ALTRA RUNNING SHOES – Official Sponsor of AXIALFEST 2018

Axial is proud to welcome Altra Footwear back for their 3rd year, returning as the title sponsor for the Altra Ultra 5k Enduro and as the official shoe of RC! After an amazing year one, Altra is excited to return and continue to help fuel the growth of the new Ultra 5k race format not only here at Axialfest but also as a partner with Axial in the Scale Ultra Series!

Axialfest 2017 Altra Ultra 5K04

Altra’s trail shoes were built selfishly to conquer the peaks, trails and multitudes of varying terrain that surround our Utah headquarters. Our passion, hunger and blood, sweat and tears went into every model to conquer whatever trail presents itself. Our shoes can be found every weekend running 5Ks to ultra marathons, thru hiking the PCT or Appalachian trail or on the feet of the Altra Offroad Team. (link: Our shoes are Inspired by our Mountains, built and ready to take on your World.


Axialfest Rock Racer Preparation Tips


If you are a regular follower of the Axial Blog and we know you are, you probably saw the Trail Rig Prep blog for Axialfest. It’s loaded with great tips to help trail truck drivers and don’t think we forgot about you Rock Racers either. Rock Racing is a whole other experience at Axialfest and prepping a rig for the Rock Racing course or the Altra Ultra 5K can require a bit more preparation than a trail rig. Trail rig courses are not timed anymore at Axialfest and its a run at your own pace experience. But for Rock Racing and the 5K, there is much more on the line. Although they are fun events, there are prizes at the end for the winners and so you want to spend a bit more time making sure your rig is ready for what it is about to endure. We’ve altered our suggestions just a bit here, so if you read the previous trail blog, you should reread everything seen here.

AF18 Rock Prep2

Hardware Check

Set-Screws- Set-screws can be a headache in the RC world, they are used in several areas on just about any rig. The most common is the pinion gear. If the set-screw goes into metal, it’s a good idea to add some blue thread locking compound to it before installing it. The thread locking compound is a measure to ensure the screw doesn’t back out during use. Most people use a blue thread locking compound which is serviceable, but in a Rock Racing competition, some have been known to use Red which is a permanent compound. Some heat can be used in the future to help break free hardware secured with red thread lock.
Lock-nut- Sometimes standard nuts are used in several locations on a rig and perhaps you’ve installed a nut or two along the way while working on or customizing your truck. Consider swapping out all standard nuts with ny-lock nuts. These nuts have a plastic insert ring that helps prevent the nut from backing off of the screw. You may also want to consider using threadlock compound as an additional way to secure the nut and some have even gone as far as installing two nuts to secure bolts in place.
Machine Screws- Machine screws have a much finer thread than a self-tapping screw. This finer thread often offers more “bite” into a part for extra security. Consider using machines screws wherever you can. And like that pesky set-screw, always use blue thread-locking compound on machine screws that go into metal so they don’t vibrate out while in use.

AF18 Rock Prep4

Steering Tips

Super Servo Arm- Kits and ready to runs include plastic servo arms that will certainly get you underway, but in an Axialfest Rock Racing competition, they have been known to strip out. Axial’s option aluminum servo horns are some of the best available and are often used by builders in builds beyond installs in Axial vehicles. These option horns are available for different servo splines, have a double clamp and two holes for the steering link. The strong aluminum horns will hold up to the abuse on the course.
Servo Upgrade- Many drivers upgrade to higher torque servos with strong metal gears to withstand the abuse on the course. If you do upgrade, consider using a servo with an aluminum case. The mounting ears on a plastic case servo can break on hard impacts. At the very least, use a wide head screw to support the servo in the mounting bracket.
Steering Links- Steering links are often the first thing to hit rocks and other on course debris on the front of RR10 Bombers, Wraiths and on SCX10’s. Plastic links can flex, lead to weakening or can even break. Many upgrade to aluminum links to handle more abrasive action and still deliver precise steering.


AF18 Rock Prep1Suspension Work

Shocks- Before heading out on the rock racing course or 5K, its a great idea to rebuild your shocks with new oil and even better replace the seals. The shocks on a rock racer or even trail truck are among the most abused shocks in RC. Not only do they move up and down, but receive side loading as well that can wear on the shock and even cause it to leak. After rebuilding your shocks, make sure they have some “wiggle room” don’t clamp down on the shock mounts with the retaining screws. Let them slide on the mounting bolts a bit. This will give the shock additional movement that will lessen the wear of the shocks internals.

