Fancy moving your body and shifting your mind while you race around rugged hill country knee-deep in mud?

That is the aim of this year's The Mudder, which starts at 10am on Saturday at a Rangitīkei farm.

Now in its fifth year, the filthy and fun event focused on mental health and encouraged people to make the connection that exercise could help with mental health, event organiser Kylie Stewart said.

"The Mudder is all about giving it a go and we're hoping to inspire people from the couch to their first event."


The course is on Kylie and Andrew Stewart's sheep and beef farm. It starts at their Rangitīkei Farmstay Woolshed 12km north of Marton, and there are 3km, 5km and 8km options.

Using natural resources from the farm, the course obstacles have previously included a dam with a floating island to crawl over, bogs to wade your way through and hills to climb.

"Andrew designed it around natural springs so we're fortunate that water is flowing through it all-year-round that creates mud when you put people through it."

Stewart said the event improved every year and there was always something bigger and better but they liked to keep the new obstacles a secret until the day.

She said having it on their station, with the rugged terrain and stock roaming, made it a unique event.

"It's not just for the fit and the athletic; while it is challenging, the goal point is working together with your family, team-mates and having fun."

Stewart said this year none of the participants would be timed and everyone would receive a participation medal when they crossed the finish line.

Costumes are strongly encouraged, and there will be first, second and third best-dressed prizes.


Stewart said one of her favourite parts of the day was before the event began and everyone came together to do a warm-up and she could see the array of colourful costumes.

"It's a huge part of the day - the majority of people are all decked out. People might be worried they're going to get it [their costume] muddy, but it's all part of the fun."

Severine, Lou-anna Beneteau and Nathalie De Vries at the finish of a previous Mudder event at the Rangitīkei Farmstay Woolshed. Photo / Bevan Conley
Severine, Lou-anna Beneteau and Nathalie De Vries at the finish of a previous Mudder event at the Rangitīkei Farmstay Woolshed. Photo / Bevan Conley

For those cheering on participants, there will be a live band and bouncy castle to keep them entertained.

After the event, a hot outside shower will be available for participants followed by a prizegiving with spot prizes and a barbecue.

"There's going to be heaps of spot prizes to once again reinforce it's not about doing it in a great big hurry, it's about finishing it and being there on the day."

Stewart said the event was well supported by key businesses throughout Rangitīkei and the event helped to showcase them and put Rangitīkei on the map.

Up to 600 participants can register for the event and Stewart said they had almost sold out of tickets.

Anyone is welcome to enter, from a Year 7 student and older.

• To purchase tickets, go to