Autumn 2019 event - Report
It will forever be known as “The Muddy One.”
The 2019 Apex Challenge had it all – a tough new area, loads of exciting activities, our most challenging ever Adventure Race route, and more mud than anyone ever expected. But once again, nearly 400 adventurers from across the country rose to the challenge at this unique adventure weekend.
As teams arrived, the challenges had already begun for the organising team. The field was starting to flood, cars were getting stuck and the pre-arranged parking plan had already been ripped up. The mud was spreading – but so was the infectious enthusiasm as teams started to appear in the camping field, eager for what lay ahead.
With the parking and logistics teams doing a magnificent job to get everyone safely onto the site it was time for the first of Apex’s renowned briefings. 400 people packed into the marquee where lighting effects, pyrotechnics, bespoke weather forecasts and even a personal welcome from Bear all combined into an uplifting start for the weekend. Everyone was keen to get started.
The Apex Intense soon began. Teams were racing off over the inflatable assault course on their 70 minute moon-lit adventure. With 15 places to try to find, teams were struggling as the muddy paths and difficult terrain started to bite.
But this was no time to slow down – as the Apex chasers were out in force. Four teams of highly trained chasers were racing to track them down. Being caught meant losing 25 points – and that night 20 teams fell victim to chasers’ skills and ingenuity.
As teams arrived back, it was clear the Apex bug was spreading. Everyone was excited about what the rest of the weekend would bring.
As the sun shone on Saturday morning, the Main Event was about to begin. Teams were setting off for their six hour adventure where a dozen tough activities needed to be found – as well as more than thirty other control points to visit. How many could the teams find before they needed to be back?
As teams groveled their way around the caving bus, mountain biked with dripping colanders on their heads, zorbed their way over an assault course and fired arrows at tricky targets, points were being clocked up at a staggering rate. Some teams were racing across the lake in a canoe to gather their points, while others were tackling tough skill games in the high tech “Grid”.
It was a long, challenging day – so as teams were returning back over the inflatable obstacle course, it was clear it was time for a change of gear. Saturday Night Live was about to begin.
After a quick update of the results so far, it was time for our guest band The Electric Idols to play their way into Saturday night. The marquee was packed as dancing, singing and impromptu stage diving went on into the evening. It’s that unique Apex coming together after a day of adventurous competition that sums up these weekends.
As Sunday dawned, the tired competitors began to emerge from the sprawling campsite. Today was Adventure Race day – as five mass starts set our teams off on our most challenging ever 5k route. It took in steep ascents, watery river crossings, and loads of marshy mud baths – as well as a series of tough obstacles.
From the grovel at “Boggy Log” to the nasty climb at “Vertical Limit”, the tricky rope course of “Web of Deceit” and the impossible ascent of “Banking Crisis” – each challenge was testing the teams to the max. But the long string of obstacles at the Lakeside assault course was really the pinnacle. Scramble nets, walls, tunnels and mazes all combined to make for a spectacular climax to the race.
As teams returned to the sweet smell of the Apex BBQ, the results were being compiled and the event was drawing to an end.
The final results presentation saw the top teams all leaving with great Apex prizes, as everyone discovered how they had done. It was the climax of a truly memorable weekend of adventure – all made possible by the hugely talented team of more than 70 Apex volunteers.
Some Apex 2019 facts
- 380 young people took part in the event.
- It was made possible because of the work of 78 dedicated volunteers.
- The Apex Adventure race was actually 4.9 km long, with 146 metres of height gain.
- The most visited activity base on Saturday was base C – “Totally Ab-Zorbing” with 80 teams checking in.
- The least visited activity base on Saturday was base A – “Cave Bus” with just 44 teams making it round the course.
- 60 of the 95 teams managed to track down Paddy the Parrot.
- Most teams tend to travel clockwise rather than anti-clockwise through the area – as shown on our computer simulation.
- Only 16 teams managed to find the “hidden” control point at the ruined wall at point 17.
- The fastest team completed the adventure race in less than 36 minutes. The slowest took more than 2 hours.
- The highest place female team was “Snazzy People” from Cumbria (who came 26th overall).
- The highest placed mixed team was “Be Low Me” from Humberside (who came 7th overall).
- The 2019 Network Winners were “The Dinner Lady Assault Force” from Cambridgeshire with 1646 points.
- The 2019 Explorer Winners were “006.9” from Stannington Fulwood Explorers in South Yorkshire with 1902 points.
- Main results leaderboard
- Results leaderboard sorted by teams' gender
- Adventure race finishing times
- Facts and figures showing how many teams reached each activity and contro point
Read more from this section
See who's taken the honours at each of our events since autumn 2002
JCH Award winners
Find out who has won our special JCH Award in the past.
Previous event locations
Look back at all the locations used for our previous competitions.
How many exclusive Apex T-shirts are in your collection?
Autumn 2019 event
Our muddiest ever event as Apex visited the Ampleforth Estate for the first time.
Autumn 2018 event
A return to Bramham Park after the Apex Challenge took a year's break.
Autumn 2016 event
Three days of adventures and challenges on the Peak District's Eastern Moors.
Spring 2016 event
An unforgettable night-time challenge through the Temple Newsam estate in Leeds.
Autumn 2015 event
The exclusive Harewood House estate welcomes Apex for the first time.
Spring 2015 event
The Apex Challenge returns to Bramham Park in West Yorkshire.
Autumn 2013 event
A military theme at Strensall near York for Apex Special Ops.
Spring 2013 event
Apex returns to Sherwood Pines for a challenge during the night.
Autumn 2012 event
Returning to our first ever location to celebrate our tenth anniversary.
Spring 2012 event
A new location at Bramham Park near Leeds for the first event of 2012.
Autumn 2011 event
A thrilling three days of adventure with the hottest weekend of the year.
Spring 2011 event
The event sells out in record time for a weekend baked in sunshine!
Autumn 2010 event
Brand new activities this year included archery and rifle shooting.
Spring 2010 event
The warmest weather of the year so far for this year's spring challenge.
Autumn 2009 event
Gale force winds add to the excitement on Ilkley Moor.
Spring 2009 event
There were record levels of interest for teams to take part in this event.
Autumn 2008 event
70 teams navigate through Langdale Forest in North Yorkshire.
Spring 2008 event
A new record of 16 activity bases was waiting for our teams.
Autumn 2007 event
Centenary year sees us travel further North than ever to Ilkley Moor.
Autumn 2006 event
First ever three-day Apex sees several new event elements tried out.
Spring 2006 event
Same location but new challenges at Sherwood Pines Forest Park.
Autumn 2005 event
More prizes were given away at this event than ever before.
Spring 2005 event
The overnight event moves to a new location with dense woodland.
Autumn 2004 event
More teams and more activity bases than ever before in Burbage Valley.
Spring 2004 event
Apex Challenge opens up to teams nationwide for the first time.
Autumn 2003 event
Stanage Edge hosted our second daytime challenge event.
Spring 2003 event
Same idea as our first event but this time in the darkness!
Autumn 2002 event
More than 20 teams compete for the honour of being our first winners.