Trailing Links- The lower trailing links see a lot of ground action while damping the rig on the trails. When using plastic links, check to make sure the ball ends have not elongated and may break during the run. Use the aluminum plates to make the plastic links more rigid or there are plenty of aluminum options available from various Axial supporting aftermarket manufacturers.


AF18 Rock Prep6

Driveline Tips

Screw Pins- Screw pins are used to secure the universal yokes to the axle drive pinions, if your rig doesn’t have them and you have a through-hole in the bevel pinion shaft, go with a screw-pin instead of a set-screw. This will ensure drive instead of a set-screw that can back out and slip. Use thread-lock here too of course.
Universals- We’ve seen some torn-up universals in our day. These components take a lot of abuse. Replacing the cross-pins before your course run can be a good idea. At the very least, check your universals for binding or regrease them if they look dry.
Bearings- Do you want to be “The Squeaky Guy?” Bearings take a lot of abuse and as they get covered in dirt or submerged in water, you risk the chance of bearing failure. If you hear squeaking, consider cleaning your bearings, blast them with a cleaner and re-oil them. Some go so far as to repack the bearing with grease. A bad bearing can eventually wreak havoc on your driveline on the trail. Fix it before it causes other possibly more expensive problems or dropping out of the race.
Gears- This is an important topic here. Many of crunchy transmissions have been heard along the trails at Axialfest. During your pretrip check, take a look at all of the gears. Do any look sharp, missing parts of their teeth, is your gearcase full of metal dust? Don’t leave it to a trail run to find our you needed to replace gears. In the axles, make sure the gear lash is correct between the bevel pinion and ring gear. Shims may be used to adjust gear lash. Inside of the center transmission, make sure your gears are well lubricated with grease. And finally, your pinion and spur. Make sure your mesh is correct, not too loose that your gears can skip and not too tight that it binds.
Slipper- Your slipper clutch is often the line of defense to protecting your transmission. When your rig gets caught up in a gap in the rocks and you pin the throttle, the slipper will slip rather than the gears skipping. You want the slipper tight enough so you get through gnarly obstacles, but you do need that slip for protection. A little trial and error works here in terms of setting. Always lean toward the loose side to start with.
Grease- As mentioned above a number of times. Grease, grease grease. Grease the gears, consider greasing the bearings, add grease to metal shafts inside of the axles, grease universal joints. Grease will keep these parts smooth and offer some protection from the elements.
Axle caps- The ends of the axles are secured with screws which if they back out can wreak havoc in many ways. Place a small dab of CA glue under the screw head before installing it to help secure it and prevent it from backing out during your run.


AF18 Rock Prep3

What To Carry

Parts Supplies- Beyond prepping your rig for the course, you should prep for those what if moments. What if a screw falls out, what if a part breaks. It’s a good idea to carry a small parts bin of hardware with you at all times. Pack the bin with an assortment of screws, nuts, set-screws, body pins, flanged bushings for the steering knuckles, axles pins and washers in case something falls off on a run. Next you’ll want to carry some more substantial parts like a spare shock, some spare links, a spare center universal set-up. An extra servo horn or even and extra servo. There are even some drivers who will pack an entire assembled axle, or center transmission, just in case…
Batteries- During a rock race or during the 5K you may need to swap batteries. For better performance or to make it to the end. Have several packs on hand for the events and stored in a LiPo sack for safe transport.
Tools- You know those little bags of allen wrenches and the box wrench that came with your kit? They make great lightweight travel tools and can fix most of the issues you’ll have to deal with on your rig. Now granted hand tools make the job easier, carry the basics, 1.5mm, 2.0mm and 2.5mm hex drivers; 5.5mm and 7.0mm nut drivers, long nose pliers, scissors and cutters can also be useful. Place them in a bag and put them in your backpack during your adventure.
Survival- Always carry water with you for hydration, in fact its pretty much mandatory for the 5K and a must for between rock racing runs.. Cisco Grove is at a higher elevation and having water on hand will keep you hydrated during your hikes. Also have some nutrition with you. Some power bars, trail mix or other foods can take the edge off your hunger while competing on the courses. It’s also good to have a small first aid kit in case you get a scratch or scrape on the trail. Wear a hat, use moisture wicking clothing, wear proper footwear such as Altra shoes that will keep you sure footed on the course.

