How did your blister prevention, foot care and knees go on the Challenge?
Scott and the team from First Aid Accident & Emergency reported seeing the majority of competitors after the event that used one of these techniques: taping feet, taping knees or using Skin Slick everywhere.
‘After the massive downpour on Saturday evening, a lot of teams were already prepared for wet feet and possible chafing issues in the later part of the Challenge,’ said Scott. ‘Those who did not prepare suffered in a big way and I think this is reflected in the largest pull out rate in the Challenge this year!
We would love to hear your story of survival on the Challenge with blisters, chafing and knee issues. Even better send us your best war wound picture for a chance to win a first aid kit valued at $80 from Scott and the First Aid Accident & Emergency team.
After our Briefing nights, we have had a large amount of participants looking for more information, first aid kits, tape and equipment from Scott Whimpey- from First Aid Accident & Emergency.
Scott Whimpey, FAAE director, 10 year Kokoda competitor and first aid adviser, visited the Kokoda Youth Program on the weekend to share knowledge on injury management, nutrition and vital tips on how to get through this grueling challenge.
Scott’s workshop was one of many on the day and aimed at teaching the youth program important skills for hiking for over 30 hrs on trail and steep terrain.
“We love the way it changes the young people and puts life and challenges into perspective” Scott says.
FAAE also also sponsored the Kokoda Kids with vital first aid kits for their up coming 12 months in the program.
This is the only program of its type in Australia, teaching kids about our Kokoda spirit and our heritage from the Kokoda Track in PNG and the battles of WW2.
If you need advice or first aid equipment for the Kokoda Challenge, have a look at our Kokoda Products here
We can’t wait for the Kokoda Challenge this year, Scott Whimpey, former winner of the challenge and now in Team CONDEV1 will be at the information day to give us some great tips and first aid advice for the event, Scott will also have strapping tape, first aid kits and a huge amount of motivation for all competitors.
First Aid Accident & Emergency are a 10 year sponsor of The Kokoda Challenge and have some great information here for competitors.
Watch this video to see what Scott Whimpey from First Aid Accident & Emergency and Delina Rahmate from Fit Dimensions Education recommend to eat and drink for the Kokoda Challenge.
Both Scott and Delina are from the elite team CONDEV 1 and have finished this challenge every time they have participated, Scott has a winning time in the 96 km Kokoda Challenge of 11:19 min and Delina has finished every Challenge inside 18hrs.
It is recommended to consume 200-300 calories 2-3 hours prior to Kokoda, if you cant usually eat prior to exercise then try to consume 50-100 calories just before you train then start consuming 100 -150 calories/hr during workouts of 2+ hours.
The following lists of foods are suitable for endurance are generally easy to digest and provide use-able carbohydrates:
The following are examples of pre and during workout ideas for you to assist in a great performance, they are very healthy and packed with nutrition. Please make sure that you PRACTICE your nutrition prior to the race as you need to find out what works best for you!
50 calories is approximately per item:
- 1 small piece of fruit such as apple
- 12 strawberries
- 1 slice of pineapple
- 10 grapes
- 2 squares of dark chocolate
- 1 small pack raisins
100 calories is approximately per item:
- 14 almonds
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 banana
- 2 pieces of fresh fruit
- 2 cups of watermelon
- 1 small sweet potato (baked/steamed and salted)
- 1 cup of white potato (baked/steamed and salted)
- 1 gel (check your brand)
- 1/ 2 sports bar (check your brand)
- ½ cup of boiled pasta
- ½ cup of boiled white rice
- 20g of potato chips
- 1 ½ slices of thin white bread
- 1 slice white bread with Vegemite
- 1 Anzac biscuit (small)
- 1 medium sized plain pancake
- 10-12 jelly beans
- 7 jelly lollies
- 4 squares of dark chocolate
- 1 heaped scoop of powdered sports drink (check your brand – this is what Hammer Heed, Trail Brew and Tailwind Nutrition provide)
Here is how we can put some of the above suggestions into practice:
Do you need blister protection or ITB help for the challenge? Check out Scott’s Ultimate Kokoda pack here.
