The best way to train for the Wairua Warrior is to train on a children’s playground, according to winner Ethan Helliwell.
The 25-year-old won the first ever winter version of the 10.5km obstacle race near Cable Bay, on Saturday.
He completed the course, which included balance beams, monkey bars, sandbag carries and muddy rope climbs, in one hour and two minutes – more than five minutes ahead of his nearest challenger.
Ethan won the annual summer event earlier in the year and will now set his sights on a first Coast to Coast single day effort early next year.
“Jumping in the river was a big shock to the system, the cold air on your lungs and the ice on the balancing stages made it very tricky, on top of there being more mud.”
Ethan says he’s been running 40km a week in preparation for the event, but battled the flu last week.
“To be honest, the best training you can do would be if you found a school with a decent playground.
“They have the monkey bars and tyres and everything you can have a play on.
“I’m fortunate I have mates who are keen to go and play around on playgrounds and go train in the bush.”
Nelson MMA fighter Dawn Chalmers credited her training for making the course manageable on her way to victory in the women’s event in a time of one hour and 24 minutes and 58 seconds.