AF18 Rock Prep5

The Axialfest Rock Racing and Altra Ultra events test both man or woman and machine. It’s a good idea to prep both your rig and yourself for these events. Train ahead of time for quick sprints and lengthy runs. Be prepared for all types of weather too. It can be cold in the mornings and hot in the afternoons. These events at Axialfest are to promote fun first and foremost, but racing can always get intense and being prepared can help you make it to the finish with success.

How To: Install Beef Patties in Method Beadlock Wheels

Install Beef Patties


Running weights in the front wheels of your trail rig or rocker racer can have significant benefits such as a lower center of gravity and improved stability.  After searching through options that would work with my Altra 5K Bomber Build, I came across these Beef Patties made by the same company that made the Beef Tubes I used inside my axles on the Bomber Build. The Beef Patties add 4.5 ounces to the front.  These along with the Beef Tubes inside my axles increased axle weight by 6 ounces.  These are not made specifically for the Axial Method Beadlock wheels, but they can be installed with minimal modification.


As you can see, the hubs don’t quite slide into the Beef Patties.  The hubs are just about 1mm too large in diameter, so a little sanding is necessary.


I used some 60 grit. It made quick work of the job.  Just a few passes on each nub is enough.


I stopped and checked clearance, almost there.  I just needed another pass on the sandpaper.


Boom, slid in like a glove.IMG_20170602_163046

The Beef Patties fit perfectly in behind the wheels.


Beef Tubes includes longer beefier hardware to mount them up. You can just see them poking out behind the spokes.


Best part is they are a close match to the color of all the aluminum bling on my Altra 5K Bomber.  You know bling is important, because it adds 3hp per bling. I’ve already done a test run and am very happy with the improved crawling and handling.  Definitely a great, quick, and easy hop up to improve the stability of your RR10 or other rig.

More Information: Beef Patties

Bomber Adventure – Skeeno Completes an Altra Ultra 5K Enduro

Skeeno Completes an Altra Ultra 5K

Words and photos by: Matt ‘Skeeno’ Soileau
Guest photography by: The Great Dominic Longoria

IMG_20170930_113508The tour made a stop in Reno, Nevada recently, so I finally got a chance to redeem myself after having to DNF in the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro at Axialfest 2017 due to a broken servo. If you’re not familiar with this race, you can read up on it’s history here: Altra Ultra 5K History


Since the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro is a self supported race, I needed to make sure I had what I needed to finish. First up was making sure I had enough mAh to power my RR10 Bomber for over 3 miles. You can learn more about mAh/mile here: mAh/Mile  I didn’t take any chances and charged up all my batteries, 15,800mAh! I hoped it would be enough.  I also packed my tools and water into my hydration pack.


The next morning when I arrived, there was already a good sized crowd gathered at the Wild West Motorsports Complex.


The Altra Ultra 5K Enduro was part of a larger event hosted by CKRC Hobbies that included comp crawlers, rock racing, and scale trails. CKRC’s Jason Copeland was handling the sign ups and even had some tasty doughnuts for anyone that wanted them.  I wanted them, but decided I better refrain since I was about to run/jog/speed-walk/hike for over 3 miles. I did grab one after I finished, and they were delicious.


It was easy to find the race coordinator with this sweet wrapped Sprinter van. I couldn’t resist a quick photo with my Bomber. Also, that guy is wearing my favorite Altra model, the Lone Peak 2.5.


Mr. Chris Cru Jones was already set up and taking entries. Check out those sweet decals from S.O.R. Graphics. What’s that stuff behind Chris?


Those are some sweet finishing prizes, hats, windbreakers, Camelbaks, kits, RTRs, and my favorite…


…these Axial Adventure sweatshirts.  XL too, just my size.


You probably recognize these 801 legends, MikeyT and PaulieB!


Mr. Chris Cru Jones gave us a quick driver’s meeting, so we all knew the rules. The rules are pretty basic, finish as fast as you can.


Can you find the Skeeno Bomber?


Mandatory group photo of the Fourteen Fuegos. Don’t be scared to come run an Altra Ultra 5K Enduro, you don’t really have to run the entire time.  My goal was to keep a good pace and finish.


Here’s a POV shot what it’s like to run a Altra Ultra 5K Enduro. It’s amazing how the difficulty level is raised when you are trying to hustle down the trail and drive at the same time.  It’s hard to watch your driving line and running line at the same time.  I can’t tell you how many times I center punched a rock with my front differential because I wasn’t watching my Bomber for a second.


