If you like to take on things that are tough and you’d prefer to do that neck deep in mud when you do them we can highly recommend the Tough Mudder. https://toughmudder.co.nz/
Our team took on the full distance event on Saturday the 4th of November 2017. We had secured a spot in the eighth wave starting at 10:20am and had hoped that would mean we would complete the 18km course with 20+ obstacles in time for lunch. We met at Hampton Downs and navigated our way through the gates and began to prepare ourselves for what lay ahead, including using up a roll of duct tape to ensure our shoes would stay on our feet and not in the mud. The ‘before’ photo makes for an interesting comparison to the ‘after’ photo at the end of the story.
The team was 15 members strong, including a couple of ring-ins. Because there are no individuals in a team they’ll be referred to as members A through N, and team member Zed. Team member A rallied us together at the start line where everyone associated themselves and each other with the mud, and undertook the start line health and safety briefing, which was cleverly disguised as a start line ritual and oath, with many “hoorahs.” Now fully pumped and with backing music to send us on our way we set off at a gentle jog with about 10 other teams.
Zed was not so sure of our initial tactics and questioned, “Really? Running? Already?” But the first few obstacles; Bale Bonds, Berlin Walls and Creek Crusade were easily negotiated by the whole team, as a team, although several photos by team member B, our main supporter, show that the team were already understanding the “mud” part of Tough Mudder.
The Blockness Monster presented the team with its first of many mental tests, but it was quickly figured out that once you had team members on the other side of the rotating blocks you could hoist more over by pushing from their side and pulling from the other. As the photos show there were various dismount techniques used, with varying degrees of success and submergence. Team member C was the first team member over and would seem to have the best technique for avoiding a nasal cavity full of foul smelling water. Although, our resident lifestyle farmer, F, was as happy as a pig in mud walking through the many Cowpat Soup Waterways.
Kiss of Mud and the Mud Mile were an unfriendly welcome to the trenches but the team found some creative ways to get through these time consuming and challenging obstacles. Techniques such as the super woman used by Zed, dive bomb by team member D and the hall ‘n fall, accidentally created by E and H, all had their place. Unfortunately at this point team member M received his team name by getting mud in his eye, possibly for the first time, but definitely not for the last time.
Team member F was encouraged to lead the way through the next obstacle, Skidmarked, because it bore a striking resemblance to one of his nicknames. Tyre Mountain was aptly named and was time consuming because there was a cue to climb it. G was last over the obstacle and was “warmly encouraged” by the team on his descent. A cruel twist of the course saw us back at the Mud Mile heading in the other direction, but in the interests of speeding things up D accidentally shot-putted a poor young woman over one of the mud humps with his good arm and she was plunged into the murkiness on the other side bewildered and mud logged, and M got more mud in his eye.
Rain came as a welcome reprieve from mud as we headed away from the Event Village. Although, our photographer would beg to differ because she had to hide under an umbrella for the next few hours awaiting our return. The endurance part of the event was starting to kick in with longer runs between obstacles, much to the vocal disgust of Zed. Large portions of the remaining track had ankle brutalising holes, which were well negotiated by most, except H who had an ankle injury and had declared three days beforehand “I’m out,” only to toe the line on race day.
Up ahead, the Quagmire presented some confusion as some crazy teams crossed our path like a T intersection, but the obstacle presented no other challenges and the whole team proceeded to the Birth Canal. This presented a major fear factor for two of our ring-ins I and J who struggled with having to slide through the confined space under the tubes of liquid above. But with encouragement and help from the team they emerged on the other side, born again! It’s hard to tell, but M probably got more mud in his eye.
