Buddies stuck deep, deep down in the mud

00:17, Mar 11 2014
Muddy Buddy 2014
Muddy buddies Ursula Carter, left, Katie Mead, and Ruby Friend make their way around the course
Muddy Buddy 2014
Muddy Buddy twins, Ellie, left, and Libby Moffatt
Muddy Buddy 2014
Muddy Pirates Naomi, left, Lucy, and Thomas Robertson dive for jewels .
Muddy Buddy 2014
Muddy buddies Georgia Shelling, left, Emma Logan, and Scarlet Powell .
Muddy Buddy 2014
Motueka High School International team members crawl out from under the cargo net.
Muddy Buddy 2014
Muddy buddies Tom Wright, left, Rick Muir, and Fergus Murray make their way around the course.

Despite a short lead-up to the sixth annual Muddy Buddy fun run, numbers came close to last year's participation record.

The Tasman School fundraising event drew 1360 people who slipped and slithered their way around a 2km course in the Moutere Estuary on Sunday morning.

Last year's event drew 1400 people, sparking concern that the estuary was being damaged. After negotiating with the Tasman District Council, the school amended the course this year to focus the impact of runners on the estuary's mudflats rather than its borders where there is more vulnerable plant life.

Muddy Buddy.
MUD BATH: Muddy buddies Dominick Johnson, left, and Cambria Doyle lay in a mud bog to rest after getting stuck on their way around the course during the Sport Tasman Muddy Buddy.

The length of negotiations meant that the school had only a three-week window in which to publicise the event said school principal Pip Wells.

She said the turn-out was "an amazing effort" given the publicity constraints and although it was too early to know how much money had been raised, she said it would be a "fantastic support" to the school. Last year's Muddy Buddy raised about $14,000.

She paid tribute to the key organisers, Sally Lattimore and Kylie Rush, as well as to the participants from all over the region who have returned to the event every year.

She said the highlights of the day were "seeing families have fun together" as well as seeing the school's parents come together to produce the big event. The school has about 50 families and "every single person in our school community worked on the event at some level."

Although billed as a fun run, the event had generated a good rivalry among schools, she said, and this year Nelson Intermediate won both the boys and girls trophies in the two-lap Mudiators primary schools category.

This year's Muddy Buddy was the final one to be held at the current location. The family fun run, which inspired similar events at Monaco and Havelock, will move to a new, long-term location from 2015.