- Consume 50-100 calories immediately prior to short workouts and 200-300 calories/hr during workouts of 2+ hours
- Energy Drink (electrolytes and carbohydrate mix)
- Energy Bar – ½ – 1 bar (depending on distance/ time training) Homemade or a sports bar (eg. Hammer Bar)
- Energy Gel or Energy Chews (only use during workouts of 2+ hours, otherwise, use real food)
- Raw Fruit – 2 small or 1 medium-large/hr. Best choices are banana pieces, mandarin oranges, pineapple, figs, dates, raisins (caution during longer workouts, as dried fruit can cause bloating/diarrhea).
- Berries easier pre-workout if they will get squashed or have at checkpoints
- Fruit Puree in squeeze sachets or preserved natural fruit- easy to carry
- Boiled Baby Potatoes sprinkled with sea salt (these carry well in a zip lock bag)
- Sweet Potato sprinkled with sea salt (these carry well in a zip lock bag)
- Sweet Potatoes with Sea Salt & Honey This is a higher carbohydrate meal perfect for the demands of Kokoda. Bake or boil 1-2 sweet potatoes and consume with sea salt and 1-2 tablespoons local raw honey or organic maple syrup. For added calories (especially prior to a 2+ hour training session or race), you can include a dollop of organic, pot-set yoghurt or 1-2 tablespoons almond butter.
- Homemade Vegetable Soup:
If you are walking and know that you will be out there for a long time hot foods are perfect when it gets late. Vegetable soup provides a source of liquid, electrolyte and some nourishing vegetables. Minestrone Soup (Serves 8-10). Use whatever vegetables are in season and try a variety of ingredients to keep the recipe fresh.
- – 1 can cannellini beans (or beans of choice);
– 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock;
– 1/4 cup olive oil;
– 1 small onion, finely diced;
– 1/2 cup celery, finely sliced;
– 1/2 cup carrot, diced;
– 3 cloves garlic, minced;
– 4 cups baby spinach or other dark leafy greens;
– 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped;
– 2 zucchini, trimmed, diced;
– 1 can diced tomatoes;
– Salt and pepper to taste.
- 1) In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, onion, celery and carrot.
2) Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
3) Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes.
4) Add zucchini, tomatoes, spinach, parsley and stock.5) Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, puree half (optional – will make soup thicker) of the cooked beans in a blender or food processor.
6) Add it to the soup along with the remaining beans. Continue to simmer it for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Fluid and Electrolyte Intake
The major electrolytes found within the body include calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphate and chloride. Because these crucial nutrients help stimulate nerves throughout the body and balance fluid levels, an electrolyte imbalance can cause a variety of serious negative symptoms.
Any level of dehydration will decrease sports performance – a 1% loss of body weight generally decreases sports performance by 5%.
- Adverse Effects of Dehydration
There are many adverse effects of dehydration including: Heart rate and body temperature increase.
Perception of work / effort increases.
Muscular endurance and aerobic capacity are reduced.
Reduced concentration, mental functioning, and skill learning ability.
Cramps, nausea and headaches.
Delayed gastric emptying, making it harder to rehydrate. Fluid intake when dehydrated can lead to stomach upsets.
Inability to urinate a few hours after an endurance event.
To assist in the fluid and electrolyte balance you can use food as sources as well as sports drink replacements and supplements.
- To understand your hydration needs weigh yourself before and after a training session (such as a long weekend training session) and this will show how much weight you have lost in fluid and hence approximately what needs to be replaced. You can then use this as a guide for future rides.
- If you are relying on a very low calorie source of fluid you need to consider your energy requirements particularly on your long training sessions and in Kokoda. When purchasing a sports drink the Institute of Medicine recommend the formula to contain the following ratios of sodium to potassium to carbohydrate to ensure maximal uptake and a correct electrolyte balance in the body:
- 10 parts sodium: 1 part Potassium or 6 sodium:1 potassium
- With a 5-10% carbohydrate content to maximise absorption.
If you would like any additional information, contact Scott or Delina now on Ph: 55205068
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.
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
As an elite competitor in the 2016 Kokoda Challenge with Condev Construction, and usually ‘behind the scenes’ Risk Management for all injuries and incidents for The Challenge, Scott Whimpey debriefs his Challenge and the common mistakes people make that results in them not completing a Kokoda Challenge.
