challenge prepares students for future endeavours," he added.

The course took just under 13 hours to complete, which is a new school record.

The event would not have run without the dedication of our five support crew members who prepared hot meals, offered encouragement and provided updates to families.