Hilly Helmet 2023 – A Magnificent 7th!

We were thrilled to hold our 7th Hilly Helmet Challenge at Leighton Recreation centre again on Wednesday August 16th and we were really pleased with how things went as we sought to raise awareness and funds for charity partner Brain Tumour Support.

  Led by race director Robin-Mark, whose helmet represented the phrase ‘King of the hill’, people really entered into the spirit once again, creating some great headgear in a bid to land the prize for the Best Helmet on the night and the judges from Brain Tumour Support and Sportsbug in Trowbridge had a hard time making their choice, eventually choosing a high stacked birthday cake hat worn by Rohaise from Chippenham, delighted to be a winner on her birthday.

Hannah, Kelly and Becca were a human fruit machine with some familiar images on their headgear, while Richard (below) seems to have brought some of his garden with him!

124 people took part, raising smiles and valuable funds once again. The money raised from entry fees was complimented by a raffle held by event partner Sportsbug with ticket sales also going to Brain Tumour Support. Helmeteers also dug deep to support the tombola which also helped add to the total.

First finisher was Ed Knudsen, scoring a hat trick of wins  over the last 3 years, finishing the 4 ish mile course in 25:38, over 2 minutes in front of second placed finisher John Reed. First lady was Anna-Marie Watson in 32:47, both pictured with Best Helmet winner Rohaise.

Today, Helmeteer Mark Barnett (pictured right) and I visited Brain Tumour Support to present them with the proceeds of this years event. Between us were Tina Mitchell-Skinner, founder of the charity and Louise Gallard, fundraising and partnerships manager. We were thrilled to hand them a cheque for £8300 which included a large donation from Crane Charitable Funds, to whom Mark applied on our behalf in the lead up to this years event, securing $7500 to really make this year an amazing total.

We’d like to sincerely thank everyone for their participation and generosity once again this year and hope to see you again next year. Details of proposed date will be published soon, after a well earned rest.


Hilly Helmet On The Road

We’ve taken Hilly on the road before, but this year we’re doing it decked out in specially designed T shirts, generously funded by Beaverteeth Services plant hire based in Plymouth and good friend of Hilly Helmet, Tim Burrell.

 In addition to any other publicity we can create to promote our event, we’re touring 5 parkruns this year to promote our message even further than usual. I’m really grateful to our team for giving up their time to help in the lead up to this years’ event:

Sarah, Tim, Jo, Tim, Team Sawyer comprising Colin, Dawn and George, Judy, Georgie and me, Robin-Mark.

  We kicked off last month with a warm reception at Shepton Mallet parkrun, though being April, it was still a chilly one. Lots of interest and a good team out demonstrating how anyone can run in a helmet. Collett park really is a nice venue, a traditional town park with a pond, a bandstand, a coffee hut and play area, everything a park should be.

May 20th saw us running in Monkton park at Chippenham. Another lovely venue and something for everyone, large grass areas, a cafe, a leisure centre and swimming pool right next door, a path alongside the river to walk (or run) along, a play area for the small folks, pitch and putt and another great parkrun, well organised and so welcoming, we really had a lovely time visiting.


We’ve three more visits planned b, so hopefully if we’ve not visited your local run yet then we’ll see you soon. Please look out for us at the following venues on the dates below:

Southwick – Southwick Country parkrun Saturday June 17th

Melksham – King George V parkrun Saturday July 8th

Frome –  The Old Showfield parkrun Saturday August 12th

Hilly Helmet 2023 Now Open For Entry

Happy 2023 everyone!

As the evenings have now started to stay light for longer and the weather starts to improve, our thoughts have turned towards this years event and we’re delighted to announce entry is now open via this link: http://www.entrycentral.com/thehillyhelmetchallenge

The event will take place on Wednesday 16th August with a 7pm starting gun and once again this year, we’re hoping to add to the amount we have raised for the charity Brain Tumour Support over the years, so we hope we’re on your ‘To Run’  list.

It’s an exciting year for Brain Tumour Support as they celebrate their 20th year, so we really hope we will have a successful evening and hope to raise a good sum for them once again this time.

We continue to keep the event priced to offer good value, recognising we’re in a financial climate where we’re all faced with some tough choices while also looking to raise as much as we can. We’re very proud that together we have managed to raise over £25000 since 2017.

