Thanks to all the entrants and PTs who gave feedback in their end of year reports and since. It’s hugely appreciated and has helped us to come up with the following changes.
1. Cash prizes for ALL winners. This year, for the first time. we will divide the cash prize pool (made up of 10% of the entry fees) evenly between all the winners.
2. Testing options increase. In addition to being able to meet with a REPs PT for fitness tests entrants can also meet with a Physio, Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEP_ or PE Teacher.
3. PT sessions now include ‘coaches’. In between testing sessions, entrants can now see a variety of other ‘coaches’ instead of a PT, including Physios, PE Teachers, AEPs, Dietitians, Degree Qualified Nutritionists, Counsellors/Therapists, Podiatrists, Occupational Therapists as well as coaches in the areas of Running, Swimming, Dance, Athletics and Cycling.
4. Fewer minimum sessions. The in-between minimum number of sessions is now just two, not three. So all up that means entrants now see an expert four times over the course of the challenge not five.
5. Online report is way easier. We’ve reduced the number of report questions, cut it into two parts and set it up so you won’t have to do either in just one sitting.
6. Entry fee is now $159. Early Bird is $119 and previous entrants pay just $89 before April 1. Free entries are free until midnight April 1st. VIPs are forever free, regardless of when they sign up.
Why. It’s our first price rise since we started, 15 series ago, not that that is reason alone thus this explanation.
I had planned to lower the entry fee to $19-$59 but that was only possible if we took out the 25 categories and the intensive judging process that went with it, which entrants and PTs have told us they’d prefer left in.
Luckily I love the categories and the judging too, so I happily back tracked on taking them out (and replacing them with a video which you may have seen me talk about on our Facbook page). But it is an incredibly full on process, taking the best part of every day for a month and some years involved more than 20 judges.
6. Facebook journals no longer compulsory for any categories. The feedback from people who did the journals was overwhelmingly awesome, even from people who didn’t want to do them at the start. They also really helped us in the judging BUT, like my video idea, the idea of keeping a journal turns too many people off before they even enter. So while I’m stoked a lot of last year’s entrants now have an ‘album’ they can forever look back on and/or inspire others with, I won’t be enforcing it this year.
So that’s it. Thanks so much for helping us grow.
You can see what changes in 2017 below.
While we try and make decisions based upon what the majority are asking for, some of these changes won’t please everyone and to those people I offer my sincere apologies but I do encourage you to keep your eye out for some other Challenges I have created for release in 2018 and 19 and to also catch up with your local REPs registered PT or club about what they can offer you.
Whether you are joining us or not, here’s wishing you a stellar 2018.
1.ENTRANTS SUBMIT THEIR OWN REPORTS.
In 2017 we provided entrants with their own TESTING TEMPLATES to record their results on so they were able to log their own results.
While the online report was a tad arduous in 2017 (we’ve diluted it for 2018) it achieved our other objectives which was to reduce the workload of PTs were could spend three to four hours per report and have 30 plus entrants to do that for in the space of a week.
It also mean’t our entrants have a copy of their own results from the get go, which we thought was pretty important too.
2. AWARD NIGHT WENT ONLINE
For the first time PTs and their entrants could choose how they wanted to celebrate the end of the Challenge and their successes.
As hugely successful as the actual Awards night was in Christchurch with some 350 people in attendance, we had heaps of requests for options on that, especially for those not in Christchurch.
So in 2018 people watched the Awards from all over the country, some enjoying a 5 Star affair on the final Saturday night with their fellow entrants and others a BBQ :-)
3. CASH PRIZES, DEALS & DISCOUNTS
In 2017 we waved goodbye to our 64 awesome sponsors. Feedback from entrants was that they would prefer not to have advertising in our resource material or on our website. What that mean’t though was we also had to wave good-bye to what was over $20,ooo in prizes that we’d been giving away each year, for the last few years.
In 2017 for the first time we gave Cash prizes by doing a draw from our pool of winners, pool of finalists and pool of people that crossed the finish line.
Entrant feedback was that the cash should only go to the winners and while I’m personally not the biggest fan of that scenario I’m going to fly with it for 2018 and the cash will be divided equally among all 2018 winners.
4. CATEGORIES – NEW ONES & CHANGES TO EXISTING
In 2017 we added the ‘Upskill Me’ Category as well as two optional extra categories have emerged – Pets and Peeps and Workplace Angels.
The Ultra Cardiovascular category was also changed to the Ultra anything category i.e. not just cardio-vascular, but it is still reserved for the super fit who are chasing PBs or attempts as harder events in their field.
5. WINNER’S GUIDE SENT DIRECTLY TO ENTRANTS FROM US
Catch Fitness will sent the Weekly Chapters direct to entrants. We used to send them to PTs who could alter them however they saw fit – take out advertising, change articles etc but in 99% of cases they never altered it and on occasions might forget to send it on, thus this change.
6. FACEBOOK DIARIES
In 2017 entrants kept a private or public Facebook journal for a bunch of categories.
The idea was to share it with our judges at the end to help them in their judging process but entrants could also make it public from the outset if they were okay with us cheering them on from the outset.
The Feedback was brilliant, even from those not keen to do them and I have no doubt people, families, kids, will be looking back on them for years to come with a smile on their dial as to all they achieved.
In 2018 it won’t be compulsory :-( as the idea of it seems to turn too many people off from entering. We would however suggest that it’s a very cool thing to do, even if only for you own records.
These were the categories we suggested people keep Facebook journals for.
- ADVENTURERS – One of the 13 categories
as well as for these select OPTIONAL EXTRA CATEGORIES
- Best Buddies
- Pets and Peeps
- Team Challenge
- Workplace Angel