The first part of this race was a pretty good climb to the top of this hill, 500′ of climbing in .3 mile. According to my Strava data, it was a 25-30% grade.


Luckily, there were some fun technical sections near the top to take your mind off the climbing.


Almost to the top here.


Those flags are the top, thank goodness!


I was feeling it already and this was only the first lap.  There were three laps in this race.


Ok, just kidding.  That wasn’t the top.  It was a false peak, and there was one last climb to the summit. That’s my trail-buddy, Tony Mazza down there.


He was getting close to these flagstone kickers.  It’s probably not the wise choice, but jumping was the fun choice.


I even waited to catch a photo of Mr. Mazza’s Bomber taking the jump.


We trail-raced at the summit for a while, so I could catch a few photos.


Ol’ Mista Werty was commissioned to be course marshal at the midway point.  I’m not sure why he has that umbrella, I don’t see any rain clouds in the sky.


After the summit, we turned and headed back towards the start.


Mr. Mazza left me in his dust when I stopped to refuel my Bomber.  Maybe I need to rethink my battery capacity.  5000mAh packs sound like a better choice than the 2200mAh packs I usually run.


You can see the start at the top, left of this picture. That’s about half a mile from here according to my Strava.


There was some fun technical sections back here.  Here Mighty Mike T.  pops an ollie down this section.


Mikey T. was pretty pleased with his performance, so much so that he even paused for a photo for me.


When arriving at this section the second time, I quickly ran over to the Dominic Longoria of CKRC requested he catch some photos of me while he was live streaming.


Dom took some great shots for trying to execute two film duties at once all while commentating. You are a great multitasker, Mr. Longoria.


I remember that rock trying to trip me, but my Altra Lone Peak 3.0′s kept me sure footed.


After an exciting event, I was excited to finish in the Top 10. When looking at my lap times, it was clear my decision to run lower capacity 2200mAh batteries as well as stop to take photos affected my time.  These choices slowed me down, and without them, I think I would have cut almost 10 minutes off my lap times and finished several places higher.  Perhaps I’ll rethink my strategy at the next Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.

So who wound up on top? Mike Thompson wearing the number 20 took home the win in a time of 1:08:21 with his personal fast lap being 22:03.7.  The “Altra Hot Lap” winner was Brandon Copeland (17) who set a blistering pace of 18.44 and finished second overall in 1:09:41.1. Taking the final podium spot was Paul Blackner (19) finishing in 1:14:11.9 and clicked off a personal fast lap of 23:03. Congrats on your finishes and walking home with some impressive Axial and Altra prizes. Congratulations are also in order for everyone who participated in the event as well as the staff behind the show. Now, will we see you at the next Altra Ultra 5K?

Find out more about Altra Ultra 5K Events:
Athletic RC Adventure Mashup – Inside the Axialfest Altra Ultra 5K Enduro

Athletic RC Adventure Mashup – Inside the Axialfest Altra Ultra 5K Enduro


Words and photos by: Greg Vogel

Axialfest 2017 Altra Ultra 5K

A lineup of radio control rock rigs sit behind a start/finish line. Batteries are charged, hardware has been checked, the rigs have been built to withstand a true torture test and the radios are on ready race. Where are the drivers? They’re stretching their muscles, tightening their Altra running shoes, making certain their backpacks are prepped with spare parts and of course water for hydration. Ah… What?! This is what the start of the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro looks like during Axialfest where drivers are put through the ultimate RC integrated sporting test. Not only preparing their bodies and mind for a 5K adventure run through some gnarly terrain, but also preparing their mind and RC machines to run to the grueling gauntlet as well.

Axialfest 2017 Altra Ultra 5K
The Altra Ultra 5K is the brainchild of Rodney Wills of Axial Racing who is constantly searching for new and exciting ways for Axial owners to enjoy their vehicles in their intended habitat and beyond. Rodney who is well known among Axialfest attendees has a broad range of interests and uses them to his advantage to create new experiences and the 5K may be one of the greatest RC event innovations in the history of the sport. Rodney was able to meld the sport of adventure running with adventure rock racing and based on the growth of attendees at the 2017 event over its inception a year prior, this has all the makings of being something big and here to stay.


