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Hunt Sets New Record Along Kokoda Track


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#1 Alison Anis

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 05:18 PM

John Hunt from Kereva village, outside Kokoda Station has made a heroic run and set a new record along the renowned Kokoda Trail to be the fastest man ever to have walked/run the whole 96km WWII trek.

At the age of 32, John has set an unbelievable time of 22 hours, 1 minute and 14 seconds – the fastest ever to be recorded along the horrendous trail.

Photograph below: THE SMILE SAYS IT ALL - John Hunt who was happy with his achievement proudly shows off his awards which also included K10.000.00 cash!  When asked what he intended to do with his winnings, he replied fix his house and purchase cocoa bins for his fermentary

Editors Comments:  Results are as follows:

26 Competitors left Kokoda destined for Ower's Corner and only 12 finished in the time set down of 36 hours duration before race closure.  Times were as follows:

1st - John Hunt Hiviki - 22:01:14
2nd - Osborne Bogajiwai - 22:45:34
3rd - Tom Hango - 23:34:46
4th - Bernard Aruo - 24:08:46
5th - Andrew (Andy) Rowan - 24:15:21 - New Zealand
6th - Russell Gurisa - 28:32:21
7th - Abel Arari - 29:05:22
8th - Rod Ori - 29:36:52
9th - Wayne Urina - 30:08:12

equal 10th, 11th & 12th :  Sean & Bryan O'Hara;  Robert Drysdale

6 competitors retired and all others took it easy after hearing the race had been won by John Hunt, slept in the bush and walked out on Monday to Ower's Corner.

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#2 Alison Anis

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 10:30 AM

Hunt who was one of the 26 runners who took part in Rusty?s 24 hour Kokoda Challenge has made a name for Papua New Guineans and especially the people of the Kokoda and his remote Kerava village by beating the record time of 24 hours previously set by Australia?s Brian Freeman.

The Challenge was organised by ourselves - Kokoda Trekking Limited www.kokodatrekking.com.pg

Hunt crossing Goldie River...and on his way towards Ower' Corner - the finish line

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#3 Alison Anis

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 10:34 AM

?It has always been my dream to run along the trail one day. I just didn?t know how, where and when to start and I?d like to thank the organizers ? Kokoda Trekking for coming up with this idea. It has helped me achieved my dream,? Hunt who turned up at the finish line at Ower?s Corner barefooted said.


Pleased to know that he was the first person to make it home...Hunt put a smile and made his way towards Ower's Corner

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#4 Alison Anis

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 10:35 AM

When asked what he ate to give him energy to win, he replied,  three scones which I soaked in the river, a piece of Highway Biscuit and water including three bananas offered by kind villagers in Nauro kept him going for whole 22 hours until he reached the finish line.

And as for his barefoot; Hunt explained: ?I had a pair of runners on when the race started at Kokoda, when I got to Templeton?s 2 I threw it away, it was full of mud and which slowed me down a bit. The last pair of runners I had I discarded at Nauro, and decided to run barefooted all the way towards Ower?s Corner.?

Hunt At the finish Line Ower's Corner.....

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#5 Alison Anis

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 10:53 AM

And what a run it was. This man?s a winner. And what was his inspiration? ?I wanted to make a name for my people but most of all I wanted to get the record back on our soil and now that it is ours, I am very, very happy,? Hunt said.

Hunt won the K10,000 prize money and was awarded a gold medal, a winner?s shield and a trophy along with a ?fuzzy, wuzzy copper beating presented by Kokoda Trekking Limited boss Russell Eroro at Ower?s Corner yesterday.

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#6 Alison Anis

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 11:56 AM

Previous record holder for 18 years, Osborne Bogijiwai of Kokoda Spirit arrived 45 minutes later to be the second fastest man in the historic race. He clocked in 22 hours 45 minutes and 34 seconds.

Before the race started in Kokoda on Saturday midday, Osborne stated to everyone present: "I don't want the money, I don't want a shield of trophy, I want my record back."

