Kids press on through fun

By Jared Smith,

They breed them tough in Waverley if the competition amongst the youngsters at Victoria Park yesterday is any indication.

While pouring rain in early afternoon forced a premature end to the Tough Kids giant obstacle-course event, several youngsters had already stamped their mark among the 1200 children taking part.

Tackling hills, bamboo, inflatables, rope lines, water features and slides, the youngsters had to stay on their toes.

St George's Ben Conden, 10, thought he had his Year 5-6 race under control as he rounded the bell tower at the top of the course.

However, on the run back down to the final stretch of obstacles, Adam Lennox, also 10, used his smaller stature to mole through the army nets to take victory.

"Pretty tough. My favourite was probably the one when you run through the water," said Conden, a member of the Wanganui Harrier Club.

"My toughest was the cargo net.

"Otherwise going up the hill, the ropes were slippery."

For Lennox, it had "sort of" helped him follow the others as he came from fourth, and then being smaller allowed him to push through the obstacles.

Both boys had made an early dash to get clear of the bottlenecks which developed as the main bunches approached the smaller obstacles at the same time.

"The toughest were the tarpaulins, the favourite would have been the mega slide," said Lennox.

It was just a fun day in the wet for the country kid.

"I don't do any running, I'm a rugby player. I just train at home."

Waverley schoolmate Jasmine Rozing was the same doing a little running and horse riding helped her come from behind to win the Year 5-6 girls run.

"I just thought I have to catch up. I did catch up to first," the 11-year-old said.

Rozing had enjoyed the sawdust and water but struggled on the bouncy castle.

The bigger story was the blood-and-guts effort of her schoolmate Emily Sorensen, 10, who chased hard for second.

Sorensen ended up with a bloodied nose on the final stretch and although she felt the blood on her hand and shortly after fell with a cry of pain, the youngster dragged herself back up to reach the finish.

"I whacked it on where those spinning things are," she said of padded obstacles at the park's fence line.

No complaining, Sorensen was determined to finish and was eyeing up another go in the teams' race later before getting on the road to Tauranga to compete for her Hawera BMX club at an important meeting.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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