Rugby players know all about mud.
And you could say rugby enthusiasts Rodger McBrydie and Dan Goodwin are experts in their field — as long as that field is a churned-up bog with barely a blade of grass showing.
What Dan doesn't know about mud, after years playing club rugby for Te Puke and blindside for Bay of Plenty, isn't worth knowing. Rodger, meanwhile, has comfortably lost count of the number of runs he's dished out to hyperactive hot-shots in his long-serving role as a PE teacher at Tauranga Boys' College.
Now the pair have combined their specialities for the inaugural Tauranga Boys' College Mud Challenge, a 6km mud run through the wilds of Pahoia, to raise funds for the school's rugby hardship fund.
"We use our hardship fund to support families so that money isn't a barrier to their boys playing rugby," Rodger says. "Money shouldn't be a reason for students to miss out on all the awesome things sport has to offer. We all know the benefits of rugby.''
Rodger says the sport is getting expensive with many struggling to pay the basics. He estimates that it can cost up to $1000 per season for an under 15 interschool team representative.
Rather than opt for the traditional quiz night, the pair wanted something unique.
''That's also why we picked the Mud Challenge as a fundraiser — as the name suggests, it'll be a challenge, it will be exhausting and it will probably be uncomfortable but we fully expect everyone to cross the finish line with a massive grin on their face."
The 6km course will take competitors across mudflats near Pahoia Domain, through paddocks and channels, with additional challenges along the way, such as cargo net crawls, a mud slide and try-scoring in the mud.
The two, with some enthusiastic volunteers, have given the course a test run and additional challenges will be a added on the day.
Rodger says they wanted the Mud Challenge to be a fun event which people can do with their kids, rather than a race. Having said that, it will be a great challenge for keen runners.
''It's so much harder to run in the mud, it's energy sapping. The weight of the mud weighs you down. Going under that cargo net and get covered in mud...''
Anyone who has ever taken part in tough mudder challenges will like an event like this, he says, although theirs is smaller scale.
The long course is open to teams of three as well as individuals. The full course involves a river crossing and extreme mud in the ''boggy snake obstacle'' so athletes must be over 16.
The last 3kms of the course is open to under-16 athletes, making it the ideal challenge for the whole family.
Spot prizes will be given to participants throughout the event including prizes for the best dressed teams and individuals.
An important aspect is for people to register before the day of the event. For more information or to enter, visit www.taurangamudchallenge.co.nz
— Additional writing Rebecca Mauger
Tauranga Boys' College Mud Challenge
Mudflats near Pahoia Domain
Sunday, August 26
$15 kids, $40 adult, $110 teams x3
Or register/pay at Tauranga Boys' College