271-Kokoda Challenge

Show notes

In October 2023 Gill and I took part in the Kokoda Challenge at Lake Macquarie, NSW. The aim of the Kokoda Challenge is to raise funds for the Kokoda Youth Foundation’s programs and the great work they do.

This episode consists of three segments with the first being an interview with the Kokoda Youth Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Johllene Elson who shares more about her organisation, the work they do and what the Kokoda Challenge is all about.

The second segment of this episode involves a series of recorded interviews about our experience on the day of our Kokoda Challenge which includes interviews with other participants as well as with an event volunteer to get their perspective.

And finally, Gill and I do a wrap up of the Challenge and talk about how we found the event and the organisation.

Podcast Overview

  • Podcast introduction
  • Episode introduction (time index 0:01:21)

Part 1

  • Introduction to Johllene Elson and the Kokoda Youth Foundation (time index 0:02:24)
    • The Kokoda Youth Foundation and the Kokoda Challenge
    • General background
    • Hiking resume
  • Kokoda Youth Foundation – what it does (time index 0:04:03)
    • Overview of programs and what they achieve
  • Kokoda Challenge – what it does (time index 0:06:08)
    • Background and start
    • Team Event
    • Distance options (time index 0:11:26)
      • Why the three distances and why 18km, 30km and 48km
      • ‘Favourite’ distance for people
    • Setting the course (time index 0:13:59)
      • Variety
      • Safe
      • Environmentallty sound
      • Challenging
    • Impact of COVID (time index 0:15:09)
      • Programs tend to follow the event
      • Long term aim in Australia
    • Lake Macquarie challenge (time index 0:17:43)
      • Participants on the day
    • What next for the Kokoda Youth Foundation and the Kokoda Challenge (time index 0:18:24)

 Part 2

  • Interviews from the day (time index 0:19:20)
    • Tim and Gill’s start to the day
    • Interview with a 48km team of four (the Wandering Ramblers)
    • Tim and Gill on-trail recordings
    • End of day interview with Tim and Gill
    • An interview with an event volunteer (time index 0:19:20)
    • End of event interview with the Wandering Ramblers

Part 3

  • Tim and Gill brief wrap-up (time index 0:40:10)

Close (time index 0:56:04)

Joh Elson – CEO, Kokoda Youth Foundation


This video shows the start of the 48km participants on the Lake Macquarie Kokoda Challenge held on Saturday 14 October 2023

Kokoda Challenge, Lake Macquarie start on 14 October 2023

The second group of 18km walkers not long after the start of the Kokoda Challenge Lake Macquarie, 14 October 2023

Views down to Lake Macquarie

Dog tags on finishing the walk (18km)

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