FAAE News, Kokoda Challenge

The Kokoda Challenge 2017

kokoda challenge

Tips from Kokoda Challenge expert, Scott Whimpey “Team Condev1”


Scott’s Video Topics:

  • ITB syndrome
  • How to tape your ITB
  • Blister prevention
  • How to tape your feet
  • First aid requirements for the event

The Ultimate Kokoda Pack.


This pack has everything you need to get you home in the Kokoda Challenge

  • Strapping tape, ideal for ITB issues and blister prevention
  • Compression bandage, ideal for ITB issues, sprains and strains.
  • 25 piece first aid kit, recommended by the Kokoda Challenge for all teams.

To order your Kokoda Pack, check here. These items can be picked up from our Varsity Lakes office or on briefing nights.

Purchase this pack here

Scott’s Latest Blog for The Kokoda Challenge 2017:

So you have entered a team into one of the most grueling events in Australia, The Kokoda Challenge, and wondering what sort of approach to training you should take for this year’s event.

Scott Whimpey is a Kokoda veteran with 4 Kokoda Challenges under his belt, the slowest of 14:50 min and his fastest in 11:20min with Nike Hammer in 2012. He has also been an event medic for 7 years and looked after the worst of the worst in the field.

Over the past few years, I have been approached by numerous teams with unfinished business, due to a 30 plus hr finish, team member pull out or just new teams wondering what training to do for a 96 km event with huge mountains the entire way!

This article is going to dispel some myths and give your team the road map to a successful 2017 Kokoda campaign.

One of the teams I looked after a few years ago went from a solid 27 hour finish in the event, to placing top 6 and finishing the Kokoda Challenge in under 18 hours, not only did they smash their estimated time, they walked away with less fatigue and in better shape.

I will start with some basics and then look at strategies to get your team into top gear, here is my hit list of tips to make your team become faster and stronger

  • Setting your team goal
  • Training for the event
  • Injury prevention
  • Injury management
  • Nutrition for the team
  • Different types of apparel and gear
  • Techniques for the mountains
  • Team psychology
  • How to listen to your body
  • When to push and when to cruse.

Training for the event:

Well as far as I am concerned, now is the time to start training and in a nutshell there is no magic bullet with specific sessions or how you hit the hills, you just have to get out there and start. The idea is to start by building your base, I mean start increasing you walks or runs approx 10% each week, I am into my 4th week and it looks something like this:

  • Mon: day off
  • Tue: easy 60 min,
  • Wed: long run/walk of approx 90min
  • Thurs: rest day
  • Fri: easy 45 min
  • Sat: short impact session- Park run is great for a benchmark
  • Sun: Long day 2 hrs.

If your team is starting from scratch, 3 sessions a week is fine for now with Tue, Thurs and Sun all approx 30-60 min easy. You need to condition your knees, feet and body to turn them into injury proof guns! Listen to your body as well, don’t overdo it now as it can come back to bite you, if you are sore, have a day off, better now than get injured and have 2 month of no conditioning or training!

Its important to get yourself into the right gear as well, no need to go out and spend thousands of dollars, in fact running and walking is actually really cheap in comparison to most other sports, shoes, socks and some comfortable active wear to start is fine (see Wild Earth’s recommendations on gear here). Now you are ready for some easy sessions, I would not suggest hitting the big hills yet either, not at least for 4 weeks, this gives your body time to adjust to the increase of miles and sessions. Make sure you are hydrated throughout the day from here as well, drinking approx 1-2ltr of water a day and checking your urine is pale or clear is a good indication on hydration.

Setting your Team Goals:

Nothing is more upsetting to me than when I hear teams arguing at the half way point of the Kokoda Challenge about their goals or miss-communication with time frames, expectations or leaving someone behind. It could have all been put to bed ages ago! Now is the time to put 3 goals in play and discuss them with your team.

NUMBER 1: Finish as a team of 4!!!!! I stress this one because this is the challenge- you know mateship, sacrifice, courage and endurance, never leave a mate behind. I admire teams more if they come in at 35hrs in a team of 4 rather than a 20 hr team of 3. Every year, I go out into Nerang state forest and cheer on the 30 plus hr crew, it gives me goosies just thinking about what they have gone through to get this far in such a time! They are unstoppable and the team bond is visible.

Number 2: plan your estimated fast time– given that the average time for the challenge is about 27 hrs, there is no reason you can’t have a crack at close to or even sub 20 hrs, just takes some training and planning.

Number 3- have fun and enjoy the journey. Remember this is a great event and for a fantastic cause, think of the diggers, your friends and bragging rights upon a finish of the event. Your team will go through tough times and good times, there will be Jokes only your team will share and you can’t repeat to anyone else. Be light hearted and laugh along the way, your experience will be better for it! Well I hope this gets you motor running, and enough to get you started, I look forward to seeing you out on the tracks and hearing how you went in these early stages. Next issue I will look at more specific goal setting, nutrition and injury management for your team Happy training.

Scott Whimpey- Team CONDEV1