As we crossed the netting of Stormy’s Bridge we were surprised to see Richie McCaw walking with his team of rugby youths below us. Everyone around us was suddenly abuzz … “Is that Richie McCaw?” … “Hi Richie!!” … “Oh isn’t he gorgeous.” We’re not quite sure who in the team uttered the last phrase, but no judgements were made. The Go Pro Paparazzi pounced on the opportunity, but our team instead encouraged a man dressed as Spiderman to improve his climbing skills to get out of the ditch and then we marched onwards again. Zed would possibly have called it running or jogging, but what’s in a name? She now also had the company of E, who had developed a knee injury but to his credited continued to move at the same speed as the rest of the team for the remainder of the course.
It was also around this time M found a medical tent and with much relief had his eyes cleaned. However, shortly afterwards Haha Ditch provided no laughs at all because H put his foot down in a puddle to lend M a hand, and you guessed it, M got mud in his eye. Even though we felt it had already happened we soon reached Richie McCaw’s Pass. This provided a bit of light relief as we kicked and passed rugby balls to teams on the parallel tracks. It soon became apparent that a little, “heads up” was necessary to avoid other people spending a little face-time with the ball.
Upon arrival those with an engineering mind marvelled at the dynamics of the park, whilst the rest of us laughed nervously about just how cold the water would be and how much time we would spend in it. The safety briefing did not ease our concerns as various “get out of trouble” techniques were displayed in the not-so-short video. Surely nobody was going to need the ‘using your hands to walk underneath the raft’ technique, right?
Move over paintball, a new exciting, action-packed game called Archery Attack is a fresh new global sport, and it´s awesome! This new activity is a cross between Archery, Dodgeball and Paintball, with players using bows and foam-tipped arrows to eliminate opponents and knock out the opposing team’s target. The only safety equipment required to play the competitive combat archery game is a face mask.
The Arcus/Creating Communites team decided to invite some collegues from Ashton Mitchell Architects and Lowndes Attorneys to battle it out with the best in the Auckland Domain. Teams were quickly formed and targets set. Serious fun started with rubber arrows being at the enemy while trying to take over the their territory while hiding behind inflatable barricades
We got on the road from Auckland around 9 AM and arrived at our destination nestled in the secluded Taharua Valley, Poronui Lodge, 5 hours later, where we were welcomed with a breath taking scenery.
After offloading the cars and getting our gear ready for early departure the next day, we were told that we have 5 minutes to get into our togs and make a bee line across the river to the other side. Not easy for some as the water was freezing! That evening our very own in-house chef Jeremy Fry whipped up a great meal, and soon afterwards we all in our beds for an early night. The next morning we all got ready for our trip down the Mohaka River.
The day was off to an ominous start when those who wrote the instructions and planned the day turned up at the wrong pier. But our confidence was soon restored when our Skippers for the day, George and Arthur from Wave Dancer (http://www.wavedancer.co.nz) ensured all of the team members were reunited. Within minutes we were asked to draw from a hat to be either on the Red team or the Blue team. The writer of this article was part of the Blue team, so from here on in an unashamedly biased view of the days events will be described, predominately because the teams spent a large part of the morning in different areas of the Hauraki Gulf.
With the Creating Communities show home open every Saturday and Sunday at 59B Castledine Crescent, prospective buyers are getting an opportunity to see the quality and design features of the stunning new Glen Innes homes now on the market.
On Friday 20th May the team from Arcus Property Limited and Creating Communities Limited traversed the famous 80km Hillary Trail in less than 24 hours.
Barfoot and Thompson Glen Innes have been helping Creating Communities Limited (CCL) with the sale of homes in Glen Innes. Residential sales specialist Paul Robertson advises that they have sold 28 houses to date and at time of writing had six unsold listings still under construction, with the expectation that the high demand would see these sold in a matter of weeks.
To balance the mental stress with a bit of physical exertion the boss suggested the Arcus crew (and a few external extras) head off for a hike up the Pararaha Valley in the stunning Waitakere's.
To kick off the silly season the boss had us head to beach and jump in the kayaks! After the obligatory roadie we arrived at Orewa, geared up and took to the water. It was the perfect day for a paddle, cloudy but warm.