What do you do when you’re not sure your reviewer can get to a race? You send two! So, Andy Waters and Chris Aplin made sure the inaugural Rood Rampage had plenty of yellow! Their collected thoughts are below but, check out the video for a quick peek at the course and some ringo-based arsing about:
One thing that did worry me a little was a lack of directions (to the event). At one point I actually managed to drive onto the course! Admittedly it was after having passed a ‘Road Closed’ sign! Eventually we found the one small gate in/out of the parking field. The event village was reassuringly familiar with registration, bag-drop, a decent-sized bar and some good tunes already playing.
Not long afterwards, we were chatting with Race Director Alex and it’s clear from his enthusiasm that DB Max are hugely invested in making the event a success. “We’ve been all over this place…” Alex beams “We’ve even found stuff the owner didn’t know was here – he was like ‘Oh, there’s a pond there!’- it’s great!” The course map was encouraging and features some great obstacle names, from the topical ‘An Obstacle Has No Name’ to the rather more enigmatic ‘Gareth’.
They benefit from a great location; the whole race is contained within rolling farmland belonging to one owner – passing his helipad…twice – who apparently approached Extreme Events. That hopefully means it should be safe from the tampering and interference that’s blighted some other recent races.
There was a quick warm-up from Fitness First then we were off and over a haystack pyramid – think mini Dirty Weekend – across some ankle-snapping ground to spread out the field, then a wire-maze and two short carries.
The course was well marked, winding through clumps of woodland with walls and swampy-wades. Then it broke out into a cornfield containing some surprisingly tricky Czech Hedgehogs – especially once the smoke grenades went off! Then there was a set of incline walls, another ditch-wade and a tyre carry through more trees.
The spacing of obstacles was pretty spot on, breaking up the running without breaking you, albeit some ‘unmanned’ ones could have benefited from additional instruction (e.g. some people – with their tyre – climbed over what I’m pretty sure was intended to be a letter-box wall).
Tyres dropped off, there was some (possibly over) enthusiastic ringo entries (#bleedyellow…nearly); although it was a new event, there were a decent number of supporters and the marshalls – a lot were conscripted from Battle of Lansdown – were friendly and informative, which was good when some of the obstacles weren’t quite what they appeared!
Another feature of the water obstacles was the silt – for every foot of water, there was two feet of muck that literally sucked you in and cooked your legs as you (slowly) wade to freedom!
After the cramp-inducing crawl from the water, we enjoyed the quick succession of hills, a 10-foot wall and a ring-walk. Then there was what looked like – on approach – a small weaver until we were instructed “Under you go.” by a grinning marshall – not spoiling the surprise, it was a simple but effective take on the obstacle and actually defeated quite a few people. (Did somebody say cramp?)
There was a couple of km of fields and smaller obstacles (see-saws, balance beams) but the scenery was nice and it never felt forced or like they were ‘making up the distance’. There was a nice ramp-traverse-ramp obstacle before more ditch-wading and then a tyre-climb/maze hidden in a country-estate type (secret) walled-garden – nice!
There were more fields and a small set of traverse-walls (think Tip-of-the-spear) took you to the large lake and (best name ever) Floaty Mc Float Race – a long set of OSB-board pontoons crossing to a small island. Part of our chat with Alex featured a single word of advice regarding this obstacle – ‘RUN!’
Taking this on board (sorry), Andy attacked the pontoons at speed, immediately showing why you needed to run. Fun Fact: OSB is chunks of wood glued together under pressure so, when you get it wet… it becomes pretty flexible!
Crossing the pontoons was great fun and I can’t wait to see the promised (at the start) footage from a chase-camera that would supposedly follow you across them. After having reached the island without getting wet we were quickly rewarded with… a wade to the opposite shore of the chest-deep lake…surprise!
After this, the course returned through the event village – literally! There were some hay-bales, more Czech hedgehogs and some walls that took you directly behind the registration tent, bag-drop and bar, which was a nice touch – you can watch the race while you register for it!
Resisting the urge to stop for a pint, we approached to the grand finale – the Rood Ramp; the photos don’t do justice to the height of it and the overhang was another nice unique modifier, making you revaluate how to handle the top of the ramp (providing you reach it).
Over the ramp there was just a cargo-net to roll down and across the finish line – straight into the waiting arms of Ben of EEUK for our thoughts!
There were some minor teething problems –parking, signage etc. – that will easily be addressed as the event develops; you get the feeling from Alex, Ben and everyone involved that this was the race that Extreme Events really want to develop into a proper challenge, allowing them to keep Lansdown accessible for all abilities.
Until it becomes more established it’s difficult to tell whether there would be any bottle-necks but they’ve got a lot of scope to be able to keep the course fresh, the carries and AAA-traverse could easily be increased – which, they’d really need to be – and the ring-walk could easily become a rig, adding more technical challenges.
Both Andy and I really enjoyed the course, the team are passionate and eager to put on a great event and I would definitely suggest Rood Rampage to anyone.
To see the full review and to watch their video, go to:Back to Blog