‘It needs to be remembered’
THE Kokoda Beach Challenge - which included a half-marathon run entirely on sand - took place yesterday on the 77th anniversary of one of the most significant battles on the Kokoda Track.
Yesterday's event attracted about 180 participants, split between serious competitors and those just wanting to honour the soldiers who fought for Australia.
Geoff Stillman's father Jim was in the 39th Battalion and fought in the second engagement in the Battle of Kokoda on August 8-10, 1942.
He died about three years ago.
Geoff, who came to the Kokoda Beach Challenge awards presentation, said it wasn't until his dad was in his final years that he opened up about his war experiences.
"I think what happened on Kokoda in 1942 is a very important part of Australian history and needs to be remembered," he said.
Judi Reid, the spokeswoman for Rotary Club of Broadwater Southport, said the annual event aimed to appeal to both athletes and history buffs.
"A lot of the participants are there to honour the men and woman who served in the second World War and learning a bit about it," she said.
"We have some groups of people who come every year.
"I think it's the only half-marathon in the world that's fully run on sand."
The Kokoda Beach Challenge featured races of 5km, 10km, 15km and 21.1km.
Rotary Club of Broadwater Southport was responsible for organising the 23m-long Kokoda Memorial at Cascade Gardens.