The epic race to build the LEGO® Icons Land Rover Classic Defender 90
A biting wind cuts through the air, as two eager adventurers find themselves in the Scottish Highlands, preparing for the ultimate off-road race.
Organized by the LEGO Group in partnership with Land Rover, they’re about to embark on an epic adventure to the top of Rotmell Hill, a 1037 ft (316 m) mountain (the same height as approximately fifty-eight giraffes).
However, this is no ordinary climb. They’ll each get behind the wheel of a Land Rover Classic Defender 90 and will have to navigate the terrain while mastering the raw power of this 4x4 icon. With highly functional steering and four-wheel drive, the Land Rover was built for adventures like this.
Once they reach the top, a second task awaits...and it may have something to do with LEGO® bricks.
The smell of adventure is in the air but who will get to the top and complete the challenge first?
We have all behind-the-scenes action here...
Meet the adventurers
Aldo is a world-record setting adventurer from Scotland and an expert in extreme hostile and remote locations. He’s even ventured to Mount Nyiragongo, one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“I’ve spent my life going on adventures since I was a young boy. Putting myself into situations that are sometimes dangerous...or sometimes just long and hard, I find you learn from them so much more than you ever would in the classroom or in a job.”
He’s feeling anxious about the challenge because he hasn’t built a LEGO set since he was a child.
Raha is the first Arab woman to climb Mount Everest and the Seven Summits. Originally from Saudi Arabia, she’s fiercely competitive and pushes herself out of her comfort zone to achieve her goals.
“I started my career wanting to climb, wanting to be an athlete. People laughed at me, told me I was going to be a failure, but I started anyway...and I think the most important lesson is to take the first step.”
As a child, she would receive a LEGO set every Eid, and this love for building continues into her adult life...
“I don’t think Aldo has the patience I do, and I don’t think he has the experience building a LEGO set like I do,” she continues.
The drivers set off and Aldo is feeling confident about the journey ahead. His home turf advantage is clear to see, and his experience driving off-road puts him in good stead.
Raha approaches with a little more caution as she harnesses the power of the Land Rover.
“This is his land. He knows how to handle such a car on that side of the road, so he already has an advantage in many aspects,” says Raha.
“The sheer size and power of the Land Rover Defender was very overwhelming in the beginning and then they threw in some of the bumpiest terrain I’ve ever seen in my life. It was just epic. There was a point when one wheel wasn’t even touching the ground,” she adds.
Watch the full race to the top here...
Reaching the top
After two hours, Raha’s competitive edge pays dividends and she reaches the top of the mountain first, just seconds before Aldo. But the race doesn’t stop there.
Perched on the summit sits a bright yellow Land Rover Defender, home to the world’s smallest and most remote LEGO Store. The second stage of the challenge is about to begin.They must go head-to-head to build the new LEGO Icons Land Rover Classic Defender 90, however long it takes.
Aldo hasn’t built a LEGO set for over thirty years.
“Building through the night is going to be tough. We are up high here. It’s cold, it’s winter, it’s getting dark, and it’s been snowing...maybe that’s where I’ll get one up on Raha as she’s coming from a much warmer climate,”he says.
As the darkness draws in and temperatures drop below zero, both opponents start to lose dexterity in their hands and visibility becomes difficult. It’s a challenge not to lose any LEGO pieces in the process (and the level of detail in the set makes it even more tricky).“I’ve operated in some of the most extreme and hostile locations...when things get hard, usually people start to work together and by the end of the process, Raha and I were working together” he continues.
“It’s been quite tough, quite rigorous, hard work, tiring, cold, wet, damp and using my brain, which altogether is all the ingredients for a really, really good adventure,” explains Aldo.They didn’t give up and food was their greatest fuel. As it got closer to the finish line, they remembered it’s a competition and it was game on.
Land Rover and the Land Rover logo are trademarks owned and licensed by Jaguar Land Rover Limited.
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