Muscles strain for Mule

Mud-tastic: Katie Stocks competes in last year's The Mule PICTURE: JAMES ALLAN

Competitors in tomorrow’s The Mule challenge near Queenstown won’t face “gimmicky” obstacles.

It will be a tough slog with tunnels, walls, ropes, mud crawls, pits, tyre runs and hanging hoops.

Despite a rubbish summer, organiser and designer Dugald Peters says the course is in good nick.

“There will be good water elements but the ground is dry up there so there isn’t a lot of mud.”

It’s split into three events: a 10km, a 5km and a mad mile.

Those signing up can race individually – or as a four-person team.

The 10km features more than 20 obstacles on a mix of terrain including rivers, hillsides, tracks and fields on Ben Lomond Station near Moke Lake.

Most folk find the hill ascent and hanging hoops the most challenging.

Peters, a former British Parachute Regiment platoon commander, says his favourite parts of the assault course are the simple ones.

“We don’t have gimmicky obstacles but we are always looking to create more innovative ones when we can.”

While he would like to introduce a slide element it proved too tough because of the schist and rocky terrain.

More than 170 people have signed up and it’s a 50/50 split between blokes and lasses ready to take on the challenge.

Families are also getting on board – competing in the mad mile.

Peters: “This course is more about having fun and it’s great for kids to get involved.”

A number of international athletes will also compete, with entrants from America, Malaysia and Australia ready to race on Saturday.