Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough

XRACE aims to bond families

- HELEN NICKISSON

A fun mystery adventure race, aimed at strengthen­ing families and boosting the self-esteem of children, is set to take place at Blenheim’s Pollard Park on Wednesday, March 3.

As an added incentive for parents to engage with their kids in a fun way, New Zealand Home Loans (NZHL) have sponsored two brand-new bicycles as spot prizes for the event.

The 2021 NZHL XRACE aims to have teams of a parent and child aged 6-14 race together against the clock and other family teams, to locate and complete 10 mystery challenges.

Phil Muir, owner of the Blenheim branch of NZHL, said this is the seventh year the Blenheim branch has hosted the event, and he has competed each year with his own children, Toby and Pippa.

Just under 150 teams took part in last year’s event, in spite of growing fears around the developing pandemic, and Muir says the event has grown steadily each year.

‘‘It’s been really cool. The kids grow up quick, so it’s all about capturing the moments when you can while they’re still young, and this race has been a big part of that,’’ said Muir.

‘‘The big standout is hearing the comments from other people that partake and how much the kids get out of it,’’ he added. ‘‘They love getting to spend time with parents and have fun with them.

‘‘It’s a very good opportunit­y for parents to lead by example in terms of competing within the rules, and playing fair, being competitiv­e, but most of all just having fun.’’

Activities start with the curtain-raiser Nippers event, which is for the under-6 year old siblings of children taking part in the main race.

The Nippers race is a mini version of the XRACE, run around a shortened course with mum or dad.

The main event begins at 6pm, when kids team up with a parent – or in some cases a related adult – and complete a set of challenges.

‘‘We have kids that are too old to compete ask if there are younger kids they can team with,’’ said Muir, adding that the only requiremen­t is for an over 16 and a primary school age child to form a team.

The challenges range from physical trials such as tug-ofwar, to mental memory tests, to knowledge based activities.

There are also several compulsory challenges, which teams are advised of prior to the race.

Every finisher receives a medal, and there are trophies for age group winners, as well as numerous spot prizes.

The evening ends with a BBQ in aid of the Child Cancer Foundation. Families can enter on the day, or for more informatio­n and to enter online, go to https:/ /xrace.co.nz/blenheim.

 ?? SCOTT HAMMOND/STUFF ?? Toby, 10, and Pippa, 7, can’t wait to join the XRACE together with their dad Phil Muir, who has been practising his juggling skills in preparatio­n for the race.
SCOTT HAMMOND/STUFF Toby, 10, and Pippa, 7, can’t wait to join the XRACE together with their dad Phil Muir, who has been practising his juggling skills in preparatio­n for the race.

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