The EX Race was an adrenaline-fueled parkour-styled obstacle course created for The CNE Summer 2019 season. The massive course spanned 200 ft wide and rose over 20 ft in the air. Each obstacle was carefully crafted to push our competitors to their limits while thousands of onlookers cheered them on daily.
Originally designed to be a touring show, it was fabricated using trusses and plated steel tubing bracketed together using industrial clamps and pins to allow easy assembly and disassembly. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 it has not been able to tour, and the project's future is unknown.
I was the Principal Designer for the course layout and custom obstacles designs. I also assisted the site manager with ordering and shipping material during the fabrication process. I was also on-site to provide creative direction and on-site problem-solving. In addition, I also spearheaded online marketing to attract contestants.
How it worked
The general public was also allowed to compete if they passed the Qualifier Course located in the center. This was to prevent injuries and keep the extensive course interesting for the onlookers. Once you passed the Qualifier Round, you were scheduled the same day or to compete for the daily prize in the next few days.
Anyone who completed the course was offered to be considered for the finals. The top competitors were selected to race for the grand prize of $5k in award money out of that list.
The biggest challenge we faced was how to design a course that would be both: challenging enough for the professional athletes competing and something the more athletically inclined general public would have the chance at completing.
Designed to be an easy warm-up start.
This one seemed challenging and often had some comical fails overall; it was designed to allow the most people.
A classic to any obstacle course, the Salmon Ladder was where things kicked up a notch. This requires a lot of upper body strength which, if you could do this, most likely had enough power for the rest of the course.
The cargo ladder was an oddly tricky one many people struggled with due to the lack of rest between the Salmon Ladder and the net.
5) The Ex Sign
The Ex Sign was a custom-built element it was designed to push the racer to their limits by relying solely on their finger grip strange. This obstacle was designed to be the next step up that would separate the general public from the professionals.
Section 4 & 5
Sea of Poles
Sea of Poles was where things started to get more complex. An additional few seconds would be added to your time with every pole you touched. This made the racer have to think strategically about their choices.
Monkey Peg could be done by using the pegs and slotting them into the holes or held from the top and moved across, as depicted above. The more straightforward method would add 30 seconds to your time.
Our 8ft warp was the last challenge which required a level of explosive strength and upper body strength that many contestants did not have by the end of tit.
The course was a massive hit and was scheduled to be a returning feature at the CNE and was set for a four-year tour and potentially a TV series. However, due to covid, that opportunity was dropped.