Axialfest 2017 Altra Ultra 5K
Everything that happens at Axialfest is a team effort made up of Axial employees and enthusiastic volunteers. The Altra Ultra course at Axialfest is carefully scoped out weeks in advance and is set up before participants arrive.

Obstacles- If you enter the Altra Ultra, you’re in for a lot more than just the asphalt starting grid. Throughout the course, you’ll encounter terrain that will test your abilities both mentally and physically. On the trail you may navigate man-made jumps, rocks, logs, dirt, uphill terrain, water hazards, drainage piping to drive or crawl through. Yes, both you and your Axial rig will go through these tests. Not just once, but a number of times such as the six laps to complete the 5K run in the 2017 event.

Markers- To determine the course boundaries, red and green streamer tape is used to define the course for the runners. Volunteers or marshals are positioned at strategic points to help assist participants in running the proper direction, to make sure that vehicle rollover/ recovery rules are followed and to make race directors aware of those who drop out or stop for repair.

RC Needs- A wide variety of Axial based vehicles hit the trail from stock out of the box Axial SCX10 II XJ’s to original SCX10’s, Wraiths and Bombers. Many drivers obviously spent hours prepping their rigs to withstand abuse with parts from Axial supporting aftermarket companies. Some participants however were in it for the fun and are there challenging themselves to simply finish with the vehicle they have. This is what is so exciting to see. Although some are in the race for its competitive aspects, many are there to enjoy this event and race toward their own goals to establish their personal best time. But if you are the type itching to compete among the top runners, the Axial Bomber seemed to be the machine of choice to start with.

Athlete Needs- Proper equipment is a must for the runner/ driver too. Be prepared to work on your machine if necessary. Have a small tool kit and a small box of essential parts. A backpack is of course in order too, to carry these items and a means of hydration. Axial was kind enough to provide water at certain points on the trail, but a leisurely stop to grab water adds seconds to your time. Many runners used Camelbak packs for hydration and those backpacks were also used to secure equipment. The equipment needs don’t end there, proper clothing is a must. Sure, it was a bit chilly in the early morning at Cisco Grove, but the day comes in quickly with the heat and as you run, you’ll heat up too. Wear shorts, and an athletic sweat wicking shirt so your body doesn’t overtemp like a nitro engine leaned out. Perhaps the most important item for preparedness is having the right footwear and the main sponsor of the event is a favorite among the participants. Ten of the top eleven finishers were sporting Altra Running footwear designed specifically for adventure running.


Axialfest 2017 Altra Ultra 5K
If you want to go for the cash and prizes… ok, maybe just prizes, you’re going to have to start preparing months in advance. In a discussion with this year’s winner Jake Wright, he discussed spending lots of time training by running everyday and eating healthy. He also spent time practicing with his rig and making sure he knew its handling traits. At the event, you will want to pace yourself, know your limits and the limits of your machine. Going full wick from the start might result in tiring yourself out too soon. You’ll need to consider conserving your rigs energy too, as battery change stops take time. Ripping on your rig at full throttle isn’t considered the best strategy. Full throttle bursts will use up more power than a consistent speed. Those full throttle runs where your machine becomes a spec in your sight might not be the best strategy either. By the time you catch up you may have realized your machine is not in the best position to tackle an obstacle, resulting in time lost for you to stop, back up and attack the course line from a new angle.


Axialfest 2017 Altra Ultra 5K
The Altra Ultra 5K Enduro is not a free-for-all such as the exciting adventure trails at Axialfest. Each participant checks in at the Altra timing station and receives a number badge to wear. At the start of the event, runners will pair up to run on their own clock. Runners will start the race in increments ten seconds apart to give proper spacing rather than risking a massive pile up of bodies and machines in the first turn or obstacle. Each lap, a staff member positioned at the start finish line will call out the participants number as does the participant to insure their lap has been recorded by an official. Timing and laps are monitored by staff and they will let you know when the 5K has been completed. The looks on the faces of participants who were told they had one lap to go when they thought they had finished was pretty entertaining for spectators.

