Tough Guy and Gal Organiser Murray Fleming: Interview

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So you’re tough, but are you tough enough to take on New Zealand’s original mud run series, the Loaded Tough Guy & Gal Challenge?

To find out more we asked some questions to Murray Fleming, General Manager of Event Promotions – the event management company behind the Tough Guy and Gal series.Tough Guy and Gal

ORNZ: Event Promotions not only runs the Tough Guy & Gal Challenge but many other sport events. Can you give us a brief introduction to what Event Promotions does?

Murray: Event Promotions operate a variety of “sweaty” events and have been doing so for over 20 years. The stable of events range across running, off road running, mountain biking, road cycling and the Tough Guy & Gal. We attract in excess of 45,000 competitors annually.

ORNZ: What’s your tip to make it through a Tough Guy & Gal, for someone perhaps on the fence about entering?

Murray: TGG is an amazing experience and is designed for the masses. All obstacles are designed for all to be achieved. A must do!

ORNZ: I ran my first Tough Guy & Gal last year in Palmerston North, and the crawl through the electric wires was challenging. Are there electric obstacles at all the events? As this is something I haven’t heard mentioned much.

Murray: Yes there are, but only electric fence chargers.

Tough Guy and Gal Championships

ORNZ: Are the courses in all the locations around the country standardised in some way to make them comparable in difficulty?

Murray: All courses vary, but they’re designed to be approx 6km (for one lap options) and the top competitors will achieve the course in around 25 – 30 minutes. Each course is unique in its terrain.

ORNZ: Tough Guy & Gal started in 2003, which upon doing my research I realised was before the large international mud runs such as Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, Warrior Dash and more. With such a long history you’re expanding and having more people participate each year, but how do you continue to stay relevant, especially considering new races have been entering the mud run market in recent years?

Murray: All the international events you have stated above (excl. Spartan) have been and failed in NZ due to many factors. We have a major emphasis on the overall experience, value for entry fee and designing a course that caters for all.

ORNZ: Last year you introduced the Tough Guy & Gal Championships. Can you give us some insight into this event? Will prize money ever be on the line?

Murray: If you podium in the 12km event at any event prior to the last event in Rotorua you receive a complimentary entry into the elite race that has its own start forty minutes before the last event in Rotorua. Quality trophies are given out.

ORNZ: Will Tough Guy & Gal be coming to the South Island in the future?

Murray: No, due to the cost of getting over the strait.

Junior Tough Guy and Gal

The Tough Guy & Gal remains New Zealand’s original and largest mud run series, spanning  six cities throughout New Zealand as well as junior, secondary schools and championship events.  You can expect a whole lot of mud and a whole lot of fun at these quality events held throughout the country. For more information visit the Tough Guy and Gal page at Event Promotions.


This article was originally published in June 2015 on the previous Obstacle Racers NZ site.

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