In short: Lovely walk In full: Walker: I opted to walk this years race with a friend as he had an ongoing knee injury and therefore could not run. We started out around an hour or so before the runners started on what was to be a most enjoyable sunday morning walk, weather good just a mild (mist) drizzle here and there. As we set of earlier than the runners, marshals were not in place around the course but this did not matter as the route was well sign posted and directions clear. The route was enjoyable and maybe the organisers might want to look at including this event FOR walkers aswell? We did not get passed by the front runners until the last couple of K's as we kept a steady pace throughout. Big thank you to organisers. Date of review: December 21, 2014
In short: Hills. lovely down hills. In full: You run a course in the shape of a hog. You need more reasons? Big paths, fun atmosphere. Some challenging ups but some fast downs. I highly recommend it. Date of review: December 9, 2014
In short: Some fun hills and a great atmosphere! In full: This was my first time on the Hogs Back, and I'll certainly be back for more!
On arrival I was surprised by the size of the queue for registration and they had to delay the start by 5 minutes. I was registered with 20 minutes to go and had to join an equally long queue for the 8 portaloos, really needed more. By the time I exited it was a quick jog to the start (via the ?unmanned bag dop), literally 30 seconds and we were off! Still a fair few at the toilets when I left. That's the last of my negative comments.
This is a really enjoyable race, the uphills all during the first half so negative splits almost guaranteed. Great atmosphere with friendly crowd and brilliant marshals.
If I have one tip... when the finish comes into sight, it's further than it looks!
Great medal which matches the course route, very clever. Apparently the last couple of years it was a mug, stick with the medals guys! Date of review: December 9, 2014
In short: A hilly classic In full: My first time for this event but have done a few of AAT's events before so felt confident that all would be well. The race is good, gun time start with chip finish so up to the front for the start. Marshals were great as usual and course was well marked. Some challenging hills but you are rewarded with glorious views. Compared to other AAT events I have done registration was a bit chaotic and the lack of toilets meant it was a find the nearest tree moment 2 minutes before start time. Great Medal! Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: A special event. In full: Excellent overall. My only regret is that it the chip does not time your start to the finish, but the starting gun to your finish. This wasn't clear to me, and it mattered because I was trying to improve on last year's time, and was separately also aiming to do it within a certain time, with an intention for this to be evidenced in the published results. I lost a minute by not elbowing my way to the front for the starting gun.
If that aspect were widely known, maybe there'd be a punch up to be at the front for the start. Is it such a big technological deal for the chips to time us according to our personal start time, as happens in other races I have been in?
Other than that, I can see myself doing this event every year. Those not used to running hills had better include some commensurate ups and downs in their training though; these can tire unprepared muscles in a way that level distance does not. Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: The hills get steeper every year. In full: I have run this race every year for the past few years and I just love it. My only tiny gripe is that there seem to be increasingly fewer old joggers like me in relation to the speedy club runners. It used to be full of Santa hats and elves but not any more. Makes me feel a tiny bit dispirited about my slow speed. Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: Hogs Back Hill - I travel 80 miles to do this race every year! In full: It's one of my favourite races and since I run a March marathon every year in Jerusalem (very hilly) this race signals the beginning of my serious marathon training.
The organisers are excellent and the addition of the course shaped medal this year is a welcome addition. Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: Great course, great medal, both in shape of pig In full: I believe that the reason this race is a slightly weird distance (11.7 km or 7.2 miles) is because it follows the shape of a pig. I didn't realise this until I downloaded my run and looked at the map on Garmin Connect. For those not local, it is called the Hog's Back due to the name of the hill outside Guildford.
The route is hilly but you'll definitely do a negative split as much of the uphill is in the first half and there is a glorious downhill section which goes on for at least a mile so you get your reward for the uphill, it's fantastic.
It was a cold morning and started to rain while I was in the toilet queue (more loos would be good, as ever). I was feeling miserable and was all for going home again! But the rain stopped and once I got going I felt much better. There was a slight delay due to the queue to collect race numbers, maybe people should arrive a little bit earlier. It's a 9am start, there are no closed roads so I wonder if the start could be made a bit later in future years so people can get out of bed at a slightly more civilised time, including the organisers and volunteers.
The only thing I would say is that I felt slightly misled by the "free refreshments at the end" on the website - I thought this meant tea and cake. What it actually meant was water and bananas. I don't like bananas, but I do like cake. Maybe the organisers could consider it for next year.
In the end it was a great race, I would definitely do it again and it's a good step-up from a 10k for newer runners. Date of review: December 8, 2014