03:48PM, Friday 04 May 2018
A brand new water obstacle course inspired by hit ITV show Ninja Warrior UK opened in Datchet today (Friday).
Reporter George Roberts had a chance to try out the course at Liquid Leisure, and prove whether he was a true Ninja Warrior.
Here is how he got on:
As I arrived at Liquid Leisure early on Friday morning ITV films crews were just packing up after the new attraction was revealed on Good Morning Britain.
The long and winding course looked seriously tough, and despite the (relatively) warm weather the water looked icy. I was glad my attempt was not going to be on national television.
After speaking with Sam Richardson, one of the lifeguards at Liquid Leisure, he promised me that it was ‘10/10 fun'. What he failed to mention is that it was also 10/10 exhausting.
The unique thing about this particular course is that it pits you and one other person head to head. There are two of each different obstacle, turning a fun activity into a proper race.
With 2,000 people already booked onto the official opening day tomorrow (Saturday), there is certain to be an electric atmosphere as the competitors line up.
Fans of the TV show will recognise the obstacles, such as Cliff Grabber, Floating Steps, and Sonic Curve, which are all inspired by the TV show.
On the starting pistol, I sprinted into waist-deep water and clambered onto the first obstacle, the Cliff Grabber, shimmying rather slowly as my rival, one of the lifeguards who already had about three hours of experience, darted ahead.
As I made my way pretty gingerly along the course I tackled the monkey bars, vaulted over humps, and teetered across the Bridge Run, a particularly narrow and precarious section of the course.
About three-quarters of the way through the I was still mostly dry, but that came to an end on the Floating Steps — six wobbly stepping stones that are covered in water.
I lost my balance on the first step and my momentum carried me onto the second before I careered face-first into the water, which I was told later on was a toasty 14 degrees.
Hauling myself back onto the course, I wheezed my way onto the top platform that marked the finishing line, exhausted, soaked, but (just about) a Ninja Warrior.
I was told the best time was just under 1 minute 30 seconds. Mine was probably closer to 5 minutes.
When I spoke to Stuart Marston, Liquid Leisure owner, after I had towelled off, he told me that every competitor's time will be recorded, and posted onto weekly, monthly, and annual leaderboards.
When Ninja Warrior UK approached him about a year ago and suggested building a land-based course, he countered with designs for a circuit on water. They were impressed.
He said: “I think it's amazing to be involved in one of TV’s best obstacle courses, that people can’t normally go on, and open it to the public.
“It will be great to see them racing parallel with each other.”
If you also want to be an official Ninja Warrior, bookings are now open to the public, and there are even evening slots under the floodlights.
To book visit http://liquidleisure.com/ninja-warrior-uk2018.html .
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