The sold out Hogs Back Road Race, organised by multi-award winning organisers aat-events on behalf of Guildford and Godalming AC (GGAC), returned to the superb setting of Loseley Park Estate near Guildford for the 58th edition of this historic race on Sunday (2 December).
Last year's record of 763 finishers was obliterated as 980 runners completed the 'undulating' 11.4 kilometres course over the eponymous Hogs Back in 1:44:18.
Host club GGAC had plenty to cheer as they provided the winning male, first female and both team champions in an impressive clean sweep of the awards.
George Dollner (39:03) finished half a minute ahead of his team mate Callum Gillett (39:36) as both clocked great times for the multi-terrain circuit that features one of the toughest climbs in the South of England. Daniel Hull (Waverley Harriers, 40:05) won the battle for third.
The top three women also enjoyed a close race as Guildford's Eleanor Harrison (44:13) took the title from Lucie Custance (Clapham Chasers, 44:51) and W40 Helen Barran (46:53).
The Hogs Back had secured a second successive Gold Award from the British Association of Road Races (BAAR) in recognition of the consistently high standards of athlete-focused event organisation. One example of this was that race sponsors Wilkins Kennedy set up a jelly baby and water station, which was a welcome sight at the top of the main climb at The Mount.
Festive fun for 2018 included a hog-themed treasure hunt in the event village to give runners the chance to win prizes courtesy of sponsors Hogs Back Brewery. A dozen 'Golden Pigs' were hidden and all but one were found and exchanged for a bottle of Tongham T.E.A. (award winning traditional English ale, hence the unusual name). The whereabouts of Peter the Golden Pig remains a mystery!
Delicious bacon baps by The Giggly Pig Company were as popular as ever and the efforts of the experienced team of pacers and course marshals were recognised in post race comments. Daniel Sims wrote: “You really do need to do this race at least once. It's just bloody marvellous”. Bev Cullis added: “I love this run it's one of my favourites of the year. Beautiful route, great organisation and friendly participants. Back for Breakfast Run in May.”
Prizes were sponsored by Fitstuff and aat-events have confirmed the Breakfast Run will take place at Loseley on 12 May on the same great route on a summer’s morning, followed by a slap-up breakfast.