Gung-Ho obstacle course heading for Edinburgh

Alex Winters on the Thriller. Picture: contributed
Alex Winters on the Thriller. Picture: contributed
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IT’S the attraction that’s guaranteed to have city residents slip sliding away.

Britain’s biggest obstacle course – featuring a 70-foot-high inflatable slide billed as the world’s tallest – is on its way to the Capital.

Organisers at Gung-Ho want to build it in the Meadows, where up to 5000 participants will take on the five-kilometre route.

Creator Alex Winters said 2300 people had already signed up, adding that advance sales for the jamboree, which is due to take place on June 11, were strong.

Describing the Meadows as the “perfect venue”, he said: “Runners will be lucky enough to look over the city as well as see Arthur’s Seat.

“I’m half-tempted to climb up there and set the runners off using a huge PA system.

“We are expecting a huge crowd and I want to say thank you to everyone who has snapped up tickets so far.

“I promise you will have loads of fun and enjoy an absolutely unique experience.”

Three similar events were held in 2015 – in Liverpool, Newcastle and Windsor – with Edinburgh set to become the first Scottish location.

Mr Winters said he came up with the idea for an inflatable obstacle course while watching the Ninja Warrior television show with his children.

The brainwave has since spawned what he described as a “new craze”. Tens of thousands of people are expected to snap up places at planned gatherings in 2016, with UK charities set to benefit thanks to sponsorship and local partnerships.

Mr Winters said the Capital would be an ideal host city.

“I have spent lots of time in Edinburgh as I have family living nearby and have been to the festival many times,” he added.

“I love it there – it is an incredible city. Since I came up with the concept of Gung-Ho it has been a dream to get it to Scotland, and now that dream has become a reality.

“The Scottish nation encapsulates what Gung-Ho is all about so it was only a matter of time until we went north of the border.”

But the proposal has sparked concern among community leaders who doubted whether the Meadows was a “suitable” site and warned that local sports clubs could be squeezed out.

Heather Goodare, convener of Friends of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links, said the plans would have to be carefully examined.

She said: “I haven’t heard about it but seems to me it would be rather out of the place in the Meadows.

“I wouldn’t have thought it’s suitable. It sounds as if it would take up the whole of the park.

“There are lots of cricket matches and other gatherings which take place on Saturdays.

“This would just get in the way.”

johnpaul.holden@edinburghnews.com