Event Report: Mad Hatter Hokey Cokey, St Austell Bay, 2022

Date: Saturday 21 May 2022

Event: Hokey Cokey Swimrun

Organiser: Mad Hatter Events

Location: St Austell Bay and the seaside village of Charlestown in Cornwall.

The Hokey Cokey swimrun, now in its seventh year, gives participants the opportunity to take in the stunning scenery around St Austell Bay from both the water and the land. It combines a mixture of beach and cliff-top trail running with challenging sea swims. Two events are available: a short course version (10km total with 7.5km of running and 2.3km of swimming) and the long course (21km total with 15.5km of running and 5.5km of swimming). Competitors can either take part in teams of two (male, female and mixed) or as individuals.

At the 2022 event, the sharp end of the long course saw three teams battling it out for the overall win, staying within 10m of each other until the final 300m run to the finish where Team Precision Hydration (James Phillips and Ant Gritton) triumphed in a time of 2:35:55. Their work rivals (another Team PH) were just 16 seconds behind. Timothy Wood, the first male solo athlete to finish was a mere 2s further back.

The fastest mixed team was FastWetsuits.com in 2:47:55 while Nikki Hughes was the first solo female back in 3:07:37.

But it's not all about racing and finishing fast. Taking part and finishing are celebrated as much as winning. The teams who enjoyed the course the longest were out there for more than five hours.

Meanwhile, the short course race was also hotly contested at the front end with Ian Wright first person back in 1:31:14. Alex Juggins was second in 1:32:00 and Samuel Nicoll third in 1:32:03. The women's race was also close with Fiona Verney crossing the lane in 1:42:08, less than a minute ahead of Joanna Peterschmitt. 

The course saw competitors running along various surfaces including coast path, road, mud and a notorious1km beach run. The water temperature was around 14 degrees Celsius, although competitors reported it felt cooler in places. Conditions started calm but got choppier through the day. The water was clear throughout and the jellyfish stayed away.

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