Sunday, 26 September 2021

Hairy Legs challenge returns

THE Hairy Legs sporting challenge is returning to Goring.

THE Hairy Legs sporting challenge is returning to Goring.

The event, which was launched as a running and cycling duathlon in 2002, was cancelled in 2013 following a complaint from a resident that the cyclists were travelling too fast along public bridleways near the village.

Oxfordshire County Council withdrew its support so the organisers’ insurers refused to cover the event and it had to be cancelled.

Now it is returning as purely a 12km running event, without the 20km cycling element, on Sunday, May 10.

Entrants will set off from Sheepcot Field at 10am and run two laps of a 6km course following public footpaths between Goring and Whitchurch Hill. There will be obstacles along the way such as hay bales and cargo netting.



As well as the main Hairy Legs challenge for adults, teenagers can run the course in the Teenage Kicks category. Younger children can take part in the Little Legs race, a shorter course on Sheepcot Field.

Both teams and individuals can enter and runners will be timed but the organisers say it is a fun run rather than a race.

Stalls will be set up on the field selling refreshments and scouts will be operating a mobile climbing wall.

There will be celebrations after the event at the Catherine Wheel in Goring, which sponsors the event. Every competitor will be given either a free beer or a soft drink.

Organiser Phil Rose, who co-founded the event with John Barker, said he was pleased to be bringing it back and had turned down an offer from the Yattendon Estate, seven miles away, to host the cycling event because they wanted to keep it local.

Mr Rose said: “We were keen to get it going again. We missed the community spirit that came with running it and didn’t want to be defeated so decided to bring it back.

“If we’d been absent for a third year we’d have lost a lot of the goodwill we had built up in the community.

“Our original goal was simply to put on a great day of sport for both villages and that aim has not changed. I am slightly disappointed that the cycling is no longer part of it but I think we’ve kept the spirit of the event.”

Entry costs £18 for adults and teenagers, £25 for relay teams and £8 for children at www.hairylegs.net

The proceeds will go towards sports projects at Goring and Streatley primary schools.

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