The weather may have dampened the number of participants at this year's mud challenge but it had no impact on the fun or efforts of those raising money for rugby players at Tauranga Boys' College.
About 150 people made their way through a 6km mud run and obstacle course on the Pahoia Domain estuary as part of the iLine Construction Tauranga Mud Challenge on Sunday. Competitors crossed mudflats and ran through paddocks and channels, facing challenges such as cargo net crawls, a mud slide and try-scoring in the mud.
The challenge is a fundraiser for the school's rugby hardship fund and organiser Rodger McBrydie said the final tally was still to be confirmed but expected to raise more than $6000.
"It's to help our rugby hardship fund to help our families at school here to cover the costs of playing rugby," McBrydie says.
This year, the money will go towards supporting players in the school's under-15 team, who were helping out on the day, heading to a tournament in Napier.
McBrydie, who is also the teacher in charge of rugby at Tauranga Boys' College, says costs for rugby players can reach about $1000 a year so the fund can help cover boots and tournament fees. There are conditions that have to be met to qualify for the support but McBrydie says it's all about easing pressures.
"If they're not attending school and not meeting the requirements of training and games they need to do that to qualify. It's the whole programme, it's about building good people, helping them grow and develop as people and rugby players.
"We want to go out of our way to help these families."
Participants were down from 320 last year - likely due to rough weather conditions - but McBrydie says everyone who took part enjoyed themselves.
"We had about 70 people sign up on the day even though in the morning it was forecast for thundery [weather]," McBrydie said.
"We were actually happy with the rock up crowd on the morning."
McBrydie said everyone who had taken part in the competition this year and the previous had said they enjoyed it. He said it was a fun event, with everyone receiving medals, no timer and no podiums adding to the "cool vibe" of the event.
"Everyone who was there, they can't wait until next year."