AXIAL #3X815 RVRCC – April 9, 2017 – Rockford, IL
words: Steve Martin
photos: Tom Knuth
April 9, 2017 was an AMAZING day in Rockford, IL. The week leading up to the event had us a little worried as it was raining and drizzling non stop Sunday-Thursday. We had several water crossing planned and had several meetings coming up with plan C, D, E, F and even G! The crawling gods shined upon us Friday morning with sunny skies, warm temps and 25-45mph winds! Saturday it was still sunny and windy so the water went down and the mud dried up.
Sunday morning our crew showed up at 5am to get the final gates set. With the event “gates” opening at 7:30 we had a couple hours to get ready.
At 6:30 drivers started showing up and waiting in line in their cars to get a good pit spot. By 7:15 the line grew to 20 cars so we decided to let them in early as everything was 100% ready to go!
Registration went very smooth as we used an online system since we had internet connection so we could use our tablets, phones and lap- tops! Total paid registration was at 117 drivers bringing a total of 350 rigs! The event was setup for a single run because of the length but we encouraged them to bring extras just in case!
During registration the driver was instructed to bring up their one vehicle for inspection of theme points as well as to get a picture inside of the scale garage. By 8:15am all of the pre-registered drivers were ready to hit the trail early (perk for pre- registering) as we already did their drivers meeting online the week before. So by 8:25am we had 50 drivers ready to pick which of the 3 sections they wanted to start with to tackle the 165 total gates. At 10am we had our “Day Of” drivers meeting and the remaining 67 drivers had the same decision to make. Section 1 was 80% new from last year and Section 2 was 100% new while Section 3 followed the same path as prior runs, but was still over 50% new.
For those that started in Section 1 they were in for a “treat” of over 100’ of side hill mixed with extreme uphill and downhill challenges.
Just when they were done pulling their hair out and cursing the dirt we went to a nice level ground, which led into the creek bed. As long as they stayed to the side, they would be fine in the scale (mid axle) depth. However if they decided to hit the throttle finger to hard…well… the truck would take a small dip up to many roofs. Sometimes those that crawl, forget crawling is slow. This section re-
After the creek side run you had to go across a bridge to get to the other side and continue on section one for another 40 gates! We got your tires clogged with dirt, made you get a little wet and clean out the dirt, only to go up a bridge and across to our Log Jam section. Some words were spoken through clenched teeth, but the mouth was still in the shape of a smile.
You had to walk across a grassy section to get to the start of section 2. It was amazing to watch their faces when they started the walk across the grass toward the flags. At first they were laughing and smiling, but once they got a little closer they heard the sound of running water. Their look went to confusion for a few steps until they seen the rope bridge and then the smiles returned even bigger. Little did they know that smile would soon turn to concentration as they tackled the hardest of the sections.
This section focused on log climbs, rock hills, winch points, creek runs and mud.. LOTS OF MUD!!
Not a single person could have elected to bypass the mud by marking their card, but they did risk the teasing by their peers so many tried…. Very few made it through without check marking the HOG box. We should have named this the HOG farm section!
At the point we needed to give them a break, or at least a false sense of getting a break, which is what we did. This section started off pretty easy luring them into a nice Sunday drive along the waters edge until..well.. It wasn’t a nice quiet drive any longer! Here we threw some water and rock sections in for good measures along with a nice log ride (which has a large hole in the middle that LOVES to swallow trucks) and our much talked about “A-Frame bridge” which we do not share pictures of but you may find a few floating around. This is not a normal little A-Frame as we like to go big here. And by big I mean it is over 6’ tall and has a running length of about 18 feet made up of branches and chicken wire that is anything BUT level. This is a near guarantee HOG/Catch if one is not watching all 4 corners of their rig!
The fastest person to make it through the entire course was 2 hours and 45 minutes. Yes this was an ex-RC racer who still believes speed over finesse and you can pretty much guarantee I would not be a passenger in his 1:1 rig off road. The longest person on the trail was just over 8 hours and they ended up not able to finish. The average time for those that completed the full trail was about 5 hours while many ended up marking DNF on their card and simply going into “Fun Run” mode without having to worry about marking all of the flags. We had about a 70% DNF rate but it is hard to tell who broke and didn’t finish vs those that were having way to much fun and didn’t want to keep marking their card as everyone was smiling at the end of the day! Drivers who broke their registered rig were allowed to turn in their card and grab another truck and enjoy a fun run.
And we had some nice prizes & happy winners!
You can see all of the pictures including the scale garage photos by visiting the event page facebook.com/events/259289157777393 or simply by searching #3X815 on Facebook.
Massive rig gallery from the event after the winners: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.639574232892597&type=3
We would like to recognize all of our sponsors below: