Academic Subject Librarian Dr Hope Williard ran the 2019 Hedgehog Half Marathon at Normanby Hall in Scunthorpe. Below she shares 13.1 reasons she enjoyed running for hedgehogs!
1. The Hedgehog Half Marathon, organised by Curly’s Athletics, benefits Andrew’s Hedgehog Hospital, a local charity which looks after sick and injured hedgehogs. Their motto is ‘born free set free’ and their work focuses on rehabilitating sick and injured hedgehogs and returning them to the wild where possible.
2. If running for such a good cause wasn’t enough, the race t-shirt and medal are among the most adorable ever made. Funds from purchasing the race t-shirt go directly to the hedgehog hospital.
Image description: A green athletic t-shirt with an orange hedgehog on the front of it lies on a wooden table. A copper race medal with an orange ribbon, emblazoned with a brown hedgehog, is draped over the left side of the t-shirt.
3. Hedgehogs cover an average of 2-3km a night when they’re foraging for food, so a half marathon is over a week of travel for them. For me, 13.1 miles / 21km is far enough to feel like an accomplishment and short enough that training and racing fit easily into my life.
4. Hedgehogs, like runners, can do very well in cities, but we both have to be mindful of urban transportation. As another fundraiser for the race put it: ‘hedgehogs and runners have a common enemy: cars!’
5. I never saw a hedgehog while I was out running but this actually a good thing since hedgehogs are nocturnal and daytime activity can be a sign of illness or distress.
6. There are so many beautiful places to run in Lincoln: a trail through the woods near Burton by Lincoln, the Fossdyke Canal path, Hartsholme Country Park, Boultham Park…all potential hedgehog habitats.
7. A lovely fellow runner kindly gave me a ride to and from the race.
8. In addition to the race fees and cost of purchasing the shirt benefitting the hospital, there was the opportunity to do additional fundraising for Andrew’s Hedgehog Hospital. I was delighted and honoured to raise £157.60!
9. The fun run associated with the race is called the Hoglet Mile, which is almost as fun to say as Hedgehog Half.
10. Some people ran the race dressed in homemade hedgehog costumes, including the spines and pointy faces, which are characteristic of British hedgehogs. You can see pictures of the costumes on the race photo page: Photos of hedgehog costumes
11. Runners’ supporters brought dogs to the event, so I got to stroke a friendly red setter and his English setter buddy, as well as a number of other wonderful dogs. The dogs were all on leashes, which is the best way to prevent them from bothering any local hogs.
12. The organisers provided runners with free cake and water at the end of the race. Hedgehogs benefit from a dish of water in the garden when it’s cold or dry but cake and milk aren’t good for them. More for the runners.
13. A napping hedgehog from the hospital met runners at the end of the race. He offered a valuable demonstration of how we might wish to recover from our efforts.
Image description: a hedgehog rolled into a ball sleeps on a fleece blanket.
13.1. I’m enjoying planning a hedgehog costume for the next Hedgehog Half on 4 October 2020.