And he did break the record - at least the second man to have done so after the John Hunt. Osborne was happy with his timing which was a very big improvement from 28 hours and 14 minutes previously achieved in 1986 when he became the 6th local to have traverse the ardous trail in less than two days, apart from a nameless few and others including Abau Senesi of Alola Village who set a record time of 27 hours 5 minutes in 1976 and Mabel Mafi of Assimba village the second female to have ran and who clocked 33 hours and 15 minutes.

Osborne Bogajiwai - running up towards the finish line at Ower's Corner.

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#7 Alison Anis

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 12:26 PM

When he reached, the finish line and upon hearing the exact time clocked in, Osborne punched the air, and put both his hands up as a sign of victory.

"I couldn't be more prouder. I am very impressed with the time achieved in this challenge - that is a big improvement from my part," Osborne said.

He added that it was also an assurance that they can do better in future with the time achieved. "If we can achieved this in less than one day, we can do better and advance in the future."

Osborne is embraced by Russell Eroro soon after he finished his race at Ower's Corner.

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#8 Alison Anis

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 12:54 PM

But while Hunt had something to eat along the way and little rest to keep him going, the former local record holder admitted having had nothing at all except a few stops for a drink of water and a change of worn-out head torch batteries.

"I ran most of the time and had to stop when I ran out of batteries or wanted to drink water. I had absolutely nothing to eat and ran most of the night," an exhausted Osborne said.


Osborne has his pair of runners untied for him after he completed the race....

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#9 Alison Anis

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 01:01 PM

As the second fastest man according to the 24-hour challenge Osborne said he was happy and could now rest easy as the record was back in Papua New Guinea.

"I would like to compete again next year, this time I will be more prepared. Make sure I have the appropriate equipment to compete in the challenge," the former champion said.

Osborne after the race....

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#10 Alison Anis

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 01:25 PM

After the crowd up at Ower's Corner including the locals who were present jubilantly welcomed the two new heroes, Hunt and Osborne, everyone waited for almost an hour before the next competitor turned up at Ower's Corner.

The third person home and to have also broken the record is Tom Hango who is currently employed by Kokoda Trekking Limited. Tom arrived an hour and 11 minutes later - he made it in 23 hours 34 minutes and 46 seconds.


Despite being the third man home, Tom is still manages a smile. Like Hunt and Osborne, Tom is also very proud of his achievement.

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#11 Alison Anis

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 01:45 PM

It was another's hour's wait before the 4th person came panting up Ower's Corner towards the finish line. Bernard Aruo another local employed by Kokoda Trekking Limited made it in 24 hours, 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

Bernard was infact in the lead all throughout the race according to the updates we got via two-way radio network with Hunt running in the forth place. When all of a sudden the radio signal was off for the rest of the night and towards the next morning we didn't know who was in the lead then.

Bernard running past the finish line....

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#12 Alison Anis

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 02:04 PM

The fifth and also the only international participant and the last person to have made it within 24 hours was Andrew Rowan from New Zealand. Andrew was the only New Zealander who teamed up with five Australian competitors; Charles Chambers, two brothers Sean and Brian O'Hara and a friend Robert Drysdale to form the group Anzacs during the race.

Andrew covering the last steps towards the finish line......

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#13 Alison Anis

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 02:08 PM

Andrew clocked in at an impressive time of 24 hours 15 minutes and 21 seconds that would make him to date the fastest international competitor in the gruelling challenge. Andrew was happy with his achievement - being the fifth and last person to have broken the record.

"My main focus was to break Brian Freeman's record. That is what I had in my mind most of the time," Andrew said.

I guess you could say...this man (Andrew Rowan) is the fastest whiteman ever to have walked/run the 96km horrendous trail.

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#14 Alison Anis

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 02:28 PM

Those who have completed the race after 24 hours included four other locals and three Australian from the Anzac team.

The locals included an independent runner Russell Gurisa and three runners from Kokoda Trekking Limited namely, Abel Arari, Rod Ori and Wayne Urina.

Russell Gurisa (Independent runner) is past the finish line......Time clocked 28 hours 32 minutes and 21 seconds.

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#15 Alison Anis

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 02:36 PM

Another local, Abel Arari came in 29 hours 5 minutes and 22 seconds after Russell. Abel experienced pain on his thighs and legs afterwards and took some painkillers.

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