AS if Papua New Guinea’s infamous 96km of gruelling Kokoda Track isn’t tough enough, Australian dual Paralympics champion Michael Milton plans to add about 200km of cycling to the task.
Four gold medals at the 2002 Winter Paralympic Games are forgotten glories for Milton, who plans to complete the Kokoda Track from PNG’s north to south coast in eight days.
Milton, who lost his left leg to cancer when he was nine years old, today will fly to Popendetta on PNG’s northwestern coast then cycle 100km southwest to Kokoda.
He and the Kokoda Spirit group will then walk the track before cycling another 100km from the other end, Owers’ Corner, back to Port Moresby.
All up they will do 291km in eight days.
Wayne Wetherall, Kokoda Spirit managing director, said Milton would use a crutch and modified bike for the feat.
“The trek is a very hard challenge and this is an extraordinary feat by Michael, crossing the Kokoda Track all 291km of it from the north coast to south coast,” he said.“We commence the ride from Buna on Saturday morning then arrive in Kokoda Sunday morning.
“We start the trek from Kokoda and arrive in Owers Corner around lunch time on Friday October 16,” he said.
After skiing, Milton pursued cycling and after six months of training won a gold medal at the Australian Track Cycling Championships in 2007.
Milton was again diagnosed with cancer in July 2007 but overcame the illness and cycled in the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.
This was his sixth Paralympic Games and his first as a summer athlete, he arrived in Beijing less than 12 months since major surgery.