So, after getting a taster or Rock Solid Race in the last km of Mud7 back in August, it made sense to give their main event a try. For those that did Mud7 were all in agreement that Rock Solid section stood out, and with just a little sample of some of their unique obstacles they brought, a venture to Milton Keynes, one of 2 of their locations was on the cards.
Arriving at Silverstone Race track, where the event was being held, easy parking with a short walk to the registration tents which had long queues coming out even early on, but once got inside there were desks not being utilised and people didn't really see you could go up to any desk, which could've done with a little better organising, but got seen to eventually. Once identified and race pack/number collected, which included receiving your tshirt at the start, you then walked through to a really well set out event village.
This is where RS had it set up well for competitors and spectators alike, a good mix of food stalls (to be visited later!) coffee stalls, and a permanent pub onsite, along with merchandise stalls and music through the tannoy, it was a great place to congregate just before the start line.
Rock Solid were offering 3 different distances in their event today, 5km, 10km, & 15km, great for beginners and competitors alike. They removed the chip timing facility from last years events based on feedback and to offer a more fun based event but promised a large clock at the start and finish line for those wanting a time, unfortunately I didn't see this at either line, but knowing I was going off in the first wave at 09:40am, managed to time via watch.
Having opted for the 15km, we set off on time after a warm up in the starting corral, the wave included all those doing different distances, and you were identified by the colour bib you wore (5km - Blue, 10km - Red, 15km - Black) with each distance having different cut off sections and different signposts directing you on which route to take. From the start line we immediately hit a succession of hay bales to help spread the pack out before then arriving at some 6ft walls.
Some further running and then into the woods for some trail running and small streams to run through, Barb wire crawls and tyre hops before out into an open section and a RS obstacle seen at Mud7, the tube with climbing blocks on it where you go over then further in the race run through it.
An A Frame followed by a Vert wall with ropes to climb up, then into a field with the first of a water slide. Sadly being in 2nd place at this stage, I don't think they were expecting the runners through so soon and hadn't turned the water on so was a bit of a "dog bum shuffle" to get down it. Next however was a good 25ft rope traverse over a pond, which had a lot of slack in the ropes causing you to really hold your balance well.
Getting you ready for the water they followed this up with the "Bambi stepping stone" pontoons, a grouping of 6 platforms to navigate across the lake whilst trying to keep your momentum to leap from one to the other.
Further running into the woods then greeted you with the "muddy dunk", full submersion under the conveniently placed tree trunk, forcing you to go under and emerge the other side like the monster from the lagoon, again, going through this early on meant it was just water, but it was soon churned up for the later waves that ended up head to toe in mud!
Once out of the woods into a clearing, you took on a structure climbing over/through frame that you would come to go through 3 times as different parts of the course looped through it at different intervals, from here it took you to a field with trail running through a stream, and the point where the 15km split for the first time away from the main course to tackle further distance and obstacles.
On the 15km we then faced a dingy paddle round a buoy and back to the shore, some hill running, a tractor tyre flip lane to and from a set out point, a succession of inverted walls, cargo net hill climb, then onto an evil sack race up the hill and down again, followed straight after with a log carry up the same hill and back, this sapped your legs in succession of each other and only here did we get our first water station.
Rejoining the 10km route, there were some further cargo net mud crawls and some higher 8ft walls before further water obstacles. These now included the platform jump, 10ft leap of faith off a container into the cold lake and before you could get warm again, straight back into it with their "plummet summit", a water slide with a decent sized kicker at the end! Safety lifeguards were in the water at both obstacles which was good to see.
The course marking wasn't the best in some places with just small flags of tape to identify which way to go, and even I took a wrong turning off the 15km route, and I'd heard a few from the 5km had gone the wrong way also, however as there wasn't that many doing the full 15km, the 3 of us who had broken away kept each other in check with route to go and path to follow.
Back on track, took you back through the frame section again and the only 2nd water station on the course (would've liked to have seen one more over 15km), and then over industrial pipes and mud mounds, more 8ft walls, a log balance over another pond then start to head into the events village again.
Through a nice gimmick obstacle called the "Launderette", designed as a washing machine, you climbed inside to disco lights and full of bubbles/foam, a good way to clean you off before you finish, then over their signature climbing frame truck, using rock climbing hand and foot rests to take you over the side and over the finish line to collect your dog tag medal (colour dependant on distance completed).
Finishing in 3rd place (I'll take that) in around 1hr20mins, the distance was pretty accurate at clocking the 15km, and you received a nice welcoming soup provided by Tideford Organics, and a chia charge bar and water as you crossed the line and had your finishers photo took.
The venue boasted onsite hot showers which were very much welcomed, and then a return to the event village to try one of the many food offerings and the onsite pub!
It was here that you also got to see that they host a kids race called Rock Solid Stars, and whilst the kids races had gone off first thing in the morning, the course they had looked really good with a great array of obstacles and mud for the little ones, and some very muddy children with big smiles.
If you want a good well executed event that is good fun and not too serious for friends and family to take part in, a great set up and lively event village, then I would recommend you give it a go. Nothing too taxing in the way of obstacles, would've liked some technical ones in there, especially as the year before they had monkey bars apparently, but weren't on this course.
Feedback given on some better course marking, and extra water stops, but I would give it a ROCK SOLID 8/10 – Stuart Neall