Tackle the urban obstacle course

By Victoria White

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Aspyre Fitness owner Jamie Loughran tests his balance as gym member Nick Stygall (left) and Aspyre staff member Jacob McNeil practise their training techniques for the urban obstacle race.
Aspyre Fitness owner Jamie Loughran tests his balance as gym member Nick Stygall (left) and Aspyre staff member Jacob McNeil practise their training techniques for the urban obstacle race.

An urban obstacle course on the streets of Hastings will encourage people to get active for a good cause, organiser Jamie Loughran hopes.

"It'll bring some fun to the central city while doing something good for people," the owner-operator of Aspyre Fitness said.

Mr Loughran had the idea of creating a race which wasn't solely cardiovascular based when he was 19.

While such races were popular now, Mr Loughran said they were held in the country and he hoped to bring them into the city.

"I decided I'm sick of thinking about it, let's just do it."

On January 24 participants will challenge themselves by crawling under nets, swinging on monkey bars, and climbing over hay bales, among other obstacles.

For health and safety reasons only those over 15 years are able to enter, but the race would be benefiting a younger group with all proceeds going to the KidsCan Charitable Trust.

The father-to-be wanted to do the race for a good cause and had heard about KidsCan's great work.

He said: "Everyone deserves a good chance in life, and the kids are our future."

Kids would still have a chance to participate on the day with young volunteers needed for a water balloon gauntlet.

"I've got over 400 balloons ready to go. Kids can throw balloons at mum and dad ... it'll be something for the whole family."

Hastings City Business Association general manager Susan McDade said they were right behind Mr Loughran.

The association had helped him co-ordinate with the Hastings District Council and sponsors to turn the event into a reality.

"Hopefully it'll keep growing and will be something he can do every year," Ms McDade said.

While Mr Loughran had never organised an urban race, he had held similar events during his eight years owning Aspyre.

"A gym should feel a bit between a workshop and a playground - I've always tried to make things interesting like that and it's just taking that spirit outside."

Mr Loughran said the race would take around 15 minutes but people were welcome to do it at their own pace.

- The Aspyre Urban Obstacle Race will begin at 11am on Sunday, January 24, at Albert Square, Heretaunga St East. Entry is a $25 donation. For more information, visit Aspyre Fitness's Facebook page.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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