When farmers have a beautiful property they’re proud of, sometimes they just want to share it with the world, and what better way to do that than playing host to one of the biggest women-only multi-sport events in the world.
“My wife Gillian has done several of the Spring Challenge events and when we heard that one was being planned for our region, we jumped at the chance to be involved. We got lots of positive comments from the racers about the beautiful views and pasture we have on this property,” explains Jason.
The brainchild of six-times adventure racing World Champion Nathan Fa'avae and his wife Jodie, the event features teams of three women navigating their way through a series of checkpoints. Unlike a relay, the team members do all the stages together as a tight trio – a mix of kayaking, mountain biking and rogaining, a form of cross-country orienteering.
Jason says it was a fantastic day and an excellent chance to also show off a working dairy farm. “The atmosphere created and the vibe of the participants was amazing and the organisers are great to deal with too.”
But that wasn’t the extent of our Co-op’s involvement - the Morrinsville transport team had one of its tankers on-site for entrants and spectators to check out and also provided vital fuel in the form of Primo flavoured milk.
131 teams entered the event, across three categories: Beginner (3-6 hours), Intermediate (6-12 hours) and Advanced (9-20 hours), all with varying levels of difficulty.
Waikato Farmer Services Manager Sarah Wood took part in the Intermediate event, describing it as “nearly nine hours of slog, but also a lot of fun.”
“The Trowers’ farm was the perfect spot for the rogaining sections. It was also a great way to showcase our amazing dairy farmers, especially as most of the participants were town folk."
And Jason agrees it was the perfect way to bridge that urban-rural divide, by showing how much farmers care about protecting the environment. “Being relatively close to the Waikato River, it’s a fairly environmentally sensitive area so it was a good chance for us to demonstrate what we do to look after the land and water.”