More Muddy Buddies take to the mire
Rain did not deter the record 1400-strong crowd which struggled, slipped, crawled and squelched through 2 kilometres of Moutere estuary mud yesterday for the annual Muddy Buddy event that raised around $12,000 for Tasman School.
Organisers of the fourth annual event, sisters-in-law Sally and Fleur Lattimore, said the growing annual army of families, groups of school children and friends willing to throw themselves whole-heartedly into the mire for a good cause highlighted the unique event's popularity.
The crowd of wet mud-daubed bodies, which was 400 up on last year, enjoyed every minute and gave no thought to the persistent drizzle.
Upper Moutere's Bri Climo said it was the craziest and best thing she had ever done.
Mrs Climo, who was spotted squatting in a puddle washing mud off her daughter, Amalia, said she usually did not like to get dirty.
Hundreds of post-race entrants swarmed to water-tanker supplied showers then headed to the hot food tent en-masse before somewhat wearily making their way back to their cars carrying bags of dirty clothes and tired but generally happy small children.
Fleur Lattimore said people were attracted by the mud.
"So often in life we spend time trying to keep clean, but it is the complete opposite here and more appealing when done with family and friends."
She said the event focused on providing for primary and intermediate aged children.
The largest contingent of children was a group of 50 from Nelson Intermediate School.
Sally Lattimore said Tasman pupils had spent the last year monitoring the impact of the Muddy Buddy event, with help from Department of Conservation and Tasman District Council staff, to ensure it did not damage the environment.
The course avoided bird nesting sites and estuary plantings, she said.
Principal Pip Wells said funds raised by the Muddy Buddy would go towards upgrading the school's playground and building an e-learning programme for the students.
The event also wrapped up the school's centenary, which saw more than 100 people from as far away as Australia gather from Friday to catch-up, share meals and socialise.
Mrs Wells said a highlight of the centenary was the school's inaugural Tasman art auction, which raised about $7500 to go towards an artist-in-residence programme and developing art opportunities for the school's students.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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