There was slipping, sliding, cheers, and squealing as students tackled obstacles and got covered in mud for the Secondary School Tough Guy and Gal Challenge in Rotorua.

The secondary school events were held today, with the juniors yesterday and the adults tomorrow.

The Tough Guy and Gal Challenge is an off-road running event which features obstacles and plenty of mud.

Registration manager Jenna Keane said there were 1300 kids in the secondary event and about 1400 in the junior event, which was held on Thursday.

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She said these were about the same numbers as last year.

Although the course was very wet from rain the past three days, runners were still getting good times and all the kids were keen, she said.

The participants had come from all over, including places such as Hawke's Bay, South Auckland, and New Plymouth.

Keane said through the event students could get NCEA Level 2 and 3 credits for Physical Education, and that it was an all-inclusive event.

She also thought it gave a lot of city kids the chance to run around farmland for the first time.

"I just think it's a great event and atmosphere. It keeps the kids active and encourages them to get outside."

Wading through mud was part of the Secondary School Tough Guy and Gal Challenge. Photo / Stephen Parker
Wading through mud was part of the Secondary School Tough Guy and Gal Challenge. Photo / Stephen Parker

John Paul College's Hannah Gapes, 15, was the first girl across the finish line for the 6km course.

She said she did cross country running, and that was pretty tough, but this was next level.

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Hannah said there was a hill so steep you could not run up and you had to use a rope - "The hill really gets you."

The mud was thick too, she said.

She said going through the mud and some of the obstacles was fun.

"Overall it's a great course. I'm looking forward to doing it next year."

Despite having the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Road Champs in Cambridge on Sunday which is leading up to nationals next month, she wanted to give the event's 6km course a go.

She said "thank you" to her coach Jason Cameron for training her through the years.

There were plenty of laughs from students at the secondary school Tough Guy and Gal Challenge. Photo / Stephen Parker
There were plenty of laughs from students at the secondary school Tough Guy and Gal Challenge. Photo / Stephen Parker

Sam Bartram, 15, and Matt Buckeridge, 15, took part with a group from their school Lindisfarne College in Hastings.

Sam said the Rotorua event this year was a lot tougher than a previous Tough Guy and Gal Challenge he had done in Hawke's Bay, as this one had more obstacles and mud.

Matt said this course was something different and not everyone was trying to win it.

When asked what he enjoyed about the course he said, "not the hills", though he enjoyed running in the water and when they first got into the mud.