10 Things You Didn’t Know About Storm the Wall

Please note that UBC Recreation has cancelled this event to reduce COVID-19 risks.

If you’ve been around the Nest lately, you may have noticed the strong scent of bark mulch and seen a couple of very tall looking walls, which can only mean one thing. The annual Storm the Wall is here! Students will swim, sprint, bike, run and climb over a 12-foot wall to complete the relay race.

“Storm the Wall is the only event I would fly back from exchange for!” – Kelly Z.

This iconic UBC event is taking place across four days, from March 21st – March 24th. You’ve heard the stories and seen the photos, but how much do you really know about this UBC tradition? Here are ten more things you didn’t know about Storm the Wall.


This is the 42nd year that Storm the Wall will take place


As one of UBC’s longest-running traditions, it has become a bucket list item that every UBC student should experience!


It is the largest intramural event in North America!


Each year, the event hosts 800 teams or roughly 3,500 participants.


The race is technically a pentathlon – a relay race consisting of five different activities


Teams sign in groups of five, but only four team members are actively on the course. The final team member acts as the designated “wall person”, who joins the team at the end of the route as they all climb over the wall together.


You can try to complete by yourself!


Iron Legends do the entire race alone. They swim, sprint, bike, and run, before trying to take the walls. Even if you don’t think you can race in this heat, it’s definitely one you don’t want to miss watching.


The walls aren’t actually 12 feet tall – they’re even taller than that!


While participants end up climbing a total of 12 feet, the walls alone stand about 13.5 feet tall. This is because the bottom foot and a half are covered by bark mulch!


The walls are actually slanted by 12 degrees


While 12 degrees doesn’t seem like much help, when the event first took place, the walls were completely vertical!


Participants can choose to race in the “gag heat”

And come up with hilarious ways to storm the walls. In the gag heat, teams are in it just for fun, and each team comes up with creative ways to complete the race. From swimming with pool floaties to running with a banana costume on and a massive speaker strapped to their back, it seems like participants have tried almost everything imaginable!


A team once used a ladder to get over the wall


One of the most memorable gag heats had a team bring a ladder to the walls! Each team member completed their leg of the race carrying a section of a ladder. When they all got to the walls and put the pieces together, the ladder didn’t seem to be tall enough! The team proceeded by digging up the final piece of their ladder from within the bark mulch and successfully climbed their way over the wall.


Don’t miss out on your chance to participate in Storm the Wall this year – register your team by this Friday, March 13th at 5:00 pm!