A modern version of an absolute classic takes place on Sunday (2 December) when the Hogs Back race returns for the 58th year. This historic event is now based at the beautiful Loseley Park Estate near Guildford and is promoted by Guildford and Godalming AC and aat-events, with 1,000 runners expected to compete.
Last year's Hogs Back featured 'challenging' weather, with wind and rain making conditions underfoot on the off-road section through the Tudor manor house grounds unpredictable. This did not prevent the host club's John Sanderson from claiming his second consecutive Hogs Back victory in 36:42 for the 11.7 kilometres. Holly McGuigan (Ranelagh Harriers, 47:58) took the women's top prize.
A record entry saw 763 runners who all finished inside two hours but an early sell out of this year's entries could take the number of finishers into four figures. This year, organisers will hide 12 'Golden Pigs' around the Loseley site and lucky finders will be rewarded with a bottle of Tongham T.E.A (which isn't tea) courtesy Hogs Back Brewery.
One unusual feature is that users of wearable technology who study their post-run trace should see the outline of a hog when they download their run details! The course is tough, with a pig of a climb up The Mount before a quick glance at the view followed by a rapid descent past Watts Gallery and back into Loseley Estate beside Withies Pub to the finish.
All finishers will receive a bespoke hog-shaped medal and complimentary refreshments. The free catering can be topped up with bacon and sausage baps by The Giggly Pig Company and coffees from Cafe2U and there is free parking for all off New Pond Road.
The race is Guildford and Godalming AC's largest annual fundraiser but also raises funds for local charities such as Shooting Star Chase.
Results of this and all the weekend's events will be on runABC South's
comprehensive race listing here