WHEN Gym 3523 owner Amber Tavinor registered a team in the Shepparton Mad Cow Mud Run, the real goal was to have a bit of fun while fitting in a bit of exercise.
But as she found out by the end of the event, competitions like the mud run can be about so much more.
“The community spirit all our team members showed was incredible,” Amber said.
“We had a lot of different ranges of fitness, strength and ability.
“So for some of the obstacles a few of the team members were better at them than others, and if they were they would help out the ones that were struggling. It was just a real show of character and community the way we did it.”
The Mad Cow Mud Run is a 14.4km course for adults and a 2km course for kids, designed to push competitors to the limit.
Proceeds from the run are donated to Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation in an attempt to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation.
In 2004, Zaidee Turner, aged 7, died suddenly from a burst blood vessel in her brain. Zaidee’s parents, Kim and Allan, founded Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation not long after.
Not only do competitors run the long distance — which would be tough enough — but are also faced with multiple obstacles designed to test their strength and team unity.
“We had a team of 14 adults and seven kids who took part in the run. All of them were members of our gym.
“They had been training in the lead-up to this and it was tough, but the way the team joined together made me super proud.”
At the end of the day, Amber and her team found themselves walking away with more than they bargained for.
“They only gave one award for the day, and we received it.
“It was for the loudest, most encouraging team, who supported each other and finished the line together and stuff like that, so it was great for us to get it.
“We even had one member who was really scared of heights but the group helped her through and she faced her fears.”
Amber said the award was a great reflection on the Heathcote community.
“These people are just so keen to live a fit and healthy lifestyle and it is really inspiring.”