Kokoda Challenge Rules
To enter The Kokoda Challenge Events you must observe the following rules:
Minimum Age Requirements
Kokoda Challenge Events have recommendations for minimum age requirements for each event type. This is a recommendation and it is up to the individual including the parent/guardian to agree to participation if not within the boundaries of recommendations.
The decision to participate is up to the individuals fitness (appropriate physical training is required) and by doctors recommendation.
Minimum Age Recommendations:
- 96km Kokoda Challenge : minimum age is turning 15 years during the year of the event
- 48km Kokoda Challenge : minimum age is turning 13 years during the year of the event
- Jim Stillman Cup : minimum age is turning 13 years during the year of the event
- Stan Bisset Cup : minimum age is turning 15 years during the year of the event
- 30km Challenge : minimum age is turning 10 years during the year of the event
- 15km Challenge : minimum age is 9 years during the year of the event
For all events – Participants under the 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult (18 or over) in a team. This should also include a sign Waiver form by a parent or guardian.
Event Start & Team Registration
Every team must start the event with all registered team members.
- 96km : team of 4
- 48km : team of 3 or 4 (as per the category the team has registered in)
- 15km or 30km : team of 2, 3 or 4 (as per the category the team has registered in)
- School Teams : must starts with four team members and an adult team leader
Team changes are permitted up until the event closing date determined by Kokoda Challenge Events.
To be eligible for a category placing in the event results, teams must start and finish the event with the correct number of entrants and correct gender as per the category chosen at registration.
It is the teams’ responsibility to ensure their team is registered in the correct event category before the event registration closing date as deemed by the Kokoda Challenge Events. Teams must notify the Kokoda Challenge Events of any change of team members via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For 48km, 30km and 15km. Team member withdrawals at pre-registration does not automatically result in a change of category (e.g. from 4 person team to 3 person team). Therefore this change of category needs to be articulated to staff during this withdrawal to ensure correct team category if requiring an event place.
Before the designated registration close off date, teams can log onto their competitor area team page and change individual team members themselves. The eligibility for the family category is through blood line, marriage, foster care or as deemed by Law to be a family unit.
Team member substitutions are not permitted during the event at any time and any team found to be substituting team members during the event will be disqualified.
During the registration process of a specific event teams can increase or decrease the event category or event distance. By increasing the team numbers or distance the teams will have to contact Kokoda Challenge Events to pay the extra registration amount and will also require increasing their fundraising amount. To decrease a team number or decrease a distance there is no refund on the amounts paid. The overpaid registration amount is moved across as donation. The donation amount that was from the original registration still needs to be honoured.
Teams must pre-register during an advertised registration period. These times will be communicated via email, website and social media.
The following guidelines are recommended for teams to safely complete Kokoda Challenge Events:
Every team in the 96 and 48 km events should have a support crew. The support crew is responsible for providing teams with food, change of clothes etc. during the event. It is unrealistic to carry all supplies yourself.
Once registered, please make sure your support team reads the support team section in the competitor Log In section on the website. Your support crew must attend the compulsory support crew briefing held directly after the start of the event once competitors have left the area.
Teams are responsible for the behaviour of their support crew. Any support team or participant found to be contravening any CP landowner’s regulations or event organisers’ directions may lead to the team’s disqualification from the event.
Support Crews are not required for the 15km and 30km events
Event Briefings will have made available for all events prior to the relevant event.
Please give way to teams walking at a faster pace. The trail can get quite congested, particularly in the early stages of the event.
Prescription medication and pain killers will be your own responsibility. These are not issued by Checkpoint Staff or First Aid Officers.
Start times for each Kokoda Challenge will be advertised and communicated.
The 96km Kokoda Challenge commences at 7.00 AM. There are no wave times for this event.
All team members must stay together between checkpoints and must check in and check out together at each Checkpoint. Checkpoint staff will not check through teams until all members are accounted for.
Team must be no further than 100m from each other always while on the event course.
Under no circumstances are individuals to be left unattended. If a team member becomes seriously injured and cannot be moved, one person must stay with them while others seek help.
If you want to withdraw during the event you must report this at the checkpoint and sign a form to indicate you are signing out of the event. Teams cannot continue until the member has officially withdrawn and it has been reported to the Command Centre. If for any reason you leave the event without communication to staff, please call the emergency number to communicate that you are not on the course. Failure to do so can trigger and emergency response and use resources that may be required for real emergency responses.
A team’s finishing time will be recorded as the last member of the team reports to officials at the finish line. This is a team event and no individual time(s) will be recorded.
Race bibs as supplied by the Kokoda Challenge Events must be worn always during the event on the shirt front.
Leave no trace of your travel along the event course. Please respect the environment and leave all flora and fauna as you found it as well as carrying out all your rubbish. Please respect other members of the public you may encounter on the course as the event does not have exclusive use of any area.
If, in the opinion of medical personnel, a team member is unable to continue for medical reasons, then the Kokoda Challenge reserves the right to withdraw that member from the event.
