The 2018 Torpedo7 Hillary Challenge and Upcoming Events

hillary-outdoors_darrenAn update on all the latest Events news from our Events Manager, Darren Ashmore (pictured left)…

We have just completed an incredibly exciting week at the Tongariro Centre hosting the 18th 2018 Torpedo7 Hillary Challenge National Final. This week is always an amazing, lifechanging week for the 96 students participating, many of whom have been preparing for the best part of a year for the event. In fact, many have been preparing for several years, starting out with our junior Get2Go events with the goal of one day making their school team for the Hillary Challenge Final.

Hillary Challenge Winners

The Torpedo7 Hillary Challenge Champions: New Pylymouth Girls’ and Boys’ High

The week of the final is also a very rewarding week for our staff at the centre. It is quite different to the programmes that they normally work on and the hours are longer, but they always rise to this and yet again did a fantastic job rolling out a fun, safe, but very challenging and professional event.

The weather for the event this year was as close to perfect as we have had in 18 years. A little rain for the last 90mins of the final race, with the rest of the event held in great conditions.

The team from New Plymouth Girls and Boys High took out the title for the 11th year, followed closely by Whangarei Girls and Boys High and Waimea College. For the first time we had 5 teams from the South Island join us, something we would love to see continue in future finals. Click here for full results.

As always there was a large public interest with many thousands of people following the event. Our Facebook  page reached just under 40,000 people in the 6 days surrounding the event, and included sort videos links to our Instagram account which gained a few thousand views each.

Hillary Challenge WinnersThe 2018 Torpedo7 Hillary Challenge “Happy Pants” winners: The New Plymouth Girls’ and Boys’ High Team. Left to right: Jason Bond, Lachie White, Jody Rawlinson, Caterina Poletti, Poppy Mitchell, Annabel Jones, Zac Drinkwater, Oak Jones.

Senior Get2Go Challenge

In March we held four Senior Get2Go 3hr Adventure Races in Tauranga, South Auckland, Hawkes Bay and Waikanae.  There was a solid turnout (67 teams) with many participants having previously taken part in one of our Junior Get2Go events.  Even so, we were surprised at the slight drop in numbers from the 80 teams registered the year before.  Feedback from teachers tells us it’s getting harder and harder to get students out of class alongside competition during the term with other out-of-school activities.

A new observation however was that several schools used the event for outdoor education and physical education class assessment purposes. These schools brought multiple teams to the events and as part of their assessment students had to train, participate and then evaluate the event according to various aspects like fitness, skills and risk management.  This could well me something we see more of!

Hillary Challenge 6hr Adventure Race(s)

Two Hillary Challenge 6hr Adventure races are coming up soon, with the South Island event in Geraldine on 27 May and the North Island event in Rotorua on 24 June. The Peel Forest Outdoor Centre are again helping run the Geraldine event and are providing 10 staff and volunteers (including some of their trustees) to help. We currently have 15 teams (120 students) registered for this one. This is three more teams than last year.

The North Island event in Rotorua has 23 teams (184 students) registered, so is getting close to the 30-team capacity. So, if you are keen to join us, but haven’t registered yet, you had better be quick!

These events are fantastic fun and are suitable for all levels of skill and experience, you don’t have to be super fit, just happy to race around for 6hrs on foot and MTB navigating to checkpoints.

Junior Get2Go Series

Registrations are rolling in for the 12 events in the Junior Get2Go series being held in Term 3, with 56 teams registered so far. That is a strong number, possibly a record, considering Term 2 has only just started so maybe we will crack the 200-team total again this year.

Our junior Get2Go events are designed as the perfect introduction to multi-sport and adventure racing with challenges such as orienteering/navigation, mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking/stand-up paddling and problem solving included in the events. No prior experience is required, just a positive attitude and a willingness to have fun and maybe get a little wet and dirty with your team.

Hillary Outdoors events are designed to cater for all levels of skill and experience, so students with a reasonable level of fitness and positive attitude can easily participate. Not only do students get outside and engage in some different and unique physical activities, they also develop great teamwork and interpersonal skills – communication, time management, self and team leadership, self-confidence, decision making, problem solving, strategic thinking, working with others and working under pressure. So come along and join in the fun!


If you are keen to catch all of the ‘up to the minute’ coverage of our events and other adventures happening around our two Centres then be sure to ‘follow/like’ our social media feeds. We are on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The user name for each is – hillaryoutdoors