The aim of the Barbados Hiking Association is to encourage hiking as a healthy activity and to keep trails open and clear for all to enjoy. One of the events that they organize is the Hill Challenge, which takes place on May Day.
It attracts fit hikers and trail runners who aim to complete the course in as short as a time as possible. It is not a walk in the park for the occasional walker.
It starts and finishes at Haggats Old Sugar Factory and during the next 22 Km you will climb 1024meters. The start and finish are the same point so you will also descend the same amount. The down can be hard, especially on your knees, for any one trying to move as fast as possible.
The course covers dirt tracks and trails in Haggatts, Mount All, Spa Hill, Frizers, Saddle Back before going down to the East Coast Road at Barclays Park and then up to Cambridge, Chalky Mount and back to Haggatts. Most of the time participants are on their own, and will only meet someone at the water stations and checkpoints along the way.
Some of the trails pass through private land and we wish to thank the owners for their continued support in allowing this event to continue.
Months before the event most of the competitors start increase their training from their normal routine. Some secret training is done to try to get an edge on others! This usually takes place on an afternoon after work or on weekends when they think no one is looking. Some have a “ secret” drink to take on the day to give them the extra boost.
The winner took about 3 hours and the maximum time allowed is 6 hours. Most people go to improve on their personal best. There are no age group prizes as yet.
Last year (2014) was the third event and it is increasing in numbers every year. In 2012 I came in 35th with a time of 5hrs 09 mins. In 2014 I bettered my time taking 4hrs 27 mins coming in 43rd.
So if you are already a walker or trail runner now is the time to step up your training and be ready for 1st May 2015 for the Barbados Hiking Association 2015 Hill Challenge. See you at the start! Entry fee for this years event is $25.00. Prizes will be awarded.
Additionally see the Barbados Hiking Association 2016 Hill Challenge details.
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