You are definitely right about the end of the game. Adding more rods was a last minute thing because I thought the game was too easy. But there is a little strategy in getting both characters on the centre spot to win. If the snail is on the centre and a sand token is drawn, it has to move away. So the winning move is to get one character on the centre with the other character within one move and hope you draw their token.
Thanks for the feedback!