What do you get when you combine an obstacle course with plenty of water and mud, and 260 children - a recipe for disaster or just lots of muddy fun?
It was definitely the latter for the primary and secondary children who took part in the Mini Muddies - Super Muddy, Super Fun, Students Only Mud Run on Friday, September 15.
The students were drawn from five Tamworth schools and three from Armidale, for a day of muddy adventure, friendly inter-school competition, camaraderie, and boundless fun on the grounds of Farrer Agricultural High School.
Competitors took on a seven-kilometre obstacle course which included 30 obstacles, an ice bath and mud pits, all in support of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (WRHS).
WRHS regional partnerships officer Daniel Gillet, who is based in Tamworth, said it was "amazing to see the children have some fun and support the service."
"All the participants here today are helping to keep the chopper in the air to save lives," Mr Gillet said.
Armidale secondary College Year 9 students Archie Clarke and Busby Model were among the first to finish the course in a "sub-45 minute time".
Dressed as members of The Incredibles, the duo enjoyed the course, noting the mud pits and a swim through a dam as highlights.
Friday's event was a prelude to the 'Suck it up Buttercup Superhero Mud Run' which will take place on Saturday, September 16, which is open to the general public, while a Farrer only event will be held on Tuesday, September 19.
Mrs Manning said the Mini Muddies represented more than just a muddy challenge - it was a day of outdoor enjoyment, teamwork, exercise, and fitness.
"Today was not about a race, it was something all children of all sporting ability could take part in," she said.
"It's all about teamwork, collaboration, strategy, and a healthy dose of friendly inter school competition."
As part of the first responders wave, the historical 12th/16th Hunter River Lancers, an Australian Army Reserve light armoured regiment, will join Saturday's competition, bringing a Bushranger military vehicle along for display.
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