Ultimate Athlete, New Zealand's newest obstacle course event, is coming to Mount Maunganui in June and the local community got a taster at a Demo Day over the weekend.
The Ultimate Athlete Obstacle Course Race for individuals, teams and children will be held at Mount Maunganui Main Beach on June 11 and 12.
The courses are designed to test all ages, abilities and fitness levels, with endurance and strength obstacles set over a 6km course with 20 obstacles and a 10km course with 25 obstacles.
On June 11 there will be intermediate and secondary schools competitions, with medals awarded, plus a fun run for younger children.
The next day there will be a series of big races: the 10km Ultimate Beast, the 6km Ultimate Challenge and Ultimate Teams competitors, who can enter either distance.
At Mount Drury reserve on Saturday, the general public got the chance to have a go on some of the Ultimate Athlete's trickiest obstacles.
These included an inverted wall and a seesaw, and for those who were game, a run to the top of Mount Drury and back carrying sandbags, and lifting a 20kg dumbbell.
Marti Chapman, of Pāpāmoa Beach and his children Riley, 8, and 5-year-old Isla, joined forces at the demonstration day, including picking up a 20kg dumbbell.
"Ultimate Athlete looks amazing and very professionally run. I hope lots of people sign up to take part in this homegrown fun event," Chapman said.
He was thinking about doing the Ultimate Challenge 6km course on June 12, he said.
"Hopefully it can help get rid of my dad bod," Chapman joked.
Aucklanders Toni Jacka and her son Max, 8, holidaying at Mount Maunganui, also attended the Demo Day.
Jacka said the concept was "really awesome", especially as it encouraged all ages to try out different obstacle and fitness challenges they wouldn't otherwise tackle, including her son.
"I think it is something that lots of people would be keen to do, especially because of emphasis on having fun while improving your overall fitness."
"It was really cool," said a beaming Max Jacka.
Ultimate Athlete chief marketing officer Josh Millan said one of the key aims of the two-day event was raising awareness of the importance of taking care of mental health.
"We believe if you have a healthy body it leads to a healthy mind, and staying active is so important for everyone's overall health and emotional wellbeing," he said.
Ultimate Athlete is owned by Groundplay Productions, whose directors are Gavin Foster, Toby Burrow and Mitch Lowe.
Event director Foster said obstacle-course racing was one of the fastest-growing mass participation sports in the world.
Foster said the Demo Day was the chance to showcase just a small snapshot of what the Ultimate Athlete concept was about and to encourage more people to get active.
"What's great about Ultimate Athlete is that everyone can take part if they have a reasonable level of fitness. This is not just for elite athletes," he said.
Foster said the Ultimate Athlete team category was focused on creating endurance-based races which were suitable for a range of fitness abilities.
"We want to create fun, achievable fitness challenges that help encourage people to get active and also helps improves their mental wellbeing at the same time."
Up to 1000 people are expected to participate in the two-day event, with funds raised going to three mental health charities - One Wave, I am Hope and Bring People Dancing.
Foster said a number of celebrities would compete in the Ultimate Teams racing, including pro boxer Joseph Parker, ex-All Black Israel Dagg and his wife Daisy, rugby league legend Manu Vatuvei, surfing legend Maz Quinn and TV personality Art Green.
There are prizes up for grabs, including $5000 for the winner of the Ultimate Beast.