Winner Ethan Helliwell negotiates the 'get a grip’ wall at the annual Wairua Warrior. Photo: Chris Symes/Shuttersport

Helliwell a Warrior again


Nelson man Ethan Helliwell completed a hat-trick of Wairua Warrior wins on Saturday.

The annual obstacle mud run at Happy Valley Adventures saw hundreds of hearty locals getting muddy and bloody in a bid to call themselves the ultimate warrior.

Ethan was first to finish the 12km course, comfortably ahead of his nearest rival.

“I’m stoked about that, today I just felt like I was on,” Ethan said.

Ethan said he wasn’t as prepared as he was last year but that may have worked in his favour.

“Right from the start you have to be pushing it and hope at the end there’s nothing funny that will blow it out, I just pushed the whole way.”

Ethan said runners “hooned off out in front” at the start and he worried he should be keeping up with them.

“They blew out after a couple of km, so I just tried to hold myself back to my pace, I’m not too buggered.”

Wairua Warrior club president Greg Witika said it was another fantastic event which doubles as a fundraiser for the Nelson Tasman Life Education trust.

He said it was a “lovely day” and the course looked awesome.

Greg said they stepped things up a bit this year on the obstacles course.

“We increased the difficulty but kept the element of fun.”

He said he wants to take it to a level where people go away and think ‘wow I have to train harder for that next time.’

This year saw five new additions to the obstacle course including an inverted ladder, a water carry and a cargo net crawl.

“We get too busy in our lives and it’s good to just stop and think the sun is shining I am outside with a playground in front of me, what more could I want?”

While the competitor numbers remained the same as 2017, Greg says the energy of the runners was up on previous years.

“That’s what it’s all about, the Wairua.”

First across the line in the 6km course was Kim Hogarth in a time of one hour and six minutes.

“I’m very happy with that, I took it pretty easy because I wanted to get through obstacles and not do burpees,” Kim said.

Kim lost his balance on one of the final obstacles which cost him a 30-burpee penalty.

“I was gutted to fall off what was a relatively simple one but just need to compose a bit more, those burpees are brutal.”

Kim originally entered the 12km but then went on a run with some mates and realised he’s not the person he was 20 years ago.

“I’m glad I did the 6km because my legs are really blowing now.”

Kim and his wife had a new baby just two weeks ago, so “six was enough.”

The ex-army man says he might get ambitious next year and do the 12km course.

“I was just the best of the rest, really.”