Based in the stunning surroundings of Bradley Stoke, just north of Bristol alongside an established Triathlon training centre, lies Mad Mike’s – AKA The West Country Assault Course, a new venue dedicated to obstacle-race preparation and functional obstacle racing fitness.
- 6ft, 8ft, and incline walls
- Balance beams
- Monkey bars & variations
- Rope traverses over a lake
- Para jump
- ‘The Psycho Pit’
- Rope Climb
- Traverse walls
- Tyre flips, sandbag carries, pullup bars for conditioning
- And more!
The obstacles are spread generously around a large open-water swimming lake. The course takes you through various over-and-unders, traverse walls, balance logs, high walls, rope climbs, monkey bars and a 9ft drop to name but a few of the obstacles packed into this loop.
The course is set out in such a way that groups of runners will have a nice spread & not get bottlenecked with each other, yet it is so condensed that you are under a constant barrage of obstacles, completely draining your grip, leg, and cardio strength if opting for the full course! The course is designed and graded for all levels of fitness, through a system of different coloured markers for beginner, intermediate, and advanced obstacles – Tom, the instructor & ex-military man, is always on hand to help anyone with anything they are unsure of and maintain the safety at all times!
The West Country Assault Course feature all the classic obstacles any OCR competitor or casual participant can desire when looking for a perfect place to train. From the aforementioned walls of various height and incline and there are popular choices in the form of monkey bars with differing holds and the scope to add different grips and rings. Not to be too standard in their approach however, Tom and ‘Mad Mike’ (the centre’s owner) have constructed a 9ft para-jump to test your fears, a rope traverse over a lake measuring around 40 metres, the Stairway to Hell and ‘The Psycho Pit’ and more always being built – you’ll have to find out what some of these require for yourself on a visit!
All of these obstacles can be tackled as part of a full looped course, you can make your own loop tackling your preferred (or more hated) obstacles, or you can stick to certain areas to perfect your technique, such is the way the grounds are set out.
Our aim is to provide you with a training ground that is safe, challenging, and to get you the results you want to achieve.
We help you decide on your area of training where you can work on your areas of weakness and build it into strengths to develop your confidence.
You will also develop your own techniques on how to climb ropes, jump walls, vault, and improve on your physical mobility and endurance.
On top of the running course and obstacle arrangement (and a few cheeky undulations), there is a large, very clean lake used by open water swimmers and those training for triathlons. Part of the assault course loop ends (as an option) with a 200m or 400m swim or paddleboard (again – this is a very versatile course) within a specially designated section of the lake. This work perfectly so as not to disrupt and swimmers but to get used to swimming in running kit & test your shoe’s drainage during a run – not to mention cold water training benefits for when winter rolls around!
Changing rooms, toilets, car park, and cafe with hot drinks are all available on site.
Costs are £22.50 for a day playing on the obstacles and the course as much as you like, or you can book 10 sessions for £200. If you want instruction on the course or any specific obstacle training then it only costs an extra £10 to book a trainer!
simply because the course is very new that it is very likely to evolve and be added to over time, which will only make it better and harder! For a location, venue, instruction, obstacle quality (safety and design), you cannot go wrong with Mad Mike’s. They’re open 7 days a week so gather a group of like-minded friends, beast yourselves, and go home exhausted!
Written by me: Keith Fairburn
Personal Trainer, Sports Therapist, S&C Coach.
Ninja Warrior Semi-Finalist, Obstacle Racer, Salming Running Ambassador.
If you have any questions about anything I’ve written in this post or want to get in touch, contact me.