Week­end warriors to face mud and fire


Thou­sands of mud-stained ‘‘ warriors’’ are tipped to in­vade Queen Elizabeth Park next month as the usu­ally quiet re­serve is trans­formed into a bat­tle ground.

The park will host the New Zealand de­but of War­rior Dash, a com­mando-type event or­gan­is­ers say has at­tracted more than a mil­lion par­tic­i­pants world­wide.

Aus­tralian events draw up to 6000 en­trants, and spokes­woman Ash­lee Rose hopes to get 3000 at the Welling­ton event in Queen Elizabeth Park on March 16.

En­trants take on 12 ob­sta­cles over a five- kilo­me­tre course, crawl­ing through mud pools, climb­ing walls and leap­ing hot coals, fol­lowed by ‘‘mu­sic, war­rior grub and beer’’.

The list of po­ten­tial ob­sta­cles in­cludes names like Muddy May­hem, War­rior Roast, Cliff Hanger, Bar­ri­cade Break­down and Pet­ri­fy­ing Plunge.

‘‘Our crew will come in a week be­fore and they’ll con­struct it, and turn Queen Elizabeth Park into a bat­tle­ground es­sen­tially,’’ said Ms Rose.

The Welling­ton event pre­cedes one in Auck­land in April.

Ms Rose said they scouted the Welling­ton re­gion be­fore set­tling on the park.

‘‘It has to be good ter­rain, there has to be mud, water sources, so that just fit­ted the pic­ture really for a bat­tle ground.

‘‘If there’s not any mud, we have a mud recipe.’’

War­rior Dash started in 2009 in Chicago, United States, at­tract­ing 2000 en­trants, she said. That event now draws 30,000 and is held over three days.

The record time for the course is 18 min­utes 50 sec­onds.

Ms Rose said hard core warriors usu­ally com­peted early in the day, with the ‘‘mums and dads’’ tak­ing part in the af­ter­noon.

‘‘There’s waves that start ev­ery half hour, but you can take as long as you like to fin­ish the course.

‘‘It’s a really good at­mos­phere and it’s a broad de­mo­graphic of peo­ple that get in­volved. You don’t have to be the most phys­i­cally fit per­son, you just have to be up for it.’’

En­trants were en­cour­aged to dress up as warriors and vie for prizes.

‘‘We’ve got the top three over­all male and fe­male par­tic­i­pants, the ‘most ridicu­lous cos­tume con­test’ . . . and the ‘best war­rior beard’.’’

The New Zealand events will be fol­lowed by three in Aus­tralia.

The Welling­ton win­ners will claim en­try to the New South Wales grand fi­nal.

Satur­day, March 16, 9am to 4pm, Queen Elizabeth Park, MacKay’s Cross­ing en­trance, $95, see war­rior­dash.co.nz.

Warriors: Com­peti­tors crawl un­der barbed wire in The Trenches, one of 12 po­ten­tial ob­sta­cles in next month’s War­rior Dash.

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