Friday, 10 November 2006: Port Moresby
Michael Milton, Australia's fastest skier, today completed the gruelling
Kokoda Track one day ahead of schedule and already looking for another
Milton, who earlier this year broke the Australian open speed skiing record
with a run at 213.65km/hr, said he enjoyed the trek and hasn't ruled out
walking it again in 2007.
"It was easier than I expected and not as hot which was a real blessing. At
the top of theStanleyRangesit was a lovely cool 11 degrees which was a bit
of a surprise. Other days down in the jungle slogging it up some really
steep hills were much hotter and tougher but I still enjoyed it.
"It's a fascinating place and I would love to go back to learn some more
about the history and maybe finish a little quicker," saidMiltonwith a
He walked the track as part of his ambassadorship of the Coca Cola
Community Awards in the company of Robyn Sanewski from Biloela
inQueenslandwho won the trip and a $10,000 grant for her "Fit For Life"
program which she runs in her home town.
"The Coca Cola Community Awards aim to reward those who promote a healthy
and active lifestyle to young people. Robyn is a worthy winner. She runs an
after-school physical and nutrition activity program for children ranging
from five to 15 years of age," explainedMilton.
The pair walked the gruelling 96km track in just over eight days - an
impressive feat given the often wet and very humid conditions. They
describe it as the 'experience of a lifetime'.
"Kokoda presented a whole new environment for me" saidMilton. "It was so
hot and humid, so far removed from the alpine weather I am used to. It was
tough, really tough but knowing what the Australian soldiers went through
all those years ago keeps you going. You just have to put your head down
and keep going."
Robyn started her journey many months ago with a tough training regime and
a personal trainer to help prepare for the punishing trip.
"It was demanding and exhausting. At times I really didn't think I'd make
it to the end. It took a couple of days to acclimatise to the humidity and
the conditions, but everyone on the trek was so encouraging and I wasn't
going to let them or myself down by giving up.
"I wouldn't swap this experience for anything. It was incredible and
despite how hard it was, I'd do it all over again. Michael was a true
inspiration - he's an amazing man and I feel privileged to have walked
alongside him," said Robyn.
Trek leader, Wayne Wetherall from Kokoda Spirit, said both Michael and
Robyn handled the conditions well.
"The Trail is always testing and it never ceases to amaze me how every
group I take out tackles the journey with such determination. Robyn and
Michael were no exception. Michael did incredibly well to handle the wet
conditions on crutches and is an inspiration to us all."
The Coca-Cola Community Awards was a national search by Michael
Milton and The Coca-Cola Australia Foundation to find six unsung
heroes aroundAustraliamaking a difference in their local communities. Each
of the six finalists from across the nation received a $5,000 grant from
the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation for their organisation.
For more information about initiatives promoting active lifestyles from
The Coca-Cola Community Awards is an initiative of the
Coca-Cola Australia Foundation.