PNG Adventure Duo Opening Eyes in World Class Competition

Javith Ababu (Right) and Gibson Kemori (Left) of team No Roads Expeditions look at thier course maps pre-event.

Meet Javith Ababu and Gibson Kemori – two Papua New Guineans taking part in the annual brutal Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge.

The pair are senior porters on the Kokoda Track with Australian expedition firm No Roads Expeditions – Javith Ababu currently holds the record for running the 96km Kokoda Track in the fastest time: 19 hours.

The Mark Webber Pure Tasmanian Challenge is a 5-day adventure race which started on Wednesday (19’th) and ends on Sunday (23’rd). It covers approximately 250km of terrain and requires competitors to mountain bike, kayak and trek a daily course.

Along the way competitors are challenged to other activities including abseiling and whitewater rafting – designed to push competitors and take them outside their comfort zone.

The course:

  • 4.8km kayak on Dove Lake
  • 11km walk/run to the summit of Cradle Mountain
  • 11km ride from Dove Lake to start of mounain bike leg
  • 32km bush mountain bike circuit

The PNG pair had never kayaked or ridden a bike until the challenge and consequently struggled. However, they literally flew up Cradle Mountain overtaking many teams and surprising officials with their strong performance and reaching the summit in third place – only 10 minutes behind the leaders after starting 30 minutes behind.Gibson Kemori in action on Day 1 - after taking a tumble and needing to have his knee bandaged.

And guess what the boys did when they reached the summit?

They deliberately lost 30 minutes when they stopped at the top of Cradle Mountain to play in the snow. 

We stopped at the top of the mountain to have a look and feel the snow – it was cold and fun.

It was easier on this trek than our normal trails but this was a bit scarier as we didn’t really know where we were going.

The Challenge boasts a pool of world-class competitors with Australia’s leading adventure racer Jarad Kohlar taking part. Australian Gold Medalists and Paralympians are also taking part in the Challenge.

Javith Ababu and Gibson Kemori have never been outside of PNG and this is their first adventure race.


Anybody can send an email of encouragment to the competitors. The messages are passed on to the competitors each night. Send an email to our PNG boys:

~ by Tavurvur on November 21, 2008.

2 Responses to “PNG Adventure Duo Opening Eyes in World Class Competition”

  1. Makes me wonder why we don’t have a go at more traditional sports like paddling, archery etc. Might be the start of something here??

  2. Exactly Emmanuel! I reckon we should be pouring some money into sports like the Triathlon and Orienteering.

    I mean come on – if you can run the Kokoda Track in 19 hours surely you have the capacity to develop into a promising athlete!!!

    It never ceases to amaze me how much energy our people (I’m talking rural here) seem to eke out of their meagre diets. I swear their bodies regurgitate every single good chemical ten-fold!

    And not only that – our people are unbelievably mentally tough when it comes to such adventure races because we grew up in very similar environments – the only difference is that we’ve been experiencing it our whole lives, not just for 5 days.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: