Kokoda trekker to set a blistering pace

A GUNNEDAH farmer is about to attempt his sixth trek on the Kokoda Track this year but plans to complete it in a record time following a bet he made with his mate.

Peter Holledge is no stranger to the track which is the location in Papua New Guinea famous for the trials of battle between Japanese and Australian forces in World War II.

He has walked it every year since 2006 and when his Papua New Guinean friend bet him he couldn’t complete the track in three days – it’s known to take anywhere between four to 12 days to complete depending on fitness – Mr Holledge, who is not one to shy away from a challenge, happily agreed.

Locals or regular trekkers have been known to complete it in three days or less, something Mr Holledge also hopes to achieve.

“I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do it – it will be a challenge,” he said.

“My mate doesn’t think I can do it, but I’m hoping I’ll prove him wrong.”

Mr Holledge will also take friend Mark Halton from Singleton along with him to complete the challenge.

Once it’s over, he will then lead another group of 12 along the track which will take about eight days.

“The group is made up of people from all over the place this year,” he said.

“There’s a lady from Melbourne, another from Perth and some from Newcastle and

Singleton.”

Mr Holledge is quite well-known for his trekking-expertise since tackling the track six years ago, and word of this has spread across the country.

Each year he takes a group with him.

His wife also accompanied him once before but she didn’t walk the track, instead she opted to stay back with the women in one of the villages to experience their culture.

Mr Holledge said his knees have taken a bit of a battering over the years and are not what they used to be, however, there is no sign of him slowing down yet with next year’s trek already in the pipeline.

“We can take up to 15 with us at a time,” he said.

“A friend from Gunnedah wants me to organise another one in April next year but I might have to wait and see how I go this year before I say a definite yes.”

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