Youngsters were not afraid to get down and dirty as they braved the mud and obstacles at this year's junior Tough Guy and Gal Challenge.

More than 1800 children from around the region took part, with some coming from as far as Cambridge and Gisborne.

Event Promotions Ltd marketing manager Aimee Gregory said the event was great, with many excited children and an amazing atmosphere.

"It's so cool to again have perfect weather which makes everything run smoother, and so cool to see the smiles on the kids' faces."

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She said the challenge was a controlled and safe environment out at Lakes Ranch, where children could get covered head to toe in mud.

"It's getting them in that environment, completely out of their comfort zone."

The Rotorua junior event sold out and would probably grow more next year, she said.

Rotorua Intermediate's Austin Lash, 12, who crossed the finish line first, said he took part in the challenge last year.

He said he was surprised, when crossing the finish line, that there was no one else around him.

Austin said he enjoyed the mud, the obstacles and the number of people.

His favourite part of the course was the ropes that went up an almost vertical hill.

Mokoia Intermediate student Kaia Hayes, 12, said it was her first time taking part, but wouldn't be her last.

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She liked getting dirty and the climbing over the obstacles.

"It shows people what they can do."

(From left) Maegan Fraser, 13, Corey-James Davidson, 13, Anna Phillips, 12, and Megan Middleton, 13, all got muddy. Photo/Stephen Parker
(From left) Maegan Fraser, 13, Corey-James Davidson, 13, Anna Phillips, 12, and Megan Middleton, 13, all got muddy. Photo/Stephen Parker

Tomorrow is the first of the Rotorua Adult Tough Guy and Gal Challenge, with about 1200 adults registered to take part.

There is also a Corporate and Gym Challenge, with gyms, boot camps and companies taking on the event together.

Next Friday, is the secondary schools Tough Guy and Gal Challenge with more than 1000 students registered. These students can gain NCEA credits at this event.