This year we thought we would take Senior Girls on an adventure for their Guide Camp and took them to compete in the 21st Annual Hog Charge. This is a race on mountain bikes where in teams of 4 had to ride between seven checkpoints on the Sukari Ranch, next door to Peponi Senior School. So on Saturday 19th January, 59 girls from Year 7 and 8 and 10 staff travelled to Nairobi to begin the challenge.
The aim of the Hog Charge is to raise money for the Rhino Charge. This is a fund raising event for the conservation of the Water Towers of Kenya. The conservation activities are implemented by Rhino Ark, a charitable trust that develops sustainable solutions to the challenges facing mountain forest ecosystems and threatened biodiversity areas.
We travelled to Nairobi early Saturday morning and arrived in good time to register our teams. We set up camp and explored our home for the night. We climbed trees, explored the lake before we knew there were crocodiles, walked the slack line and played games. When our bikes arrived in camp we went on a training ride to get used to the terrain.
We entered 10 teams this year so we gave the girls to option to be part of the support team if they did not want to ride a bike. They did an amazing job preparing, cooking and serving our meals. They were a great help cheering the riders and running the camp in the blistering heat.
The night before the ride we had a good meal and a few songs around the campfire we settled into our tents. The next morning we were up bright and early and we cycled to the start of the event where we were given the instructions and maps. A quick strategic planning meeting was held before we set off to our starting checkpoints. At 9am the charge started. We had three hours to cycle between seven checkpoints as quickly as we could. Punctures, split tires, bumpy terrain, swamps, deep holes and dusty tracks were just some of the challenges we faced. Luckily each checkpoint provided refreshments, shade and sometimes entertainment.
With the finishing line in sight we prepared ourselves to enter the gauntlet. An obstacle course of logs, ditches, hills and hay bales which we had to cycle around. The ultimate test of teamwork was the water obstacle. We had to cycle waist deep in water, climb over a mud bank and drop back into the water before scrambling to the finish line.
This was an amazing experience. Not only did we have a lot of fun but we raised over 300,000 Ksh for the Rhino Ark Charity.