The biggest-ever Team FEAR Junior Challenge went off without a hitch on Sunday, with a record 753 kids toughing it out on a course that featured trail running, swimming, abseiling, rock climbing and the much-anticipated annual water jump.
Juniors from under-9 to under-11 competed in teams of three and intermediates (under-12 and under-13) and seniors (under-14, under-16 and under-19) paired up on a perfect day in Discovery Bay.
“The weather made things spectacularly good,” race organiser Steve Corbin said. “As I tell people, every year we have about 100 things that go wrong, but hopefully people don’t notice them because they are relatively small. Every year we try and fix those and something else goes wrong. In general, all the major things went well.”
The 753 competitors, up from 682 last year, was by far the most to ever participate in the race.
“I think it’s because the kids like to do something adventurous and they like doing it in teams with their friends,” Steve said. “I think we have built up a good reputation and have been running it for a long time. We also have a great safety record, thankfully.”
The course itself was described as one of the toughest yet by a number of exhausted kids post-race, with the hills of DB pushing participants to the limit.
“It wasn’t set out (to be harder than last year), it was supposed to be a similar sort of standard as last year but the trail around the golf course is always tough,” Steve said. “Whenever we include that as part of the course it is tough – we have only done it twice.”
And while a sense of satisfaction was evident amongst all of the competitors at the presentation ceremony, it’s not only the kids that get a kick out of Team FEAR.
“We just love doing it, it is such a fun event to do,” Steve said. “It’s a big relief when the last kid comes through the line, that’s the best part of the day.”
Pictures: Vincent Ypersiel