Let me start by saying that this year just over a quarter of competitors did not complete the event, however the weather was poor, possibly playing a part, there were a lot of first timers and as usual “Armyland” never fails to weaken the heart and mind of the masses!
I still think the secret to completing this event is preparation, so where did you go wrong and how do you fix the problem?
We all know that preparation is the hard work put in leading up to the event and as with most teams, preparation is the key.
My team’s preparation was about 60% this year with a few of our team suffering illness and some minor injuries leading in’ this is just part of being an ultra-runner or competitor in one of the hardest trail events going around.
The morning of the event, I did my usual routine – 2 muffins with jam and a nice cuppa coffee. I then cracked a bottle of my favourite sports drink and proceeded to trickle feed it over the next couple of hours.
The Challenge started without a hitch and we were away, an easy jog and just working into the morning. As always a few teams take off like rabbits but they always come back to the field.
After 2 hours or so, we realised one of our guys was hurting and we couldn’t get his heart rate down on the hills, so instead of burying him, we adjusted our pace and managed the situation one step at a time.
The key with your team is communication, always asking the question- How are you feeling now?
If there is a problem, don’t wait hours to fix it, do it now and move on!
The weather early was perfect for the Challenge, cool with light mist of rain and overcast, couldn’t ask for better actually – well, until you hit the mud anyway.
There were a few things I noticed here: Some teams had shotty gear, incorrect footwear, no spray jackets and in general looked unorganised.
One of the things we put to use this year was walking poles- yep, I think this saved our bacon on the big hills as they helped our team continue the pace when the legs were suffering up the big hills. Shoes also made a big difference, trail shoes with grip came into their own in the mud and nothing else came close.
One of our team members had a faulty bladder in their pack and couldn’t get a decent drink, we had a spare packed and once we got to the next checkpoint, we sorted the issue.
Another big difference for our team was a wind/ rain jacket and arm warmers, when we slowed down, we cooled down, this finished a few teams and even an elite team up front from getting too cold when the pace dropped. All we did was carry them in the pack and threw them on when needed.
Once we got to half way, we knew we were going to be a little slower than anticipated, but we all made a pact that we were all along for the ride, no matter how long it took, we would all finish this together. Believe me, this was harder than I thought but finishing as a team of 4 far outweighs going quick and the satisfaction is unbelievable – I think the respect for fellow teammates gets stronger the more you suffer!
At the halfway point we were in 3rd position and being chased by Britt Calling from Gold Coast Physio and Matt Rodgers from a Wild Earth team. 3rd, 4th and 5th were only separated by 7 min at the 50km mark and we knew we had a race on our hands – we had our heads down and were working hard.
Our team was just hanging together but we were still upright, we stayed positive, kept the nutrition plan going and focused on one hill at a time. Everyone in our team had down times and up times but we backed each other and stayed in the zone.
At 75km we were just holding on to 3rd and by now the rain had set in and the track conditions were getting tough. Having a good head torch is better than a warm bed at this point and as usual, Murphy’s Law – one of our guy’s torches broke down and having a spare at this point was gold.
Now it sounds like we skipped through 75km but all the way we fought hard to manage the conditions, terrain, nutrition and wounded teammates. I remember falling a few times early from lack of concentration and thinking if I sprain an ankle, the entire team might not finish, the focus on staying upright is 100% the entire time – that sort of concentration for over 20 hours is a big undertaking.
We hung on and at the last checkpoint we came across the 2nd place team – they had suffered from the conditions and fatigue and 2 team members could not continue.
We decided to let the other 2 guys join us through Nerang forest to get them home; we couldn’t help feel sorry for the boys as they had come so far and fought so hard.
The 2 remaining boys were devastated but happy to come along for the ride. I want to make a point here that this team are as good as any of the best teams out there, things just didn’t go their way that day and they payed the price.
Nerang was a joy as we were now feeling re-energised, The final stretch will do that for you in this event, and finally we hit the finish line in 14:50 min. We had made it as a full team and done it the hard way, no one really cares for the minor details or how hard it is, but you and your team know the sacrifices made to get here – yep your home and that’s all that counts.
