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NYC Wheelchair Champ Makes Superhuman Trek

He crawled for 11 days straight.

He crawled for 11 days straight.

From: NYRR Media

Former New York City Marathon wheelchair champion Kurt Fearnley crawled along the famous Kokoda Trail in New Guinea. Photo: NYRR Media

Just a week after winning his fourth-consecutive ING New York City Marathon, the man often called the best wheelchair marathon athlete in history set off on a trek in that he would later call the hardest thing he’d ever done in his life.

For 11 days in November 2009, Kurt Fearnley crawled, virtually dragging himself by his hands, along nearly 60 miles of the famed Kokoda Trail, a World War II battle trail in Papau New Guinea. Through heat and mud over a mountainous trail in dense jungle—some of the most rugged terrain in the world—he and his companions hiked for nine hours a day. In December 2009, Channel 7 Australia’s “Sunday Night aired mind-boggling footage of the trek. View it here and here.

Veteran Kokoda hiker and team leader Wayne Weatherall told Australian media that Fearnley’s effort was the most amazing he had ever seen. “To use the word superhuman or superhero is not going too far from the truth,” he said.

The nine-time Paralympic Games medalist and a team of 15 family members and friends, along with porters and guides, made the trek to raise awareness of men’s health issues, specifically depression.

Fearnley, 30, the course record holder, will return to the New York on Nov. 6 to seek his fifth victory after a third-place finish last year. The Australian is coming off a win last Sunday in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Watch the Youtube video Part 1
Watch the Youtube video Part 2