More muck for Mud Trudge

Clutha Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - RICHARD DAV­I­SON

About 200 com­peti­tors will be head­ing home with happy, dirtsmeared smiles this Satur­day night.

Bal­clutha St John’s sec­ond an­nual Clutha Mud Trudge takes place this weekend, with or­gan­is­ers promis­ing they’ve ‘‘upped the muck’’ after feed­back from last year’s par­tic­i­pants.

Event con­venor Rachel Jenk­in­son said she was stoked with a range of course im­prove­ments and re­fine­ments this year.

‘‘We’ve changed up quite a few things in re­sponse to feed­back from our 2016 com­peti­tors, keep­ing the best and tweak­ing the rest,’’ she said.

‘‘Some el­e­ments of the course and be­hind the scenes or­gan­i­sa­tion worked re­ally well for our first out­ing last win­ter, and there were some we knew could be im­proved, so we’re pretty con­fi­dent we’ve got a re­ally fun, muddy, chal­leng­ing-bu­tachiev­able course for ev­ery­one this year.’’

Key among en­hance­ments through­out the course was more mud. ‘‘We’re dig­ging quite a few cus­tom mud pits this year, plus we’ve got a skip full of slime, and some­thing I can only tell you is called ‘The Birth Canal’ - you’ll have to use your imag­i­na­tion,’’ Jenk­in­son said.

Favourites such as the Clutha flood bank wa­ter slide would re­turn, but big­ger and bet­ter.

‘‘We’ve ex­tended the wa­ter slide a bit so peo­ple don’t end up on the grass. That was a big hit, with teams go­ing round more than once last year.’’

Other re­fine­ments might not be so vis­i­ble to par­tic­i­pants and spec­ta­tors, but would im­prove the over­all Mud Trudge ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘The course is slightly shorter, at 5.5km, but we’ve packed more in so the ob­sta­cles come thick and fast with less run­ning in be­tween, and more to see for spec­ta­tors. We’ve also made changes to the way the start is stag­gered, to avoid bot­tle­necks, au­to­matic tim­ing with transpon­ders, and the show­ers, with out­side hot show­ers to rinse off most of the mud be­fore us­ing the Rec Cen­tre.’’

Although num­bers were down on last year, com­peti­tors were head­ing to Bal­clutha from far and wide to take part, she said.

‘‘We’ve got in­di­vid­u­als and teams from as far as Christchurch, In­ver­cargill and Queen­stown, so we’re look­ing for­ward to a great day out.’’

Spec­ta­tors were wel­comed, and could use the Clutha flood bank to ac­cess and view the event.

RICHARD DAV­I­SON/STUFF

Bal­clutha’s Team Keen’s Usain Bolt sup­port­ers after last year’s Mud Trudge.

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