After two-years hiatus, famous mountain bike competition resumes next month

By , People Daily Digital
Thursday, December 23rd, 2021 00:00 | 2 mins read
Peponi School’s Blue Indians dash to victory at a past Hog Charge event. Photo/PD/ ALEX NJUE

After a two-year hiatus on disruption from the Covid 19 pandemic, the Hog Charge, Kenya’s national mountain bike competition, is back.

The 23rd edition of annual event will be held on January 23, at its traditional venue, Peponi School in Ruiru.

A slew of entries had by yesterday been registered for the competition. The bike race is also a charity event whose proceeds go towards supporting the Rhino Ark, which is involved in a conservation project that focuses on the Mount Kenya water towers.

The Hog Charge, which is sponsored by milk processor Brookside Dairy, is a team competition that will see groups of four riders navigate around a course of checkpoints in the shortest time possible on mountain bikes.

At the January event, teams will be entered in either the under-12, under-14 or open classes.

Next year’s edition promises a more explosive contest for honours on the back drop of a challenging navigation circuit, which includes a new bike pit and cycling track.

The dreaded mud gauntlet, at the penultimate stage of the race, is expected to offer a befitting challenge and excitement to both riders and spectators.

Brookside Dairy, the sponsors of the Hog Charge for the past 20 years, and hosts Peponi School have said all arrangements for resumption of the bike competition were already in place. 

Over 50 schools from across the country had by yesterday confirmed participation in the event, with the numbers still growing.

“Apart from the three entry classes of under 12, under 14 and the open category, next year’s event will also feature a family fun race for both parents and their children,” Ngina Pratt-Mburu, Peponi School’s head of marketing, said.

The organising committee is implementing an upper limit of 160 teams. Yesterday, the online registration for the event was teeming with activity as teams raced to beat the deadline for entries.

The last event in 2020 saw Nairobi’s Brookhouse International School sweep the board in both the girls and boys open cycling categories.

In the girls’ open race, Brookhouse’s team, The Mosquitoes weathered the then hot and dusty conditions at the Sukari Ranch to triumph in 11.54:00, while the boys’ team from the same school, the Ram Riders hit the tape in 12.00:00 to emerge victorious.

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