Wet win­ter a Mud­der boon

Manawatu Standard - - FRONT PAGE - KIRSTY LAWRENCE

Ad­ven­ture seek­ers looking for a chal­lenge got all that and more at Ran­gitı¯kei’s mud­di­est event.

The Mud­der, an ob­sta­cle course on wa­ter-sod­den farm­land, took place near Mar­ton on Satur­day with hun­dreds turn­ing out, con­tent to get grubby.

The course, set up on or­gan­iser An­drew Ste­wart’s sheep and beef farm, 12 kilo­me­tres north of the Ran­gitı¯kei town, had 3km, 5km and 8km course op­tions.

Jeff Ed­monds took part for the first time this year and said it was a hard course.

‘‘It felt like you would get to the top and it should be go­ing down­hill, but it just kept go­ing up.’’ But he had fun while do­ing it. ‘‘Ev­ery­one looked like they were hav­ing a good time.’’

Ste­wart said this year there was plenty of mud as it had been a wet win­ter.

‘‘We have given the best course we’ve ever given in five years.’’

This year, about 450 people took part in the event.

Ste­wart said a big mo­ti­va­tor was people’s re­ac­tions to the course.

‘‘See­ing the re­ac­tions of people on the course and after, the smiles and laugh­ter and en­joy­ment, that’s the main mo­ti­va­tor.’’

There were a lot of cos­tumes on dis­play and Ste­wart said it was hum­bling to see the ef­fort people put into them.

Liam Ainsworth and brother Darcy Ainsworth, both 13, said it was tough but fun.

Darcy said crawl­ing through the mud was dif­fi­cult, while Liam said he strug­gled with the bar­rells float­ing in the wa­ter.

Mi­caela O’con­nor said she didn’t know what to ex­pect from the race.

‘‘I had heard some pretty fright­en­ing sto­ries about it, but it was awe­some.’’

She said the ob­sta­cles were a case of ‘‘head down and get through it’’, but there was one chal­lenge that was pretty dif­fi­cult.

‘‘It was a pitch–black tun­nel full of mud.’’

See more im­ages on Page 5.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/STUFF

The soap slide was as scary as it was fun.

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