Mike Deam

My Kokoda Track Journey

Logged

112km

Goal to Kokoda

96km

I’ve conquered Kokoda!

So far, I have helped Soldier On fund:

437

peer support
sessions

262

employment
support

33

psychology
sessions

...to support the mental health of our brave veterans to help them march on.

Support My Challenge to Save Lives.

This March, I am conquering 96km to support Soldier On's life-saving mental health services to help our brave veterans and their families.

Why 96km? Because I'm taking on the length of the Kokoda Track to honour the courage and sacrifice of our veterans, both past and present.

Please support my challenge to prevent veteran suicide and help save lives.

Together, we can help our heroes march on.

Thanks so much for your support.

My Achievements

My Updates

D29 - Kakoda

Wednesday 30th Mar
Well I'm up in Queensland at a conference and to say it's been raining is perhaps an understatement. Its been pouring so little opportunity for walking. However the last two sessions today were a bit boring and there was a break in the weather so off I went. 

When we arrived we saw a Kakoda Memorial in Surfers that was on the tramline and of course that was my target. I'll post this also to Facebook with a few more pictures ... but the memorial had 4 words ... COURAGE, ENDURANCE, MATESHIP and SACRIFICE and I think that covers what this walk this year has all been about. I've particularly enjoy being with my mates Eddy Kontelj, Mark Neeld and Andrew Katos and to a lot of extend doing this together we all helped each other on the journey.

A great way to finish this year's walk. Thank you to all the contributors to the Geelong Veterans United  team you helped us reach our target.

Day 24: Keep going

Thursday 24th Mar
So another walk with my mate Mark and though I've completed the 96Km I'll just go on and see what I can get to.. 

Thanks Mark for adjusting the start time as we both have a busy day and that 15 min early start did make a difference. Bit to early for pictures when its pitch black and this morning was little nippy as I started down the road and went back for a long sleeve warmup top and trackie dacks. 

Good as they say to pick up the 100 as you get to wave your bat at the pavilion. Though in my case it's probably the shoe and based on their condition well their nothing to wave about! 

Day 21: Kokoda - 96KM Done

Monday 21st Mar
Today is the day I complete the required 96KM in March. It was great to be able to achieve that walking with my mate and team member Mark Neeld as we walked on the beachfront at Geelong. I did a 6.5km walk with Mark before heading to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. 

Like so many of my walks it was a spur of the moment decision to extend to the Vietnam Memorial as I knew I would be close to the requirement. 

I walked (up and back) the Avenue of Honour on La Trobe Terrace then finished at the War Memorial. I can remember that as a kid my Birthday came up on the conscription selection. I was a few years too young but its always been a stark reminder for me. 

I'd planned to donate $500 to start the challenge and similar amount when I completed it.  That will also achieve the target I set and I'd just like to thank all my donors and supporters who have been so generous. 

Day 19: Jungles

Saturday 19th Mar
So Walk 1 was on Costa Rica the Bosque Nuboso Interval walk through a rain forest. The second walk was a different jungle The Golden Horn Cultural Walk in Istanbul Turkey through the bazaar and spice markets .... lets just say it was before social distancing..

With a walk on Sunday I should be in striking distance on Monday to complete the challenge.. While the sun was good today it does restrict what pictures I can take and none were really suitable for posting so miss out today but I've attached an image of what the spice market was like

Ok course its heading up to ANZAC day and of course that conflict was against the Turks. It's good to reflect that 100+ years on we can be friends and share and learn from each others culture. 

Day 18: 2 x Hill Climbs and a Flat Track

Friday 18th Mar
So today was on the Treadmill but 3 locations..

Item 1: Safari Endurance Hike Mount Kilimanjaro Tanzania.  Elevation gain 107 with quite a few parts maxing out on the 15 climb it was a challenge but this was obviously the start  of a 21 series walk up Mount Kilimanjaro and I must admit I quite liked it. After I've completed around the world treadmill this is one to add to the list I might like to do. We got to see a few animals from a distance

Item 2: moving from central Africa to Central Pacific we are on the Sleeping Giant Incline Hike (there is a clue) Kaua'i Hawaii and elevation was 224M so the machine was almost stuck on 15 climb. There was lot of rain forest but mostly I just saw UP! At this point I was going to call it quits then I saw the next one.

Item 3: Seaport District Endurance walk, New York City, New York and I knew one thing about this and that was elevation 4m - its flat. Starting at the sea ferry and going down to the 9/11 Memorial past Wall St (Stock Exchange) and the bull. The photo below is taken literally on the run as they don't let you slow down for the photo moment. So you see the size of the machine as well. 

