Mud, sweat and cheers during third annual Massey Mud Run

Monday 10 June 2024

The third iteration of the university’s annual event saw nearly 100 staff and students gather at the end of May to brave the conditions and course.

As in previous years, the Mud Run is held in conjunction with the Tough Guy and Gal Challenge hosted by the Manawatū campus, where hundreds of primary and intermediate school kids challenge themselves through swamps, streams and farmland, going up, over and under obstacles, including a waterslide.

Following the success of last year’s event, this year’s Massey Mud Run saw more than twice the number of participants tackle the course, with 95 staff and students taking a break from the office and the classroom to get active and muddy. Using the same three-kilometre course, the Massey cohort experienced thrills, spills and the unavoidable mud fights, with many dressed up to brighten up the drizzly weather.

Event organiser and Sport Advancement Coordinator Chris Sharrock says he was thrilled to see the increase in participation with everyone having a great time.

“Opportunities like this provide our staff and students the chance to get out of their comfort zone and try something different. We see lots of interesting and unique costumes, and it’s neat to see so many staff and students getting amongst it, having fun and getting active. We’re already looking forward to running the event again next year!”

The recent bout of winter weather meant the track was particularly muddy, ensuring no one finished without the opportunity to immerse themselves in mud. The run concluded with a sausage sizzle and a Sport Massey giveaway, with prizes including hoodies and t-shirts for those who went above and beyond with their costumes or their commitment to getting muddy.

A change in requirements this year allowed staff and students to participate either in teams or as individuals, with Senior Practicing Veterinarian Steve De Grey taking the opportunity to sign up himself and 18 other colleagues from the Vet School.

“The weather was perfect; cold and drizzly, and the course was groomed to perfection with plenty of obstacles, mud and just enough gravel to work into those chafing areas, you couldn’t ask for better exfoliation! Entering the event as a team increased the fun as we were all in it together and as a team, we all succeeded in making it home. The team is already asking when we can sign up next year and planning what our costumes will be.”

First-year student and Academy of Sport member Ella Hogan shared the sentiment.

“The Mud Run gave me more joy than the last five of my birthdays combined – it was heaps and heaps of fun, and I cannot wait for next year’s event!”

The enthusiasm was shared by the junior participants of the Tough Guy and Gal Challenge, with a total of 1500 students competing across two days. With two courses on offer, a three-kilometre or a one-and-a-half kilometre, the young runners showed off their determination, moving through swamps, taking on net crawls and navigating muddy obstacles, with many wearing bright colours and face paint to celebrate the experience.

This is the third year that the Manawatū campus has hosted the event, and Manawatū Recreation Centre Manager Ron Werner says he’s looking forward to welcoming the committed participants in future years.

“It’s awesome to be able to welcome our younger Manawatū community onto campus and see how much joy they get out of using our facilities. The enthusiasm and energy they bring are infectious, and we’re excited to continue this tradition and watch it grow in the years to come.”

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