Amazing experience, Mr North Otago says

Winning grins . . . North Otago’s finest are (from left) Forrest Beer, Glen Sturgess, Karl Guy and Zeke Meikle. PHOTO: SUPPLIED/RACHEL WARD

For newly-crowned Mr North Otago Glen Sturgess, his first foray into the world of pageantry may not be his last.

Mr Sturgess, who co-owns Oamaru gym CrossFit 564, was one of 12 contestants who took part in the crowd-pleasing St Kevin’s College fundraiser, held in the school dining hall on Saturday night.

Fellow CrossFit enthusiast and dairy farmer Karl Guy was first runner-up, Forrest Beer, a builder with McBrimar Homes, took third place, and contractor Zeke Meikle won People’s Choice.

There was no special training required for the fitness enthusiast, but Mr Sturgess had been dieting for about a week in the lead-up to the event.

‘‘Only because the sleepwear section was going to require a little less clothing,’’ he said.

Once the nerves had settled, he described the experience as ‘‘amazing’’.

‘‘It was really good . . .I don’t think anyone felt comfortable leading up to it, but by the middle of the night, everyone was having so much fun.’’

Mr Sturgess thought what nailed the win for him was he did not throw all his eggs in one basket.

‘‘I tried to have a point of difference, whether it be subtle or quite out there on each category.’’

He also abstained from any alcohol until after the sleepwear section, which might have helped him maintain his composure more than some other competitors.

Far from being motivated by a very appreciative crowd, Mr Sturgess said it barely registered with him.

‘‘What happens is, you get to the top of the catwalk, and you get this, like, tunnel vision, and you forget about everything else. I really didn’t expect that to happen. I could remember seeing the catwalk in front of me and that was it.

‘‘I definitely heard the crowd, but I don’t think I had that reaction, like ‘I’ll do some more now’. I was really set in what I had to do.’’

While the competitors were still on a high from the night, Mr Sturgess said there had been a bit of a recruitment drive for the school’s next fundraiser, rumoured to be a repeat of the equally successful Dads in Drag, which had been held previously.

He encouraged others to give it a go.

‘‘Go all in, because you’ll be surprised how much you enjoy it. I was literally saying it all night to everyone, it’s actually so much fun . . . You just vibe off the group that you’re with, and everyone’s kind of in the same boat. It was great fun.’’

Along with his title and sash, Mr North Otago won a night’s accommodation for two and $500 cash, which went back to the bar, he said.

The event raised about $19,000 for a new floor in the St Kevin’s gymnasium.