So where did so many go wrong and not finish this year?
- Poor preparation – yes that’s it, go out and prepare with food, gear, shoes and team talks.
- Not the right gear – get the good gear that counts- shoes, torches, poles, weather proof jacket and packs
- Poor nutrition- Work out what works for you and your team, don’t just have what people tell you, be prepared for the worst like sitting around at a checkpoint for over an hour waiting for a teammate.
- Poor planning – plan to succeed, not fail. Set times between checkpoints, what gear is needed for the checkpoint and the ultimate team plan- sticking together.
- No injury management- Have tape, Skin Slick and a patch up kit on board with the team, know how to use it and fix it sooner rather than later.
So if you have unfinished business with The Kokoda Challenge or just want to have a crack, take heed and listen to the advice, it may just get you home!
Team CONDEV and Director – First Aid Accident and Emergency
First Aid Accident & Emergency Founder and Director Scott Whimpey has been involved with The Kokoda Challenge for over 9 years and was a past winner with team Nike Hammer, so his experiences in preparation and training, during the event and post event care are invaluable.
The Kokoda Challenge is a grueling test of endurance both physically and emotionally and preparation is essential in the lead up to the event. Due to his experience through running and teaching first aid through his registered first aid training organisation, Scott has first hand experience on how First Aid skills and knowledge can be the difference between resigning from the event or finishing the event.
First Aid Accident & Emergency offers First Aid courses specifically designed for Kokoda Challenge participants whom will be taking part in the team event that spans over 96 kilometers of Gold Coast hinterland. Check out some training tips from the official Kokoda Challenge website.
On the 16th and 17th of July 2015, the Gold Coast hosted one of it’s most popular team events, the Kokoda Challenge. The Challenge itself involves teams of four members trekking across a 96 kilometre course over 39 hours. The course was specifically chosen through some of the most difficult terrains of the Gold Coast Hinterland and never fails to disappoint participants on how challenging the course and event is.
The Gold Coast Kokoda Challenge was created to replicate the treacherous journey Australian troops traveled when they embarked on the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea back in 1942. The Kokoda Challenge has been embraced by the Gold Coast community as not only a mark of respect to those who endured the hardships in 1942 but as an individual challenge to test their own endurance.
As the Last Post rings through the air of the Starting Line for the 2015 Kokoda Challenge, competitors are reminded of those before them who endured the challenge including the original Australian soldiers that suffered through the distance in Papua New Guinea.
The Gold Coast Kokoda Challenge is continuing to grow in popularity due to it’s support, organisation and atmosphere. First Aid Accident and Emergency offers first aid support and advice to participants throughout the event. Our team thrives in the diversity and challenge Kokoda dishes out to participants and having our First Aid station is a fantastic way to not only keep our training fresh but our outstanding of the Kokoda track up-to-date for future events and training.
First Aid Accident and Emergency is a proud sponsor to the annual event and we pride ourselves on understanding the physical and psychological ordeals that participants endure. Our director Scott Whimpey has himself competed in the event and every year is a part of the event through his training, education and First Aid support.
It was an honour to watch all of those who competed and assist with First Aid for the event.
Here’s a taste of what Kokoda 2015 was all about from our man on the ground, Scott Whimpey.
Kokoda Challenge Special Offer
First Aid Accident & Emergency are proud sponsors of the Kokoda Challenge, and have supported the event for 9 years. Kokoda Challenge participants can take advantage of a special reduced rate for First Aid Training, CPR Training and any first aid equipment.
To receive your special rate of $90p/p for the first aid course (including CPR) and $40p/p for CPR training, call the office on 07 55205068 and quote your team name to book your course. As the event sponsor, we run first aid training 4 times a week in Varsity Lakes training centre and also offer special rates for training in your workplace.
Director Scott Whimpey has competed twice in the challenge with the elite Nike Hammer team. He has also first aided for the event 7 times now and has some great Videos and articles for teams below.
Whilst a lot of emphasis is put on the preparation for the Kokoda Challenge, the recovery is just as an essential element of your training and preparation.
Scott Whimpey from First Aid Accident & Emergency discusses the importance of recovering after a trail walking or running session and gives some great tips on how to do it.