Kokoda Team Cooksley: (from left to right) teacher Jane Cooksley, Libby St Baker, Nelly St Baker, Amelia Fye and Mia Smallman.
Kokoda Team Cooksley: (from left to right) teacher Jane Cooksley, Libby St Baker, Nelly St Baker, Amelia Fye and Mia Smallman. CONTRIBUTED

Kokoda challenge proves difficult for students

WHAT to do on a rainy, windy day? Run 48km, that's what!

It was a challenge that would question their physical and mental fitness. But for the 90 St Andrew's Anglican College students and staff, this would prove to be their strength last weekend.

The Jim Stillman Cup is run as part of a series of events in the Kokoda Challenge over the Gold Coast Hinterland and raises funds to support young Australians through the Kokoda Youth Foundation.

Over 48km, the terrain is tough and the weather certainly added to the difficulty this year.

However, with eight teams finishing in the top 20, students and staff had certainly committed to the event.

Secondary teacher Rebecca Quin and her team of students Billy Cooksley, Scarlet Rees, Emily Lethbridge and Cooper Davis finished second this year in the Open category in an incredible time of 6 hours and 59 minutes.

Jane Cooksley and her all female team of Amelia Frye, Libby St Baker, Nelly St Baker and Mia Smallman came first in their category with a time of 8 hours and 22 minutes.

Ms Quin acknowledged that this year was more challenging with the rain, "but I was so proud of them all, encouraging each other all the way".

College Principal Chris Ivey also laced up his runners and joined the challenge with his team.

Unfortunately one team member had to pull out due to injury but he said "the grit and determination of the others to continue was wonderful".

"This challenge is about so much more than the physical," he said. "It tests your mental strength to continue, when your body is telling you otherwise.

"We remind ourselves of the Kokoda spirit and this shows through in the commitment from all competitors."


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