Words and pics contributed by Peter.
This past weekend, four hardy IOGers – Sarah Sheppard, Karen Stacey, Mel Davy and myself – teamed up with a couple of my running buddies, Esther & Danielle, plus my friend Asma’s kids, Aaliyah and Harry, to take on The Labyrinth Challenge at Trinity Park.
Only around for a weekend, the event is billed as “the world’s longest, continuous, inflatable obstacle course”. We signed up to the first available slot on Sunday, and congregated outside the fencing, trying to sneak a peek at the epic number of inflatables we could see. I had collected most of our group from around Ipswich, and was surprised by the last minute arrival of Mel who somehow managed to sweet talk his way into a ticket on the gate, as he hadn’t had time to pre-book.
We were finally let in, and after leaving all our valuables in plastic trays for collection later, we descended en masse to the start line. The announcements were hard to hear over the speakers when we weren’t at the front, but as they sent everyone on to the first obstacle in waves, it wasn’t much of an issue. We practised our stretching and champion poses, whilst we awaited our turn to get to the front. I spent most of it nervously scanning the crowd for the late arrival of Alliyah and Harry, who appeared with spectacular timing at the eleventh hour.
We were immediately confronted by a high blue climb – perhaps over 15 feet – of large inflatable wall, needing to be conquered before we could waterslide down the other side. I stayed at the back taking pics, and diligently agreed to meet up with the kids on the other side. Of course, like true professionals, they immediately ditched me and were not seen again until I came out at the end. 🙂
Instead, I scrambled around taking hilariously inappropriate photos of Karen and Sarah as we all slipped and fumbled, putting various parts of our bodies on display in poses that we’d probably rather not have. Those that were considered acceptable for publishing, are included here for illustration. There were inflatables to climb over, dive under, duck round and slide down. By the time we reached the end – another climb to a wet slide, we were exhausted and delighted to discover that we were now allowed to repeat the challenge as many times as we wanted within our allotted hour. Exhausted hurrahs!
Most of us managed to go around again at least three to five times, before our slot ran out and the ice cream van beckoned. There was plenty of other stuff going on, aimed at families – a mini version of The Labyrinth Challenge for under-10s, and plenty of inflatable sports: basketball, penalty shooting, laser quest and even sumo wrestling.
We posed for a final triumphant photo. After confirming that Aaliyah was up for joining me for the summer’s next inflatable challenge: Aqua Park Suffolk [https://www.aquaparksuffolk.co.uk/], we went our separate ways, with a number of us heading down to Ipswich’s Music in the Park event, but that’s another tale …