We have been to the bull and for some reason there were only two families there both dragged by their fathers I think. The other family was Greek. I did not speak Greek and he did not speak English but we exchanged cameras to take each other family group and all I can say is, I hope I did at least as good a job as he did for me. Great shot - thanks.

So all up a bit over 9.5KM in now down to 16KM to go. I've planned a walk with Mark on Monday Morning it would be nice to get to my target with my mate.

Day 16 - Sandbars and Castles

Wednesday 16th Mar
Today it was back on the treadmill and walk 1 was short but walking on the sandbar at Bora Bora. Check out how blue that water is.. 

Then the more challenging Predjama Cave Castle of Slovenia. But seriously folks its 6:00AM in the morning and dark outside. I'm on the treadmill. The guide talks about rain and limestone then launches into a Quiz. Give me a break! Ok I got 3 from 4 not too bad but my focus is moving my feet.

1'm 1km short of stage 4 which is Eora Creek. 25km to go overall. It is getting a bit competitive in the group as to who can get to Kakoda first .. The old guy (me) is not doing too bad but I can feel my team mates breathing down upon me. 

But to celebrate my last stage I've doubled my donors who have given to this point. Dave Stanton, Jim Carrol, John Parra, Geoff Case, Anonymous, Renée Jovic, Tracey Browning, John Stekelenburg and my darling wife Glenys. 

Day 14: Too nice to be on a treadmill

Monday 14th Mar
So today was too nice a day be on the treadmill so I walked the foreshore at Geelong. 

Yesterday I spent cleaning up the garage so no "Soldier On" walking so with the lovely weather today it was too good an opportunity not to get out and enjoy it. Because as they say you never know what tomorrow may bring. (However, I did have a sneaky at the weather forecast - bit of rain)  

Saw a couple of interesting sea creatures and will put a few more photos on FB. Just how clear is that water. 

Now at Templeton's Crossing on the virtual walk its all well within reach.  

Thanks to all my sponsors and supporters. And thanks to my fellow team members who I hope to catch up soon.

Day 12 - Walking with Mates

Saturday 12th Mar
The great thing about this years challenge for me over last year is doing the walk with Mates.. While Mark Neeld is away for the long weekend I was able to connect up with Eddy Kontelj and Andrew Katos and do a 6km walk along the river. 

Yesterday was a rest day ... well not really had to move a wood pile so we can fit a garage door so did that instead and although it was nearly a 4km "walk" in very small circles so from a Soldier On viewpoint you can't count it.. 

Day 10 - Eating donuts is not ok

Thursday 10th Mar
Well this walk/run was a little shorter than planned and I only had time for 1 session today so I had to make it go faster to get a little longer. I finally got to 3.38km (from a 2.65km start) so it was a little bit more difficult than planned .. 

However it was at Motovun in Croatia and it was very pretty looking into the valley and running around the town. 

Which brings me to the story of the headline. So my trainer - John  Peel decides during the workout to stop off at a street vendor and buy donuts. Now I have to say this is not on... I've just done diet day the day before (so 500 calories), up early and not had breakfast and your eating donuts while I'm running on the treadmill. John I used to think you were a nice guy. Cruel and Heartless comes to mind. 

Well at least that is my walk done for the day tomorrow looks like back to a double walk - where? Well you'll have to stop back and see. 

Day 9 - an Incline walk in Bolivia and a River jog in India

Wednesday 9th Mar
It just keeps going. Today we started in Isla Incahuasi  in Uyuni Bolivia which was an incline walk. So quite short but steep in parts. Its on salt plane and is a mixture of volcanic and coral rock as it was under sea level a long time ago. About the only thing that grows there is cactus. Its the shot below.

Now contrast this with a story from the Yamuna River in Mathura India were Krishna grew up. It was a good story to distract you in how fast / far you went. 

You just have to wonder where tomorrow will take us. I'm enjoying the workouts as its so varied rather than the same trainer and the same area walk - you never know what is coming next.

Day 8: Pyramids & Penguins

Wednesday 9th Mar
So todays two walks were rather short but interesting and diverse places on our wonderful planet. 

The first was a walk through the Pyramid of Sakkara in Cairo, Egypt was a marvel at the time and the engineering in building the Pyramids. It contained many wonderful stories about how they broke the code to be able to read hyqogrtaphics on the tombs.  

This was followed by a walk around Half Moon Island in Antartica. It's one of the places I've yet to tick off the bucket list. Its basically home for Penguins and Seals as you can see in the attached shot

Day 7 - Just a short Run at Bondi

Monday 7th Mar
So on the world Treadmill Challenge I did just the one and because of that I had to go a little faster so this turned into more of a run than a walk.

