Eight Point Two

Sheffield Hog Dash, Hesley Woods, Chapeltown (24/11/07)
December 16, 2009, 3:29 pm
Filed under: Whole Hog 2007 Series | Tags:

The day dawned with very autumnal weather. There was a thin veneer of ice on the lake which was followed by a howling wind and a steady downpour of rain!! Lovely.

We opted for two laps of a 3 ½ mile course which took us through the Hesley Woods and Hesley Pit sites (thanks to Yorkshire Forward for allowing us to use it!).

From the start the competitors were taken on a 400m hilly loop which then headed straight in to the woods. A short and twisting track through the trees soon led to the first of the obstacles – a 200m maze of trip wires, cargo nets, crawls and short climbs. This soon thinned the competitors out and it was then another short run until the first proper hill scramble. Ropes were in place up and down the steep (and muddy) slope but the incline was steep enough to raise the heart beat!

More beautiful wooded tracks led on to the next series of obstacles: a collection of ‘up and over’ beams and climbs. From the edge of the woods the competitors dropped down to the balance beam across the stream and then through a boggy area to the second ‘roped’ hill climb in Hesley Pit. This steep climb led up to the plateau where competitors quickly descended back down a very muddy track then up on another rope to the plateau.

It was head to wind right across the top of the plateau for ¾ km where the route then dropped down in to another bowl only to climb back up to the plateau. Tired legs then headed over to the ‘stepping stones’ which had been laid across the top of an extremely wet and boggy section. From here the competitors dropped back in to Hesley Woods to find themselves on the wrong side of a lake. Luckily boats were on hand to get people across and the competitors heaved themselves over to the opposite bank.

Once over it was a steady climb back to the quad bike course where the competitors manoeuvred tires around the track and picked up their orienteering punch sheets. A quick dash was all that was needed to get back to the start, ready for the second lap!

Of course the ‘Whole Hog’ wouldn’t be that unless there was an ultimate challenge, and this was provided on the second lap back at the lakes. Instead of crossing the lakes we had managed to find what was to become known as the ‘Hog Pit’. Competitors will know exactly what I mean but to the uninitiated it could be described as a mud bath with obstacles!! It started with a short cargo net scramble, then a barrel climb (through a river). Some people managed to stay relatively clean up until the next obstacle: a ramp that competitors were forced to climb up then jump back down in to the bog. After wallowing out of the bog, the competitors made their way over to a 30m long tunnel (half full of water!)

It was good to see that the majority of the competitors went the Whole Hog and completed all of the obstacles and challenges. Shame on you for those who didn’t!!

The Race

We had 147 competitors ready to go the Whole Hog! It was an excellent mix of very able athletes and those out to challenge themselves! We were delighted to have around 90 charity competitors, so some great causes will benefit from the efforts of the racers.

The team race was keenly contested and, in the end, it was an outstanding performance from the Imperial College team who were raising money for Save the Children and took a combined time of 1 hour 1 minute and 32 seconds.

The individual races were also well competed. Ben Waller won the male category whilst Anita Blow won the female race. Well done everyone!

Thank You

Big thanks to Hesley Woods and Yorkshire Forward for allowing us to use their land. Huge thanks to all the charities that got involved – especially Neurocare who managed to have nearly 50 competitors running for them!


2007 Hog’s On the Run Wantisden Hall, Suffolk Race Report
December 16, 2009, 3:28 pm
Filed under: Whole Hog 2007 Series | Tags:

Two laps of a beautiful and varied 8km circuit made up the 16km of off road adventure which was the 2007 course. The route was largely cross country (literally) with everything from bog to field (and lakes) to run across. Each circuit crossed a diverse range of landscapes and made use of the undulating terrain wherever we could.

Competitors started at Hog Alley which was a 750m stretch of narrow conifers – the initial sprint start soon led to various hurdles, scrambles and crawls. The route then followed a field boundary down to the bottom lakes where, after a short hill climb through the trees, the competitors turned back towards Wantisden and headed in to Cargo Alley. Cargo Alley was a 100 metre stretch of more complex obstacles made up of scramble nets and balance bars, ropes and tyres.

