The town of Hunterville is preparing for its busiest weekend of the year as thousands descend on the town for today's Shemozzle.
In its 23rd year, the annual event brings together 600 participants and 5000 spectators for the multiple races, with different categories for kids, teenagers and adults.
Hunterville Huntaway Festival secretary Christine Whinn said the concept of the event was simple, albeit sometimes chaotic.
"It's a little bit like organised chaos really. It's a mixture of an endurance cross country uphill battle and a street full of obstacles, where participants have to do tasks, eat delicious food and carry stuff."
The Shemozzle first began in 1998, after Hunterville locals Tony Theed, Richard Horrocks and Thomas Powell came up with the idea of a run similar to the Cardrona Shepherds event in the South Island.
According to organisers, the event is the only one of its kind in the North Island, and is trademarked to ensure its continued success.
The main event known as the Shepherds' Shemozzle is a "gruelling cross country course not for the faint-hearted". Entrants take the course alongside their huntaway mate, with strict rules preventing unvaccinated dogs or "bitches on heat" from entering.
Whinn says the event is massive for the Hunterville community, and the response is always significant.
"It's a huge event. All of the races are a sellout. The children's race sold out within three hours, and the teens' and shepherds' races have all filled up as well."
"Without the local support of all our businesses we certainly couldn't run it at the extent that we do."
Whinn said she was too nervous to look at the forecast for today, but was hopeful the event would go off without any weather-induced glitches.
"I'm choosing not to look at the weather, but we're hoping for a great day.
"It's our first big thing for the district since lockdown, so I think people are going to be keen to get out and enjoy what the day is all about."