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Mud Rookies – Nelson’s first Obstacle Racing Club

Mud Rookies – Nelson’s first Obstacle Racing Club

There’s a challenging new sports club on the Nelson fitness scene thanks to Greg Witika, Sharron Martin and Steve Fitzgerald, founders of the “Wairua Mud Rookies Obstacle Course Racing Club”.

The sport of obstacle racing, popular in the USA, Europe and Australia, has begun to grow a dedicated following throughout New Zealand and these local trailblazers are keen to see more participation in the Nelson region.

Mr Witika, co-owner of Nelson gym, Wairua Body Coaching Systems says “The great thing about obstacle racing is that it’s totally do-able, you don’t need expensive equipment to take part.” he continues, “It’s like being a kid again and playing in the great outdoors. We utilize the trails and paths that we’re lucky enough to have on our doorstep and we put the fun back into fitness”.

The idea for the club came from Mrs Martin, who has been a client of Mr Witika’s for several years. She says, “I wanted a new fitness challenge and began to look online for inspiration”. Mrs Martin encouraged a group of fellow members at Mr Witika’s gym to take part in “Mud, Sweat and Tears” in Christchurch during July 2013. All nine participants from their group finished the ten kilometre course and they were hooked.

Mrs Martin says that it’s the sport’s spirit of camaraderie that appeals to her, she says, “We help each other get through the course, whether we’re in training or at a race, we’re very team focused, our aim is to finish as a group”.

The Wairua Mud Rookies Obstacle Racing Club is now in training for an event in April, the “Tough Mudder” race in Auckland, a 20 kilometre obstacle course, (and the first major obstacle racing event being held in New Zealand by an International company). The group meets for training sessions on Sunday mornings utilizing local running trails with gates, fences and hills as obstacles.

Mr Dan Bowie, founder of Obstacle Racers New Zealand, expressed that he was unaware of any other sports clubs in the South Island specifically incorporated to promote obstacle course racing, he says, “It’s fantastic to hear about the Wairua Mud Rookies, it’s proof to me that the sport has a growing future here in New Zealand”.

The club is actively seeking new members to add to their current pool of 22 people, they would also like to secure financial backing in the form of corporate sponsorship. Anybody interested in joining the club or offering sponsorship should contact Greg Witika on 021 876 141.


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