Ultimate Athlete Launches in NZ this June
A new obstacle course race is launching in New Zealand.
Ultimate Athlete is coming to Mount Maunganui on June 11-12th 2021.
“Mount Maunganui’s Main Beach welcomes you to New Zealand’s very own obstacle race series. Be the first to take part in this iconic event. A game-changer in New Zealand’s endurance sports events!
“Obstacle Course Racing is the fastest growing participation sport in the world. And with events scheduled for kids through to pro athletes it’s set to provide a challenge for any that choose to embark on this unique journey.
“Our course is designed to test all, with endurance and strength elements set over two distances and a teams’ race. A triathlete or runner can take on a Crossfitter or strength-based athlete. Who’s the best? Enter and prove yourself! You’ll run/walk, climb, swing, and crawl your way through this one-of-a-kind course that will push you to your limits through sand, grass, rocks, over trails and tarmac.”
The distances on offer at the inaugural event in June are the 6km Ultimate Challenge and a 10km Ultimate Beast, as well as Ultimate Teams of 3-6 people over both distances. Kids can also get involved, in the Ultimate Kids 1km or 2km distances. Intermediate and Secondary School students, years 7-13, can run in the Ultimate Schools 3km non-competitive or the 6km competitive distances.
The course starts at the Mount Maunganui Surf Club, loops around Mauao’s 3-kilometre base track in an anticlockwise direction before returning to the main beach where runners encounter the first obstacles. After the beach there’s a up-and-back sandbag carry up Mount Drury, then the course turns back to the beach for a straight shot along the sand filled with a gauntlet of obstacles all the way back to the starting area. The course is looking to have a low elevation gain with lots of sand running, and is designed to be spectator friendly with a festival area situated to provide good views of the beach and participants overcoming obstacles.
Why Ultimate Athlete is a Game-Changer for NZ Obstacle Racing
Ultimate Athlete is describing itself as a “game-changer in New Zealand’s endurance sports events!” and after examining what it’s offering, we have to agree!
Here are our reasons why Ultimate Athlete is a game-changer for OCR in NZ.
Going All In
Ultimate Athlete is launching big – with consistent branding, celebrity endorsements, quality obstacles, spectator friendly design, corporate hosting options, kids races, team races, elite races, and plans to expand.
Many races in NZ have reached the point they are at today by starting as small scale mud runs and adding on features as the years go by, such as progressively adding more or better obstacles or expanding to offer dedicated team or kids races, but Ultimate Athlete in comparison is launching on a larger scale as a complete race “package”. All the blocks are being put in place from the start. With the amount of capital that appears to be going into this event, Ultimate Athlete is going all in committing to the success of their race from the get-go.
High Quality Obstacles
Ultimate Athlete is launching with plenty of quality obstacles. There will be 20 obstacles in the 6km Ultimate Challenge and 25 obstacles in the 10km Ultimate Beast. Below we’ve included some samples.
You can check out the obstacle list on the Ultimate Athlete website.
It looks like many of them will be professionally constructed out of metal and high quality materials designed for hard use, in comparison to some of the more modest, but typically Kiwi, obstacles which can be found at races.
While none of the obstacles are high on technical difficulty to complete, compared to what’s becoming common at overseas OCRs, it looks like a good range of obstacles that will challenge not only running stamina but also crawling, traversing, carrying, crawling and so on to make for a fun experience.
Growing a NZ Series
Ultimate Athlete is holding its inaugural event at Mt Maunganui, with plans to expand to other locations around NZ and become a national series of races.
We have heard rumours that Ultimate Athlete plans to expand across both the North and South Islands of NZ, making it the first truly national race series – the first to hold events on both islands – if the rumours do prove correct. While there’re existing obstacle race series which host multiple events in multiple locations around NZ, such as Tough Guy and Gal series or the Obstacle Challenge series, none of the existing series have held events across both islands.
We do know that Ultimate Athlete has acquired O Rock, a race series which held events at three locations around the upper North Island, providing Ultimate Athlete with its assets such as obstacles.
NZ’s Largest Cash Prize Pool
Ultimate Athlete has a prize purse of $13,000 NZD on the line at its inaugural event – making it NZ’s largest prize money obstacle race!
1st place: $5000
2nd place: $1000
3rd place: $500
1st place: $5000
2nd place: $1000
3rd place: $500
The prize money will be up for grabs in the elite wave held during the 10km Ultimate Beast, and is likely to draw some series competition looking to become the “ultimate athletes”.
To watch the action, the elite race at Mt Maunganui will be held on Saturday 12th June at 10am, scheduled inbetween the 6km and 10km events so that you can hang around before or after your race to watch the top obstacle athletes compete.
Collaborating with NZ Obstacle Sports Association
Recently formed is a group called the NZ Obstacle Sports Association (NZOSA), which has been giving Ultimate Athlete input on their event. As the NZOSA becomes established in their goals to develop OCR in NZ they’re looking to partner with races, and Ultimate Athlete is the first race to collaborate.
NZOSA will be officiating at Ultimate Athlete, ensuring a fair and competitive race. Especially with NZ’s largest cash prize pool on the line for the elites, the NZOSA will be holding the elite athletes to a high standard of obstacle racing making the race as exciting to race in and also to watch.
High Cost of Entry
No discussion of Ultimate Athlete is complete without looking at the entry price. As while Ultimate Athlete has the largest cash prize purse in NZ, it’s also the most expensive race to enter in NZ.
The cost of entry is not just high for the elites, but for general entry as well. With entry fees currently at prices of $149 (plus booking fees) for 6km adults, up to $249 (plus booking fees) for elites, the biggest obstacle at Ultimate Athlete could be entering.
Are you going to be a part of the inaugural event?
Visit the Ultimate Athlete website for full event info and to enter!