Axialfest 2017 Altra Ultra
The start of the Enduro is pure excitement, pure adrenaline, hooting and hollering, laughs and friendly bets being passed among those ramping up for the event. Through lap one those same enthusiastic people trek their way through the trail generally with a look of excitement on their faces, some with concentration as they try to memorize mistakes and map out perfect lines so they know what to do next lap. But as they hit that second lap, it’s evident that a wave of seriousness is setting in. No longer is this a fun jaunt, this is a mission. The terrain is changing and breathing is a bit heavier. On lap three, beads of sweat trickling down runners faces is evident and layers of clothes worn in the chilly early morning have been tossed to a friend encouraging their favorite driver alongside the road. Lap four brings on concern. “Is the rig going to hold up? Did I use enough locktite on the screws crosses the mind of many. Am I going to have to change the battery soon. I think I need some water.” These questions repeat over and over in the drivers minds. Then it’s on to lap five and as runners pass the line, their faces drop as the timer tells them there’s one lap to go. This is it, time to push your body, time to drive smart. The course has dramatically changed, your mind is racing. This is “The Push!” Time to make it happen, gather up every last ounce of energy, put your trust in your machine and finish the race strong to reach your goal; which for some is pure bragging rights that they conquered the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.

Axialfest 2017 Altra Ultra
For each and every person that starts the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro, there is a deserved sense of pride, especially for this year’s first female competitor, Katie Murphy. And for those that finish, there is a real sense of accomplishment. For those who treated this race as a professional event, there is even more at the finish line. The top three finishers at this years Axialfest went home with a big bounty that is rather impressive in terms of event prizes. The top three each received an Axialfest 2017 themed Prospector Pan labeled with their finishing order and a gift certificate towards a new pair of Altra Running shoes. And each received a unique prize such as full-scale BFGoodrich tires, Method Race Wheels and a Magnaflow exhaust. Where else do you find prizes like this in the RC world? Congratulations to the 2017 top three: 1st Jake Wright, 2nd Mike Thompson, 3rd Kyle Listul!

Axialfest Enduro Finish
The Altra Ultra 5K Enduro is not for everyone. Or is it? In true Axial fashion, everyone is encouraged to participate and there are some competitive adventurous types who give it a try and leave the race when they reach their limit. At Axialfest 2017 rumblings of modifying the program was overheard to accommodate those who want to push the limits more. Perhaps the program can be modified too to accommodate different age brackets with varying distances? One wild rumor circulated John Schultz would head to Cisco Grove even earlier to build several Ultra courses (Rodney said it was okay.) Keep in mind, anything can happen at Axialfest, a new twist, a new challenge, the unknown is why so many are drawn here. What is known is that the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro is an amazing event that delivers participants more than just a chance to drive an RC car, you get a memorable experience. So are you in? Follow Axial on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the Axial-blog as well as for upcoming Altra Ultra 5K Enduro event announcements.



ALTRA RUNNING SHOES – Official Sponsor of AXIALFEST 2017

Axial is proud to welcome Altra Footwear back for their 2nd year, returning as the title sponsor for the Altra Ultra 5k Enduro and as the official shoe of RC! After an amazing year one, Altra is excited to return and continue to help fuel the growth of the new Ultra 5k race format not only here at Axialfest but also as a partner with Axial in the new Scale Ultra Series!

To help you prepare for Axialfest 2017, Altra is offering an exclusive code to Axialfest attendees. Use the code: AxialAltra20 on to snag some comfy new kicks for the trail. Altra trail shoes are the perfect blend of comfort and traction for long days on the trails. Whether hiking, running or a mixture of the two, Altra has the shoe for you.


Altra’s trail shoes were built selfishly to conquer the peaks, trails and multitudes of varying terrain that surround our Utah headquarters. Our passion,
hunger and blood, sweat and tears went into every model to conquer whatever trail presents itself. Our shoes can be found every weekend running 5Ks to ultra marathons, thru hiking the PCT or Appalachian trail or on the feet of the Altra Offroad Team. (link: Our shoes are
Inspired by our Mountains, built and ready to take on your World.


Skeeno’s AXIALFEST2016 Report Part 2 of 3


In the Skeeno’s AXIALFEST2016 Report Part 1, I went over the first day of AXIALFEST2016. Part 2 will cover the sights and sounds of the second day of AXIALFEST2016.

First up on Friday morning, after breakfast of course, was the ALTRA ULTRA 5K ENDURO.  That’s right, A FULL SIZE 5K with Axial rigs! Lets clarify this even further! We are talking about a full-size 5K where participants will run while driving their Axial rigs over tough and rugged terrain as fast as possible! The Axial Crew built a roughly 0.6 or 0.7 kilometer course next to Vendor Row. Participants had to complete a total of 8 laps to complete the race.

