Mud, sweat, and cheers on assault course

Course changes to ease congestion

KELSEY WILKIE
Last updated 12:00 05/06/2014
Tough girl
FAITH SUTHERLAND/FAIRFAX NZ

BOTTLENECK: Parts of the course had been known to be overcrowded.

Tough girl
WARWICK SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ
RIGHT TRACK: Assistant course organiser Tony Chong, right, and last year's winner Bombardier Tony Vanvroonhoven discuss this year's Tough Guy and Girl course at Linton Military Camp.

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Entrants preparing to get down and dirty in the Tough Guy and Gal Challenge can expect to see a few differences on this year's course.

The Palmerston North event has been held at Linton Military Camp for the past four years and the high number of competitors has forced course organisers to come up with a way of preventing bottlenecks at some obstacles.

Assistant course organiser Nick Chong said parts that had caused some congestion have been changed to allow competitors to make their way through the course more smoothly.

More than 1000 people are signed up to tackle the challenge, which includes climbing nets, crawling through wire and battling an electric maze.

Race director Murray Fleming said that last year numbers topped 1300 and they are expecting around the same this year.

"It's one of the only opportunities that the public get to use the course," he said.

"This event is unique to all of the other events as it gives civilians a rare opportunity to take on the NZ Army assault course."

Although many participants dress up in crazy costumes ready for a day of fun, this challenge is serious work for those aiming to win the NZ Army Tough Guy and Gal Trophy.

Bombardier Tony Van Vroonhoven, who won the trophy last year, said it would be unlikely to see any one from the army teams turning up in a wedding dress on the day.

"Most are there to win," he said.

Competitors from Linton Military Camp, in teams of three, will compete for the trophy, which is awarded to the fastest army team in the 12km event.

Among the public though, expect to see plenty of superheroes and men in dresses.

"Fancy dress is really popular at the Tough Guy and Gal Series, it is quickly becoming the ‘Wellington sevens' of running," Fleming said.

Prizes will be awarded for the best costume.

Competitors have the choice of two distances, 6km and 12km.

The Tough Guy and Gal Challenge is on Saturday at Linton Camp, starting at 8:30am.

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- Manawatu Standard

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