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Pentathlon GB to establish University of Bath as the ‘home of obstacle course racing’

Based at the University of Bath, the new facility is due to open early 2024 (Image: Pentathlon GB)

Pentathlon GB is launching the UK’s first permanent sprint obstacle course, enabling both athletes and the public to challenge themselves on a world-class course.

Based at the University of Bath, the new facility is due to open in early 2024 and will feature eight obstacles. These include steps, a big wheel, a 1.5m climbing wall, rings, a balance beam, wheels, monkey bars and a finish wall.

The obstacles – which are being used in International Junior Pentathlon competitions – are designed to test an athlete’s power, balance, agility, coordination and strength.

The introduction of the obstacle course builds on Pentathlon GB’s partnership with the University of Bath to create a centre of excellence for the sport, and will enable athletes to access training environments for five pentathlon sports, including running, fencing, laser shooting, obstacles and swimming, all on one site.

Pentathlon GB is the UK’s governing body of modern pentathlon and the project to establish the course is being supported by UK Sport and the Union of Modern Pentathlon (UIPM).

Stephen Baddeley, Director of Sport, University of Bath says: “The permanent obstacle course will not only assist Pentathlon GB’s performance athletes, but provide an exciting new sport for our local community too.”

Trafford Wilson, CEO, Pentathlon GB says: “The installation of a dedicated obstacle
course follows the successful 2023 World Championships held at the University of Bath in
August, where Pentathlon GB, in partnership with British Obstacle Sports volunteers, set
up a temporary ‘come an try’ obstacle course.

“This provided the perfect opportunity for hundreds of people of all ages and abilities to experience obstacle course racing for the first time.

“The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with lots of people who were new to the
sport giving it a go! Obstacle Course Racing is fun, inclusive, challenging and suitable
for all. We are keen that this new ‘home of obstacle racing’ is used by both our elite
athletes and local people and visiting groups.”

Over the coming months, Pentathlon GB will be reaching out to schools, clubs and
community groups to encourage obstacle centre bookings.

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