DSCF0278Axial penned this as the premiere class for AXIALFEST2016! They chose the right to minimize vehicle allowances to showcase the ATHLETES of R/C! With the participation and sponsorship of ALTRA running shoes, it was apparent that the two parties were serious about this class! They even required timing transponders! The RR10 Bomber seemed to be the vehicle of choice for the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.


And these RR10 Bombers are really cool!  I’m already planning my build and running the Altra Ultra next year.


Before the race, John Schultz & Rodney Wills briefed the course marshals on their responsibilities and the mission at hand.  Course marshals has two jobs during the race. The first task was to ensure safety and sportsmanship.  The second task was to to provide real time updates via radio back to the announcers booth, so lead changes and running order could be announced to the crowd on FM 105.3 KAXL. Up until the last couple of laps, when it was radio silence as far as driver placement!


Fire up those ESCs, it’s getting close.  All drivers had to stage by checking in their transponders before the race could be started.


Before the starting tone, the National Anthem was played.  Tree proved to be the great flag pole and Casey of ScalerFab lent her smooth voice for a fantastic rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.


Chris Cru Jones was sporting the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 trail sneakers.  That is THE official shoe of the Altra Ultra 5k! Not sure if those are Altra socks or not, but they compliment his racing kit perfectly.  I already got a pair of the Lone Peak 2.5. You should to. I’m telling you, the Foot Shape Toe Box is legit. They come in both a regular top and mid-top.


Jack “Jack Smash” Ingberg from CKRC Hobbies makes one last check of the system before the race began.


These guys look serious. Helmets, check. Full communication system, check. Altra running shoes, well… NEXT TIME! For those of you who may or may not know… On the left is Randall Davis of Axial and official spotter for Cody Waggoner’s Lazernut moon buggy race car. They were competing the previous weekend up the road at Donner Summit and came down to experience the whole AXIALFEST thing! That’s why we lucked out and got to drive his moon buggy yesterday. While Randall knows a thing or two about R/C’s, Cody himself is an OG Axial team driver from the comp days!


And like that, BAM! They were off.  Some drivers sprinted, others did the trail trot, and others walked quickly.  There was definitely some strategy to ensure the body and car survived all five kilometers.


Chris Cru Jones and Ryan Gerrish took it easy on the first big turn, but were moving quickly.


Looks like Click and Clack are discussing line choices before proceeding.


Down into the creek bed, things got rocky and wet, but not snorkel & scuba Steve deep, just axle level.


Charlie Suangka brought his own whistle to cheer himself on.  Everyone else also shouted encouragement to him and all the drivers. It was a little like a mountain bike enduro race.


Course marshals kept an eye on drivers to make sure there was no funny business in the more challenging sections.


Jose Fernando Munoz, aka Ferndogg310, got up-close footage of the action. Here he films Mike Thompson and THE Jake Wright. His videos should be on his YouTube page soon if not now.


Up by the pavilion, the course looked tame, but you had to choose your line wisely. And what you can’t see is the entanglement just behind them!


I couldn’t tell if some guys were driving in teams or not.  They always seemed to be in pairs. This section was the signature Cody Waggoner death box as he personally gave his input on rock placement as well as picked and hauled most of these rocks down to this section.


Chris Cru Jones’s headband might have been a little tight. I caught him trying to drive sideways.


That’s Jason Sherer’s new race rig sitting up by the pavilion.  He, and Jason Berger, are known for winning the 2009 King of the Hammers, the toughest off-road race in the world!


Speaking of off-road racing legends, that’s Casey Currie driving his RR10 Bomber.  If you haven’t heard of Casey, you might want to check out


Just in case any driver needed medical attention, Axial had two EMTs on site during the festivities.  Here they observe the Altra Ultra drivers as they run by.


THE Jake Wright is really working up a sweat. Look at the shine on his forehead. If you want to know who won, too bad.  We didn’t get to find out until the awards ceremony, so I’ll keep you in suspense also… You may already know… but, just in case…


Kevin Jelich & Jack Smash where holding down the real-time timing! Massive THANK YOU to the scoring and timing crew!!! Timing and scoring crew consisted of CKRC’s Dominic Longoria (not shown) & Jack “Jack Smash” Ingberg along with the help of A-Main Hobbies Kevin Jelich.


On Friday the Starkey’s Food Truck made it’s way into the campground.


