New hard-out Queenstown event

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A FORMER British Parachute Regiment platoon commander has created a gruelling new event for Queenstown’s weekend warriors.

The Mule – Queenstown’s answer to the worldwide craze of fiendish assault course races such as Tough Mudder – will run twice a year from March.

Constructed on private land in the valley beyond Moke Lake, the permanent course will feature up to 23 energy-sapping obstacles.

“I’ll admit there’s an ex-military perversion about the course design,” event director and ex-Para Dugald Peters says.

“We wanted to design an event that is tough. Quite possibly people won’t be able to complete it.”

Gully mud crawls, uphill monkey bars, river runs, rope swings, natural terrain, and a 2.4 metre wall are just some of the obstacles facing competitors.

But while the event is designed to push people to their limits, there will be different course lengths to suit fitness levels.

“The 10km elite is for people who have trained and really want to push themselves – it should be one of the hardest races of its type, especially in winter,” Peters says.

“The 5km is the larger community-wide one, if you want to have a go at one of these events and see what it’s like.” 

There’ll also be a 3km youth course and 1.5km family course. 

A former platoon commander for 4th Battalion Parachute Regiment and commander of the Regiment’s recruit-training wing in Scotland, Peters served in Operation Telic in the second Gulf War.

The 35-year-old – who also has more than eight years’ event management experience – began working on the event about a year ago.

“It’s the adventure capital of the world – the perfect place for this,” he says. 

“It’s about building The Mule from Queenstown out – creating an event that the resort can be proud of, get behind and by its nature is for everyone.

“So yes it’s a tough event but it is very much set up so everyone can have a go.”

Peters says there will be a timing system and prizes but the emphasis is on participation.

The event will run twice a year – March 15 and July 5 in winter – with natural terrain providing a challenge for locals and competitors from further afield.

Sponsors are already on board – including Frontrunner, The Helicopter Line, Flight Centre and Icebreaker – with course construction due to begin within weeks.

A four-week training boot camp based around The Mule will run at Queenstown Gym on Shotover Street from March 3 as part of a seven-week Tough Mudder camp.