We have some incredible students at Emmanuel College who regularly face or put themselves up to various challenges in life. This weekend, I was witness to the amazing courage, camaraderie, tenacity and plain intestinal fortitude of four such students.
Caitlin Zipf, Darby Jones, Liam Au-Yeung and Breony Heaton took on the Kokoda Challenge: a 96km team trail race in the GC Hinterland, from Mudgeeraba to Nerang, with 5000m vertical.
Due to the fires at Bonigin, a last minute change saw us start at Nerang and go via Clagiraba and Beechmont to Numinbah Hall and back - a distance of 97.6km and 8790m vertical (for comparison, Everest is 8840m). Due to a poorly marked corner, many teams (ours included) went just over 100km. All up, they were out there for 26:41:00, with about 23:11:00 moving time.
Our students faced the challenge head-on, from the moment training began, right through to when we crossed the line.
Supported by a crew of amazing mums who worked through the night at our crew checkpoints, these students demonstrated the four pillars of the Kokoda Memorial with dignity and excellence: Courage, Mateship, Endurance and Sacrifice.
It was an honour to run with these students and both see and receive of their character.