From Cargo Alley the route followed another tree line back up to the road, turned left, then eventually cut across a newly ploughed field for 300 metres (nice for the legs). Another ½ kilometre later and the course led in to Staveton woods where there was the Hog Piste. Hog Piste was a 15metre drop on a wet and slippery tarpaulin into a hole in the ground! What goes down must come up on Hog races so the competitors then climbed up the other side of Hog Piste on more slippery tarpaulin.

Staveton Woods led quickly to Bomb Alley – a series of old aircraft fuel cylinders strapped together to create ‘pyramids’ to climb over. Competitors hurdled and climbed these then dropped down to the lakes complex. First obstacle was a balance beam across a stinking bog (no one fell in!) then a test of competitor’s analytical skills as they navigated themselves around the islands. “One way on and one way off” were the rules – most made it, but not all!

A short boggy section led around to the Human 4 by 4 site where the competitors had to memorise a map of an orienteering course then go and locate 4 of the points. No problem!

Another ¾ km led back to the start but first was ‘The Bunkers’ – a line of sandy dunes and hills which competitors climbed in to and out of! 100m later and it was over the start line for the beginning of the 2nd lap.

The 2nd lap was a repeat of the first lap along with a few additional challenges. Competitors would need to get wet if they didn’t want to accrue any penalties so the pressure was on to go the ‘Whole Hog’. The three main differences were the ‘Postman’s Walk’ across the bottom lakes which gave the competitors the option of battling the parallel ropes or jumping in and pulling themselves across on the lower rope. The lower rope was quicker but the water was nearly 5 foot deep so required a bit of a swim!

The obstacles were far more demanding on the 2nd lap as tired legs had to operate over tricky balance bars and obstacles. The final ‘Bunkers challenge’ was great to watch as competitors, who were only a 100m from the finish line, had to complete a circuit of gruelling sand scrambles and climbs.

The Race

Everyone got off to a quick start after ‘the rocket’ got things going! The first few obstacles hardly slowed the main pack but as they came on to Cargo Alley the race was beginning to thin out. Steven Robinson (Team; RAF PTI’s), was starting to take an early lead closely followed by Alex fortune (Team; Brown Wings) and Thomas Jarrett (individual racer). These three battled the whole race out with the eventual fastest time of (1.34.36) being run by Steve Robinson.

Kayleigh Stevenson (2.03.25) (Team; RAF PTI’s) ran the fastest female time and put in an excellent performance overall.

The team race was where it was at and the top places were fought out with some vengeance. Most of the action was between RAF PTI’s, Brown Wings, Border Jumpers and Plebs. It was a close run race but Brown Wings nipped it with the fastest time but then owned up to accidentally missing a short section of the course. They were consequently penalised and the team competition was won by The Plebs! Well Done! The 2nd prize was then given to the Brown wings.

3rd Prize was awarded to the Border Jumpers – but after re checking the maths it was realised that the RAF PTI’s should have got 3rd. Apologies to the teams involved!

Thank You

I would just like to say a big thank you to all of the competitors for the 2007 event. Everyone went the ‘Whole Hog’ and there were very few refusals on any of the challenges.

It was our first event of this nature so we have learnt loads. We are genuinely grateful for all of the feedback and it seems that most of you enjoyed the race and the obstacles (some of you wanted more!).

I would particularly like to thank Alex Fortune at RAF Wattisham for his support and encouragement. Ipswich tri – club for their involvement and feedback and lastly St Elizabeth’s Hospice who had fundraisers completing the event from both Attwells Solicitors and PKF Accountants.


The 2008 event is already booked for the 2nd November. We have some grand plans for the 2008 route which will be different from this year. We will start in Wantisden but we will go in to Bentwaters where we have some great challenges planned. We aim to make use of the old aircraft hangers and a few tunnels which we have found!! Watch this space! You all seemed to love the water challenges so you should expect to see more of those!