What do you get when you cross an obstacle race with inflatables? ROC Race! Aka Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge Race. When it was announced that Melbourne and Sydney would be having a race in early 2016, I was keen to sign up and travel to do event.
This is the first time that ROC Race have held events Australia, and after the first event in Sydney a few weeks prior, I was excited to see what they would deliver. I collected my race packet the Thursday before the race (on the day pick up was an additional $5) and it included a shirt, wristband, and my bib.
On the morning of the event I headed to Flemington Racecourse and caught up with my awesome teammates James, Kellie and Lou. We were in the first heat of the first wave of the Melbourne event, which meant we had a clear run with no lines, and were some of the first people to test out the course. The MC yelled go, and off we ran. We rounded a corner and came to the first obstacle – a basic one that involved jumping up and over an inflatable hurdle whilst running on an inflatable platform. Easy enough, but we wanted the challenging ones!
Running on a bit further we came to the second obstacle where life jackets were handed out to all. The object was to run across a plank whilst avoiding being hit by a giant ball, or slipping off the plank. We all failed dismally and ended up in the water which was nice and refreshing. That’s the sort of obstacle we wanted more of!
We only had to go a few hundred metres before we hit the third obstacle – a huge water slide on a tyre tube. I managed to get down the slide before getting stuck at the end, and ended up tipping myself into the small pool at the end. We all agreed that some detergent would’ve been helpful as there was too much friction meaning so many people got stuck. Nonetheless it was fun, and we were all eager to see what else was in store for us.
After rounding a few corners and running alongside the race course, we got to the fourth obstacle. The MC at the obstacle was yelling encouragement at James and I to get to the obstacle faster. We got a run up and all slid along the foam towards the end of the inflatable slip-n-slide. After wiping some of the suds off we continued running along the river before getting to a giant dry water slide. Race mode was engaged as we raced each other up and down the huge slide, laughing all the way.
We were halfway through the course and all commenting how none of us are ever that clean when doing an OCR. Nostalgic for the mud, we ran on, jumped over more inflatable hurdles, then ended up at another challenging obstacle. This one involved running along a plank whilst avoiding a spinning horizontal tube that was bound to smack you off. I ran on the left side, meaning the tube was heading towards me as I ran along. I threw myself onto the plank and shimmied along to avoid being knocked off. If there was water underneath I would have allowed myself to be knocked off!
Soon enough we were near the start line at an obstacle that involved running along giant inflatable balls, trying to not get knocked off. I took one step and fell down the side, and laughing I watched the others do the same. A bigger leap probably would’ve got me to the second ball, but I was having too much fun to care.
Running around a few more corners, we eventually ended up at the final obstacle – a giant water slide. The stairs to climb up the side were unexpectedly steep, but soon enough I was speeding down the slide to the finish. Definitely a lot of fun, and I would love to have done the last slide a few more times!
Overall I had an awesome time, but I was a bit disappointed when I learned that if you wanted a finisher medal, you had to purchase a ‘finisher pack’ to the value of $40. I don’t do events expecting a medal, however due to the fact that I paid $80 for a 5km obstacle race with only 9 obstacles, I was expecting more than just a finisher shirt. After all, what’s a race if there’s no bling 😉
Event: ROC Race
Type: Obstacle Course Challenge
Location: Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, VIC (Australia)
Date: 13 February 2016