Pizza and sushi, sounds like an interesting combo, but it worked.  Their Ahi Poke Roll was excellent.  Skeeno Jr. reported that her Napoli Pepperoni and Cheese pizza was equally delicious. I can vouch for the pizza, because Skeeno Jr. didn’t finish hers and I got to enjoy a couple slices. There’s no dieting rules at AXIALFEST.


The swings got full use all weekend long as there seemed to be a ton of kids in attendance at this year’s AXIALFEST.


Ok, this was awesome. I want this paint scheme on my CT70.


After lunch, you know what time it was, ADVENTURE TIME! Over 1,000 Adventurists obliged for the group photo before heading out to the trails. If you missed the World’s Largest RC Surface Event this year, you better be making plans for AXIALFEST2017!
Start by reserving your camp spot with Cisco Grove Campground!
Address: 48415 Hampshire Rocks Rd, Soda Springs, CA 95728
Phone: (530) 426-1600


As the Adventurists headed off to explore the seven different trails, I spotted Guam’s finest, the Naputi Posse. As we finished snapping the photo, I turned around to leave so I could go get some photos of the adventurist action, but was distracted by a commotion in the back lot. I ran over to check it out.  Was someone injured?  Was a dog lost?
Now, before you go any further, get your tissues ready.


It was Vanquish President, Steve Brown, presenting AXIALFEST2016 event organizer, Mr. Rodney Wills with a special gift as Steve and Rodney have known each other for over 10+ years! Yes, it caught Rodney completely off guard and even brought some tears. You may not be aware, but Rodney is the conductor of everything at AXIALFEST. Of course, he has lots of help.  He has helpers from around the globe assisting, but he works almost year round planning and coordinating for the event on top of his regularly schedule full time Axial job!  Yes, and now the team is already working on bigger and better things for AXIALFEST2017. I know this because I am already getting texts, phone calls and emails from him!


So, as a thank you for all his hard work for Axial and all the sponsors, Rodney received a ‘Vanquished Out’ Axial SCX10 JK. Here he’s inspecting it to make sure it passes tech while emotionally choked up and his daughter and team look on.


I heard rumor that there were some pre-production prototypes pieces as well as every Vanquish part available for the SCX10 on there.  Even Mike Pham would be envious of this thing!

DSCF0442 Cue the tissues. Rodney was very appreciative of the gift, but more importantly, the recognition.  He wanted to make sure you knew that he does all this (AXIALFEST), so YOU can enjoy your Axial vehicles with other Axial fans-owners-enthusiasts. He may be the man behind the scenes, but he has been doing it all for YOU since his first event in 2011!


Thank you Rodney for making AXIALFEST such an awesome event for all the enthusiast of Axial products.


Now, back to the Adventurist trails. See if you can spot yourself in here somewhere.



#yearofthebridges I think this was called Chopstix Bridge built by Rodney Wills himself! SO many bridges this year! Thank you to all who helped make all the bridges!

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Pura Vida! The Costa Rican Crew made their way up the infamous slab of doom.  Don’t worry, Marco, I won’t tell them you rolled down this a few times. Everyone does if you’re pushing the limits!

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Lots of families and friends gathered to watch the action in the creek bed.


This Adventurist was showing her little sister how to drive. Maybe next year little one.


Camping and RC with your brother, sounds like a good time to me.

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This young lady shows her brother how to drive.  I heard him ask to have a sip of her Driver Juice.

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There were lots of new SCX10-II’s out on the trails.  I was amazed how many Axialfesters built these up so quickly for AXIALFEST2016.


Owensville Crawlers in the House, errr Campground!

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Veteran-Axialfester and elder, Dapper Don Hughes is so legendary, he has his own pit crew with him on trail to do his repairs.

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This young Adventurist was driving her tail off.


Here she gets a high five from her dad for doing such an awesome job navigating a difficult section.


Down the old Hell’s Highway back to camp.


I was lucky enough to get a little down time on Friday night, so Skeeno Jr. and I joined Tree for a little night run.


Had to dip the tires to cool off a bit.


#yearofthebridges I had to show Tree how to traverse the Bamboo Bridge.  Unfortunately, I could’t take photos and drive, so you just get a picture of Tree driving on tree limbs and about to fall off. I of course made it across with no issues.

That’s a wrap on Day 2 of AXIALFEST2016.

Look for Part 3 of Skeeno’s AXIALFEST2016 Report where I’ll go over Day 3.