Local farmer and mountain runner Sjors Corporaal has had to settle for second place at the inaugural New Zealand Tough Guy and Gal Championships.

Saturday saw the final Hydr8 Zero Tough Guy and Gal Challenge of the year take place at Lakes Ranch in Rotorua.

As part of the event, organisers staged an inaugural New Zealand Tough Guy and Gal Championships.

The championship race was by invite only and featured place-getters from the Hawke's Bay, Palmerston North, Wellington, Auckland and first two Rotorua events this year.


Fifty athletes started the race and it quickly became a two-horse race in the men's section, between Corporaal and Aucklander Josh Harrison.

Both runners had won their respective events on August 9 and August 16 in Rotorua.

The course suited Corporaal, who does most of his training on farm hills in Murupara, and Harrison, who is an experienced Tough Guy runner and current record holder for the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge.

The pair matched each other stride for stride for the first 6km before Harrison pulled away from Corporaal on the second lap, to take the win and the national title in an impressive 57min 12sec.

Coming in not far behind was Corporaal, dressed up as a Smurf, in 57min 37sec.

Taking third place was Angus McKelvie from Palmerston North in 1hr 1min 14sec.

Eight out of the 10 women's winners were on the start line. It was anyone's race to start with, but Wellingtonian Julie Johnson proved too strong for the others and won convincingly in 1hr 7min 49sec from Gisborne's Michelle Rennie (1hr 8min 30sec) and local runner Sue Crowley (1hr 11min 42sec).

The first three male and female competitors in the open and 40-plus grades were presented with a beautiful carved trophy to take home for bragging rights.

Later that morning, over 1600 competitors took on the same course that featured a barbed-wire crawl, electric crawl, tunnels, hurdles, climbing walls, wobbly bridges and plenty of mud.