THE ROC Race came in like a wrecking ball ... and won the hearts of participants.

More than 18,000 people travelled to the Sunshine Coast Stadium over the weekend to experience the Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge and its infamous wrecking balls.

Many of them learnt the hard way how easy it was to be a Wipeout contestant critic from the comfort of your own sofa.

Yesterday, they realised it was not as easy as it looks when they were able to live it for themselves.

The five-kilometre obstacle course, featuring the brand new sweeper and the dreaded jump balls, left participants exhilarated, exhausted and more than a little elated once they flew down the world's largest inflatable water slide to cross the finish line.

Like many participants, Gold Coast residents Bobbie Lloyd and Katie Hawkins are huge fans of the Wipeout television show.

The duo, who enjoyed a road trip up with friends Chris Hall and Brent McIvor, were determined to beat the deadly wrecking ball obstacle.

But the combination of a slippery round beam and giant swinging balls saw them all plummet into the water and do the swim of shame to the other side.

"I've never done anything like this before and it was awesome," Ms Lloyd said with a huge smile plastered across her face.

"The bouncing balls were harder than we thought watching them on TV."

The Sunshine Coast Stadium copped a few showers on the weekend, but ROC Race national marketing manager Tim "Wishy" Wiche, said it only enhanced the experience for participants.

"There are some wicked foam pits out there and once the water hits those, they increase in fun ten-fold," he said.

The Coast event was the third in Australia this year, following events in Sydney and Melbourne.

But Mr Wiche said numbers on the Coast easily compared with the bigger capital cities and tickets to the Kawana event had sold out in a record four hours.

"We love the Sunshine Coast set-up, you have the perfect environment in the stadium, the (Sunshine Coast) council has been very accommodating and everyone is just so happy to be here," he said.

Mr Wiche said the Coast had also entered the ROC history books by becoming the first place to host a twilight event on Saturday night.

"We had almost 5000 people come in for that, which is fantastic," he said.



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