The Genesis Energy Secondary Schools Hillary Challenge is without a doubt the toughest adventure competition for high school students. The 13th annual challenge to find the top Secondary School Outdoor Adventure Team in New Zealand will take place on 13-17 May 2013. The 5 day Hillary Challenge is held each year at OPC Tongariro, and is only open to a total of 12 teams, each consisting of 8 students from Year 12 or 13. Competition is intense, and not only is a high level of physical and mental fitness is required, but the ability to work together under stress in a small team. The teams will be scored on their skill, speed and endurance during a 5-day series of outdoor adventure challenges, including a 2-day rogaine style wilderness expedition and a multisport race on the final day. In true adventure racing tradition, the exact details of all challenges will be kept secret until the event.
Schools/Teams that have qualified for the 2013 Final are
- Opunake High (Taranaki – 2012 national champions)
- New Plymouth Boys and Girls High Schools (Taranaki)
- Whangarei Boys and Girls High Schools (Northand)
- Cambridge High (Waikato)
- Middleton Grange (Christchurch)
- Waimea College (Nelson)
- MacKenzie College (Fairlie)
- Trident High (Whakatane)
- Auckland Grammar and St Cuthberts (Auckland)
- Thames High (Waikato)
- Onslow College and Wellington Girls (Wellington)
- St Leonards College (Victoria, Australia – 2012 Hillary Challenge Australia champions)
During the event check out our Facebook page for coverage of the action.
The Hillary Challenge 6hr Series
The Genesis Energy Secondary Schools Hillary Challenge is the ultimate inter-schools event for senior students. Each year we search the country for the very best teams to compete in this awesome 5-day adventure competition in the heart of the North Islands mountains, rivers, lakes and bush.
In order to make to make it into the 2014 final your team must first gain a top placing in one of the two Hillary Challenge 6hr series events in Rotorua and Christchurch in 2013. From each of these two events between 1 and 5 teams (based on numbers entered) from the Mixed Premier category will advance through to the national final.
What will the 6hr race involve?
Well this is Adventure Racing so you will need to be prepared for anything. Typically there will be a bit of running/trekking, mountain biking (not too technical!) and orienteering as the base of the event. Each team of 8 will need to bring 4 mountain bikes, but everyone will get to ride.
To add to the mix there will be other fun challenges and problem solving tasks on both land and water. Some of these will involve the whole team while others might only require a few team members. All 8 team members will be required to stay together (within 50m) at all times, unless a race marshal says otherwise and you will be trying to score points by finding checkpoints and completing the additional challenges. There will also be some sections that are timed, with these times being converted to points to add to your overall total. The team with the highest overall score will win.
At the end of the race you will understandably be a little tired and hungry, so we will provide the pizza for you to munch on at the finish line (included in your entry fee) and also some cool spot prizes that we will draw out at the prizegiving.
Places are strictly limited to 30 teams per event and will be taken on a first in, first served basis. After the limit is reached a waitlist system will operate.
Who are the events for?
The events are designed for all levels of experience. You don’t have to be super fit and serious, but you do need to have a sense of adventure and a ‘give it a go’ attitude. In traditional adventure racing style the course route is not disclosed until the day of the race and you only find out the location of the event briefing one week before race day!
Only students in years 11-13 may take part and the 2013 series will open up more team categories to provide the opportunity for more schools/students to join in on the fun and take up the challenge. Schools will now be able to enter teams in one of four categories – All Girls, All Boys, Mixed and Mixed Premier. The mixed premier category must have a 50/50 gender split in the team i.e. 4 girls and 4 boys and a maximum of two team members may be from year 13. Only teams that enter this category will be eligible for a place in the following years Genesis Energy Hillary Challenge national final.
How much will it cost?
Entry fees for the series events are only $520 per team ($65 per person) if you take advantage of the early-bird entry fee and enter before 12 July. After this date the normal entry fee of $600 per team will apply. Schools may enter two teams initially and may possibly have more if the 30 team places are not filled.
2013 Hillary Challenge Series Dates