Local woman Bo Morley and her teammates won their category when they ran the 96km Kokoda Challenge in 15 hours and 37 minutes but winning is not what it’s about for her.
She was one of many locals who crossed the Kokoda Challenge finish line on the weekend of 16-17 July, with dozens of local school students and graduates from Beaudesert High and McAuley College completing the 48km event with support from their family and friends.
Bo, who ran the 96km with three women from the Gold Coast in sponsored team Fixx Chix, said it was about teamwork, camaraderie and getting out and enjoying what’s in your backyard.
Kokoda spirit gets teams over the line
Every Beaudesert local who entered the Kokoda Challenge crossed the finish line with their team, embodying the values of courage, endurance, sacrifice and mateship.
The Kokoda Challenge – known as Australia’s toughest team endurance race – traverses 4000 metres of elevation in tough terrain in the Gold Coast hinterland and Scenic Rim.
Entrants take on the 96km, 48km or 18km course, with the goal to finish as a team of four.
The event, which dozens of locals did on 16-17 July, raises money for the Kokoda Youth Foundation and honours those who served along the Kokoda Track in 1942.
Beaudesert participants were spoilt for local training tracks in the lead-up to the event, preparing their bodies with sessions around the foothills on Mt Barney, on Mt Maroon, Duck Creek Road, Wyaralong, Boonah and Beechmont.
All 34 McAuley College entrants – 24 students and 10 staff – crossed the 48km finish line in teams, with strong support from family and friends as they put their training to the test.
Four students from Beaudesert High – Raxton Surawski, Samantha Duncan, Lucas Boulton and Kane Hanley – completed the 48km as part of the Kokoda Youth Foundation’s ‘On the Right Track’ program with teachers Ben Whibley and Jaime Ellis.
Beaudesert High Industry Liaison Officer Melissa Frazer privately entered team Leading Ladies with year 12 students Sofiya Bentley and Tenaya Cameron and 2021 graduate Rowena Kurz.
The women finished as a team with the help of their support crew, fellow locals Shelly Currie, Sarah Arkinstall and school chaplain Samuel Fillery.
“I did it with the girls last year and they came back to me and said, ‘can we go again?’ so I just went and found sponsors and made it happen,” she said.
“That’s the third time I’ve actually done it with Tenaya so it’s a bit special. It’s good to know you’ve played a small part for those kids, and they actually enjoy it – they love the hiking.”
Experienced local athlete Bo Morley was in team Fixx Chix, which won the 96km women’s category by running the entire course in 15 hours and 37 minutes.
“I love the camaraderie, the jokes and pulling each other through when it gets tough – it’s much more fun with friends,” she said.