Owner driver and drag racing identity “Pommy” Steve Read and MAN salesman Callie Le Roux have turned their personal health and fitness goals into a quest to raise money for the transport industry, by walking the historic, and gruelling, Kokoda Trail.
The Kokoda trail is much like it was in 1942 when the Australian soldiers fought there in World War II. It stretches 96-kilometre in heavy bush with extreme hot humid days, rain, and cold nights. It is a track for the fittest of bush walkers.
The track offers a look at the conditions Australian, Papua New Guinean and Japanese troops endured. Many of the soldiers were killed by malnutrition and disease, rather than by enemy fire.
Callie has a military background and respects Australia’s military history and the sacrifices made by Australian troops defending Australia in World War Two (WWII) in Papua New Guinea.
He was inspired to start the journey by an empowering book The Lost Battlefields of Kokoda by Brian Freeman.
Steve, he loves a challenge and for the 64-year-old driver his challenge has been to get fit and lose weight in the last eight months. A challenge many of us face, especially when working behind the wheel or behind the desk for long hours.
Steven comes from a proud trucking background with a family business in England which ran a large fleet of up to 70 trucks across Europe. He says he is very competitive by nature, this has been part of who he is since his school days competing in sports.
He says a few months ago he had an epiphany, “I looked in the mirror one day and I said to my wife, I don’t like how I feel, I don’t like how I look, I just feel like a slob,” he says adding, “I told her I am going to do something about it.”
Steve explains a local trainer started up a boot camp which made fitness “really interesting” and he began to work on his fitness.
“I started going down there three days a week to start with, then it went to four days and then five days and then six days, so I was getting reasonably fit.”
“So when Callie said to me I am going to do Kokoda, I said that’s a good idea, I am going to Kokoda with you.
“Now when I am not driving the truck, I am training.”
He also shares a fascination with military history and wanted to take the opportunity to visit such a historic place.
“It dawned on me that Steve is a MAN customer, he is a well-known drag racing celebrity, and then I thought why don’t we turn this into some marketing event and help the industry,” Callie explains.
Many of the suppliers Callie deals with came on as sponsors, and are happy to support the cause.
He also derived the Two MAN Can name from a MAN marketing exercise with adventurer Riaan Manser, a man that cycled around Africa circumventing the continent, and driver Nduna Chari who together took on nine countries and 13234km of the world’s toughest terrain in the MAN TGX Euro 5 to prove that they could handle all Africa had to throw at them, while delivering mosquito nets.
This adventure was called ONE MAN kann and can be viewed on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYmqgTXaVN0.
Callie and Steve say this will be their first adventure, but already the two are planning to make an annual event to raise awareness of driver health issues and to raise money for causes close to the transport industry.
The men lead by example and Callie, 46 and Steve 64 have a strict training regime getting them ready for the Kokoda Trail.
They meet every morning at 5am on a track they found behind Steve’s house in Redland Bay walking 10kms.
Steve does his boot camp in the afternoon while Callie completes another 10kms of walking in the afternoon on his own.
“We train for three to four hours a day every day before and after work,” Callie says.
The Two MAN Can team-
Callie Le Roux – MAN Truck Sales Executive at Brisbane Truck Centre
Steve Read – Top Fuel Dragster Racer and Director at H&S Transport and MAN Truck Owner
Steve Read and Callie Le Roux are trekking the Kokoda Track which is 96 km through the jungle in Papua New Guinea to raise funds for the Lights On The Hill Truck Memorial.
Steve and Callie will commence their trek on the Kokoda Track on 22 Nov 2016 and will cross the finish line on 30 November 2016.
Please click here for information about sponsoring Steve and Callie.
You can also keep up to date on Faebook-