Tough haul but lots of fun

DEMONSTRATION: Ben Lowe, Terry Cross and Susan Ward demonstrate some of the challenges Toughen Up will offer this year.
DEMONSTRATION: Ben Lowe, Terry Cross and Susan Ward demonstrate some of the challenges Toughen Up will offer this year.

Friday, February 3 is the deadline for junior and adult entries to Inverell’s fifth annual Toughen Up Challenge, and the growing event is calling for last minute team and individual entries for the fun and competitive event.

Toughen-Up was born when Pathfinders’ staff member Lynn Lennon wanted to raise money for Inverell Skate Park.

From there, the not-for-profit challenge at Inverell Rugby Park has blossomed, attracting entrants from across the region, eager to prove something to themselves, belly-laugh with their mates, or grit their teeth with the effort of coming across the line in first place, or any place.

“A lot of people think, ‘Oh, I can’t do it’, but when they actually get through it, it’s such an amazing feeling to have gone through that physical challenge,” Inverell’s Susan Ward said. 

Susan joined in the challenge’s first year, and participated ever since because the event appeals. 

“I enjoy exercise, and you put your exercise into practice and it’s good to challenge yourself and just be in a team atmosphere,” she said.

“Just making sure everyone just gets to the other side. I’m usually the person who says, ‘Come on! Keep going!’ and just giving them lots of support, because it can get very challenging at times,” and chuckled. 

It’s such an amazing feeling to have gone through that physical challenge.

Susan Ward

Susan has been in several different teams with different people at different fitness levels, and this year, she has joined a more competitive team, but felt no matter the outcome, there was always a shared elation at the line. 

“It’s a great feeling when you’re finished,” she said.

Terry Cross has been in three of the past four challenges, and will compete again this year with his daughter and another couple.

He said fun of the challenge was the icing on the cake of training.

“I think it’s just the achievement of finishing and it’s probably a side benefit of the training that you do, so that you think, ‘How fit am I?’ and you just go and try out against other people,” he said, and remembered last year’s event when a team of four women participated, all wearing tutus and having the time of their lives.

Ben Lowe is on the Toughen Up committee, and said there are some surprises in store for 2017. 

The Toughen Up children’s event is Friday, March 10, and the seniors, age 14-and-up, will take the field on Saturday, March 11, in competitive and non-competitive team categories.

Registration forms will be found online at inverelltoughenup.net, or at Bikes on Byron, Proactive Gym and Anytime Fitness.

Learn more on Facebook: Inverell Toughen Up Challenge. Entry deadline is this Friday, February 3. For more information: Lynn Lennon on 0417 788 673 or Brett Hawkins on  0427 612 400.