A muddy good time for Auckland’s tough guys and gals

Tuesday 16 August 2022

The Massey University Secondary School Tough Guy and Gal Challenge was held at the beginning of August for the first time at the new venue of Kumeu Showgrounds.

Good, muddy fun!

Around 2000 students from year nine to 13 gathered across the two days to participate in the six kilometre off-road running event which included a range of man-made and natural obstacles throughout the course. The course was also filled with the key ingredient to this challenge, courtesy of the latest bout of Auckland’s winter weather – lots of mud.

With 53 school groups entering across the two days, along with a small number of individual entries, there was a healthy amount of competition as participants aspired to be named the Toughest School of the day. On both days, the top finishers were able to complete the course within an impressive 30 minutes.

Points were awarded for each student’s individual placing within their gender, with the team placings determined by combing the gender placings of the first three recorded finishers by gun time. At the end of the first day, Epsom Girl’s Grammar School was named the Toughest Female School team, and Toughest Male School team was awarded to Rosmini College. The following day saw St Cuthbert’s College take the title of Toughest Female School team, with Albany Senior High School taking Toughest Male School team.

Left: Andrew Wilson presenting awards. Right: Epsom Girl's Grammar School took out Toughest Female School team on day one.

Andrew Wilson from Massey’s Future Students team attended the event and was given the honour of presenting the awards. He says the days were filled with high energy and enthusiasm from the secondary school athletes, and the fun had was equal to the impressive amount of mud.

“It was an amazing day, even the weather played along although I doubt the students cared as they were ready to dive headfirst into the mud. It was great to see so many schools attending from Northland and all over Auckland. I’m glad I got to see the runners before the start of the race, kitted out in their school colours and funny outfits, because by the time they came across the finish line, they all looked the same. Absolutely covered in mud!”

The 2022 Secondary School Tough Guy and Gal Challenge series has amassed over 4000 participants so far across the Wellington, Hamilton, and Auckland events, with more than 100 schools involved. The final event of the year will be held in Rotorua at the end of August and is expected to host an additional 35 schools with over 1000 students already signed up.

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