There are specific Kokoda Challenge Events that require a support crew to provide food, water and first aid. All participants are only able to access support crew at specified support crew checkpoints.
Teams will be disqualified if they receive assistance from their support crew at any other time or location during the event. Exceptions will only be allowed with prior approval from Kokoda Challenge Events and only for extraction or medical emergency.
Teams must obey the road rules always and follow all directions given by road crossing personnel and event officials.
Department of Defence Land all participants must stay on the event route always and not detour off the course unless directed by Defence Base Personnel or Event Officials.
Visit the Kokodian Guide on Kokoda Challenge Events Website for further information on training, hydration, course maps, further event conditions and FAQ's.
For 96km & 48km events if the team have had withdrawals and down to the remaining two, they must accompany another team throughout the remainder of the event. This is to ensure that all walkers travel in groups of at least three people. Teams do not have to ‘join’ another team. Each team retain their identity and number through the remainder of the event.
For 30km & 15km events teams can travel as a minimum of 2 persons due to the distance of the course.
School Team Limits
All School teams must have an 18+ BlueCard supervisor with them always. Kokoda Youth Foundation have a firm approach to child safety and wellbeing these rules should be followed in strict accordance.
If the 18+ BlueCard supervisor is needing to withdraw from the event the students remaining only have two options:
- Either the rest of the team withdraws from event
- A BlueCard parent or BlueCard representative from the same school takes the place of the withdrawn 18+ supervisor.
If for any reason team members decide to stay in between checkpoints for more than 4 hours, they must call the emergency phone number to inform the Command Centre; due to our tracking wristband following teams this will prompt a search to be initiated as a missing person.
The event has nominated Checkpoint closing times. If a team has not reached the checkpoint by these specified times the team will be withdrawn from the event. Teams will also be team will be advised not to proceed if they are slowing down and not looking to move any quicker to the next checkpoints. The closing times are calculated on the basis that there would be insufficient time to complete the event within the specified 39 hours.
Compulsory Equipment includes:
The Kokoda Challenge are endurance events and do require that participants are well equipped will compulsory equipment.
The 96km and 48km requires more equipment then that of the 15km and 30km distances. The reason being that the longer distances are longer events that include night walks.
- High visibility vest with reflective tape as the outermost layer of clothing between dusk and dawn always. There are more than 1 reason for the high vis vest e.g. road crossings, private land & support crew checkpoints all areas have vehicles travelling in these areas of the night. It is a useful for emergency services to locate possible lost participants (Local weather conditions can create fog, rain and lack of visibility in dense rainforest)
- The likelihood of rain is high and a water proof jacket or poncho with hood is required. Generally, anyone that gets wet whilst on the track will fall into hypothermia without wet weather protection.
- The ability to carry a minimum of 1 litre of water in bottles or hydration bladder.
- A head torch with spare batteries between dusk and dawn.
- Race bibs received at pre-registration are to be worn on the outside of attire to be visually seen by Checkpoints.
- Pealess Whistle. Whistles are required in case of an emergency. Pealess are required due to the possibility of the cork in the Pea Whistles not working due to moisture.
- A minimum of two mobile phones in waterproof bags, preferably on two different networks with one on the Telstra Network with the same phone numbers given to Kokoda Challenge Events as registration details. Race officials may send out alert SMS messages or call in the case of an emergency to these numbers.
- A first aid kit suitable for the event and team size. Suggested items include but are not limited to: space bag or blanket, snake bite bandage, triangle bandage, wound dressings, crepe bandage and wound closure strips.
- It is the participants responsibility to ensure they are well equipped with compulsory equipment, as well as a personal hygiene kit. This includes spade, environmentally friendly toilet paper & sanitizer
Depending on your assessment of the situation, in the event of an injury or emergency, the following procedures are recommended:
Contact Command Centre on the emergency phone number given to you on the briefing night and inform them of the situation. This will be a dedicated phone for emergencies only. Depending on the situation make your way to the nearest checkpoint, which will have first aid and communication available.
Ring 000 and when asked your name also state “we are participating in The Kokoda Challenge”.
Ring 112 and treat the same as a 000 call. Follow instructions from Emergency Services and/or race officials. Administer first aid treatment if required and continue until assistance arrives.
Emergency contact information is also located on the back of participant bibs.
If you become LOST: stop, gather the team and attempt to establish your position from the last known location. Track marking tapes are located approximately 100 m apart. Once you are sure you've found the correct path, continue. Do not make the situation worse by continuing to travel if you are still unsure of your position. If required, call the emergency phone number and speak with race officials.
Bush Fire. Phone the event emergency number if you are between checkpoints and believe you are in danger, to advise or gather information. Follow event officials' instructions and remain at a CP if advised to do so by officials. If trapped, call emergency services on 000 or 112 from a mobile. Find a safe position in water, away from trees (in clear ground), in low ground or dig a trench.
Emergency Procedures for the event are covered at briefing nights as well as the Kokodian Guide online.