Nuclear races are still one of the most talked about obstacle course races out there and their reputation continues to grow, hosting the 2018 and 2019 Obstacle Course World Championships. They pride themselves on obstacle innovation, whether that’s the size or technical difficulty and they also love mud!
No matter where you go, you can almost guarantee to see a Nuclear Dryrobe or hear someone comparing an events slide to that of Nuclear’s famous ‘Death Slide’.
On to Nuclear Oblivion 2019, the race challenges you to complete 4 laps of the 12km 90+ obstacles per lap but let’s start with the most important items for every OCR aficionado – Car Parking was FREE, bag drop was FREE, hot showers FREE, finisher cup of tea FREE and there were plenty of TOILETS!!
Now to some these might seem like little things but paying £10 (Aroo!) to park in a field, £5 for your bag or a shower and having to queue with 3,000 new friends to use the 6 toilets and hoping yours has the toilet paper it’s a big thing, especially when you’ve already paid for the race, accommodation and weekend food. Nuclear have got these “little” things right in spades.
On arrival, the car park was well marshalled and easy to negotiate. There was a short walk to a pedestrian crossing which is another great idea especially with bags and an excited child in tow. Registration was quick and efficient, a marshal checking you were in the correct queue. ID check completed and Oblivion bag in hand it was time to enter the Nuclear village.
The village has grown over the past couple of years, there’s a huge variety of stalls, live band, giant screen (live feed from the death-slide!) and the now iconic leather sofas. We by-passed these and headed down past the Nuclear shop and towards our own Oblivion village. Tents and gazebos were dotted around with everyone trying not to look nervous whilst checking kit and race rations.
Opening the Oblivion bag revealed the timing chip, wristband and personalised Oblivion shirt which was blue this year (hoping for black and Nuclear yellow next time). Heading up to the starting corral we watched the 12km Worlds qualifier head off and then we were ushered in with runners able to take an extra band for World Qualification purposes. James explained the rules and penalties for obstacle failure and we were off.
I’ve run a few Nuclear events and felt confident that I knew which way the course would run and the order that I’d meet the obstacles but I was so wrong. The Nuclear team had been busy changing the route and the entry point into the obstacles, so even though all the Nuclear well known obstacles were present Helix, Spinning Monkeys (over water), Kingfisher, Splat the Rat, Ebenezer and of course the Deathslide with its new neighbour Deathslide Mini (no kicker), you still felt a little off balance before the first lap had finished due to these clever changes.
The course was well designed with a dunk in the water courtesy of the 7 slides to wash off the mud before the main technical obstacles and another little innovation was the slide with warm water! The addition of sawdust before these technical elements helped provide just enough extra grip to combat the muddy layers being built up from the waves of runners as the day progressed. Penalties for failure on technical obstacles were a mix of carries and weavers all designed to sap even more energy and double the time for completing the obstacle. Lap highlight include an axe throw, high and low rigs, Nuclear’s version of Skull Valley (an obstacle from the OCRWC) and the OCRWC finishing wall.
The biggest disappointment for me was the Caterpillar obstacle, by the second lap queues had begun to form with people not really knowing what to do and the padded bar getting stuck in the runners and not moving didn’t help the situation. I can understand the idea but in practice for me it just doesn’t work. The only minor issue when into multiple laps was trying to find a clear lane on some of the obstacles even with the marshals doing their best to keep one clear but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment, in some cases it proved to be a highlight watching people somersault off the Deathslide! The only other request would be for a couple of toilets in the transition area, just to save any “accidents” on the way down a slide!!
If you’ve never been to Nuclear Races I urge you to do so, the organisation, course and obstacles make the trip worth every penny and if you fancy “suffering” for a few hours I’ll see you next year on the start line for Oblivion 2020.
Get The Details On
Nuclear Races – Oblivion 2019OCR Review
- Event Website
- When Was The Event?
- 19th May 2019
- Was This A Qualification Race?
- What Could I Qualify For?
- OCR World Championships
- Reviewed By
- About The Reviewer
- What Age Group Was I In?
- 50 Plus
- Type Of Competitor
- Was This My First Time At This Event?
Nuclear Races have had a number of years now to nail this .... and they have.
- Value For Money
- The Pros
- Creative Obstacles
- Lots of Mud
- Challenging Terrain
- Great Buzz
- The Cons
- One or Two Queues (Nothing Major)
- Nothing Else I can Think Of!
- Ongar Road, Brentwood CM15 0LA, UK
Booking The Event
- How far In Advance Did I Book?
- 6 months before
- What Discount Did I get?
- No Discount
- How Easy Was It To Book?
The Event Arena / Village
- Rate The Event Arena
- Rate The Buzz Around The Event Arena
- Rate The Food And Drink Stalls
The Event Facilities
- Rate The Parking
- Rate The Toilets
- Rate The Showers
- Was There A Bag Drop?
- Was There A Changing Tent?
- Rate The Medal
- Rate The Swag Bag
No Swag Bag%
- Rate The Marshalls
- Rate The Course Marking
- Rate The Course Buzz
- Was The Event Timed?
- Was There Water On The Course?
- Did I Need To Be Able To Swim?
- Where There Bouyancy Aids Available?
- What Was The Maximum Depth Of The Water?
- 2 Metres Plus
- Types Of Terrain On The Course?
- Water Crossing
- Natural Obstacles
- Man Made Obstacles
- Rate The Quality Of The Obstacles
- How Many Obstacles Where There?
- Rate The Creativity Of The Obstacles
- Where There Any Compulsory Obstacles?
- What Was The Standard Of Mud?
- Where There Any High Obstacles?
- What Was The Maximum Height In Metres?
- 4 metres
- Did I Need A Harness?
- What Types Of Carries Where There?
- No Carries