Busy day today so only time for the one event but because of the earlier hard work in Tassie I'm still in spec having dropped the average to 2.5km a day. But I made up for it by running rather than walking  to turn a 2.6km track to just over 2.9km cranking the machine up to a 12 at some points. 

I did have a sneaky peak at tomorrows first one and I'll be doing 2 tomorrow as the first one is about 1.7km  .... where will we be - find out tomorrow ... 

Day 6 - Made it Menari (via Portugal and NYC)

Sunday 6th Mar
So back in Geelong after the boat ride and on the Treadmill. 

Now the Treadmill and I have a bit of a love hate relationship. I have to get 4km a day but enjoy doing a program and this one is “Treadmilling Around the World”. 

Now these are individual walks or programs and I can never seem to get between 3-4km which is my target. 

So the first walk was in Portugal and 2.65km. So very nice, very pleasant and short of the mark. The next walk in the series is 3.29km which on its own would work but I had to complete it around New York City and Times Square. 

But a special shout out to Tracey Browning from the Flyers for your donation- much appreciated. Tomorrow who knows where I’ll go? 

Day 3 - War Memorial Hobart

Thursday 3rd Mar
Well I never quite know the weather here in Hobart so I never quite have that much of a fixed plan as to where to walk and after starting off I found I was going in the direction of the Hobart Memorial. Which is the Image of the day.

In FB I'll edit and add a few more photos because I then walked down the avenue of honour and all those trees represent a young life in WWI.

But in a minor bit of scrub I did see another wallaby as well. 

This rounds out my Tasmania walks and glad I got a bit of a start because I have the next 2 days off to get home my next walk will be back in Geelong on Sunday. Could be outside, possible catch up with my fellow Geelong Veterans United team mates or a travel adventure on the Treadmill - like most of my walks in Tassie I'll make my mind up on the day...

As always thanks for all of your support.. Mike

Day 2 - Walking in the Rain - With Friends!!

Wednesday 2nd Mar
So stepping out in Hobart this morning was Drizzle ... well more a misty drizzle. You know you walk about for 30 mins and wonder why your dripping wet.. 

So I decided to walk up the shopping centre as it offered some occasional cover.  By the time I got to the end (North Hobart) it had stopped. So faced with a hill I thought I'd climb it. 

Not too bad I thought I just keep going for another corner. 

Feeling pretty good I thought I go to the base of the mountain... 

Excellent Now I can get onto a bush trail (and more up) how could I resist ... 

Then I met my friend pictured below and more up.. 

So now I'm committed. 

I have to make the top of Knocklofty.. and while the views to the top are nice at the top there is nothing to see so its on the fire break track (mostly) heading down and its a bit slippery in the conditions and a few more tracks into the bush and civilisation .... 

Where ... wait for it .... its starts to drizzle again.. Go figure...

I'm only allowed the one picture here so I'll put a few more on the FB Post.. Up around the 20KM mark now so may relax a little for tomorrow but nothing for Friday/Saturday but at least I have that covered... 

Much thanks to my darling wife Glenys for the donation today.. I'll keep pounding the pavement. 

Day 1 - Take the first step

Tuesday 1st Mar
So today kicks off the challenge of my 96K for Soldier On and proud to be in a team with Eddy Kontelj, Mark Neeld and Andrew Katos as Geelong Veterans United. 

I needed to get in a big on today as I'm on the Ferry back to Geelong on Friday so I loose a day so off to a solid start in Hobart around Sandy Bay. The weather always threatened but never delivered the promised rain. 

Anyway a good foundation to start with.. 


Thank you to my Sponsors

$2.25k

Mike Deam

Doubling my supporters donation to date as I enter the final stage. Thanks to Dave Stanton, Jim Carroll, John Para, Geoff Case, Anonymous, Renée Jovic, Tracey Browning, John Stekelenburg and my darling wife Glenys.

$515

Glenys Deam

Well Done.

$515

Mike Deam

$515

Mike Deam

Thanks to my team mates and supporters for encouraging me to get to the end of the challenge.

$500

Windows By Geoff Case

Goodonyamate

$465

Anonymous

$160

Tracey Browning

Keep up all that walking Mike and soon you'll be Flying. Thanks for making a difference for such a Great Cause!!

$104.40

John Stekelenburg

Enjoy the challenge for a great cause.

$104.40

Francis Trainor

Great work Mike. An exceptional effort, an exceptional cause and, as always, an exceptional man.

$64.73

Renee Jovic

Great work Mike and team, loving the updates on social daily!

$52.20

Wilma Bolitho

Well done Mike, hope I am not too late !