Once again we’re delighted to have all our expenses covered by generous event partners, which enables us to keep costs down and ensures 100% of  your entry fee actually gets to the charity. We’ll be profiling our event partners over the coming weeks and hope you’re able to support them as they support us where you are able.

Finally, as it’s our 7th year, we’re encouraging you to get creative, offering the number 7 as your inspiration, magnificent 7, lucky 7, you decide! Of course, if you’d rather just run in a helmet that’s comfortable that’s fine too.

We look forward to seeing you on 16th August.


Hilly Helmet 2022 Another Success

There is no doubt about it, it’s been a tough time for everyone even a year after we came out of the Covid-19 lockdown of 2020-2021, and current world affairs are not helping the person in the street return to normal as it was previously.

It was our hottest ever event last night but it didn’t stop our Helmeteers creativity or the efforts of all our finishers.


Last years winner Ed Knudsen took the win again in 26:09 with wife Gemma crossing the line as 1st lady in 35 minutes dead. George Sawyer took the 15-U18 male category prize with a time of 45:47, while there were no 15-U18 females taking part to award a prize to.


The prize for the Best Helmet was awarded to David Mackie from Corsham. Several other helmets caught the eye and all winners received vouchers donated by local sports equipment and apparel suppliers Sportsbug, along with pottery prizes to mark their achievements.

We’d like to thank all our generous event partners who supported us again this year, as listed below who helped to cover essential event expenses, including prizes and mementos and other items you just take for granted.

Kyna Software, The West Wilts Magazine, Stark Ecology, Mike Sargeant Stone Walling Services have been stalwart supporters of our event for many years now and we thank them for their continued support along with Welton Bibby & Baron and the Paper Bag Co in Westbury who supplied us with bags for your goodies at very late notice. Many thanks too to White Horse Pottery who created our wonderful mementos and prizes once again for the 6th year.

Big thanks to local sports retail company Sportsbug who joined us for the first time this year to sponsor prizes and choose the best helmet with a few other that caught their eye.

Thanks also to Brain Tumour Support who once again turned out to cheer everyone on and supply all our winners with a cuddly hippo.

Appreciation is also due to Leighton Recreation Centre for helping the parking at the centre go smoothly and to Westbury cricket club for really entering in to the atmosphere and providing a great bar and BBQ.

Many thanks also go to everyone that helped get the event on in the lead up and on the night, without whom none of this could be possible.

Everyone who took part should know that 100% of the entry fee benefits the charity directly and will always be the case with no event company taking a slice of the profit.

We were very fortunate to have two bonus donations too, one from Mark Barnett who persuaded his employers to also make a donation which they did to the tune of $2500 US! We’re very grateful to him and his employers Crane Payment Innovations for their generosity for the second year in a row. The second boost came from our first time Helmeteer Steve Thorne who ran as one of our sponsored BT100 runners this year. Steve was raising money for Brain Tumour Support as a tribute to his friend Andy who has survived a brain tumour and was there to support last night along with Steves’ partner Debbie. Steve has managed to raise in excess of £600 for which we’re truly grateful.

All this means our 2022 event is looking good for a total exceeding £4000 in total, which is just fantastic, thank you to everyone for playing your part. We’re now due a rest, but hope to be back same time, same place next year, so do start planning those helmets. The theme for your headgear will be the number 7 and we’re sure there will be some magnificent ones on show.

Until then!

Steves’ Challenge

It was nice to hear from Steve Thorne who entered our event and got in touch wanting to take part in Hilly Helmet as a sponsored runner. We set him up with some sponsor forms and he’s aiming to collect a nice sum to add to our fundraise for Brain Tumour Support and we’re very grateful. We recently met up for a chat.

Steve is 55 and a flooring installer by trade, describing himself as someone who has run on and off for about 6 years mostly for fitness. He’s done a few 10k races, mostly on road and he was feeling a little apprehensive about our hill. He told me how his friend Andy’s brain tumour diagnosis, treatment and ongoing recovery affected and shocked him. ‘I looked up to Andy’s sporting achievements and I’m doing this to recognise him and what he has fought through to still be here.  He’s been through such a lot and the medical teams have been amazing. I hope my efforts also help bring more awareness as well as nice sum to Brain Tumour Support’, said Steve.

Andy, 55, was diagnosed with a tumour called a craniopharyngioma, a rare, benign (not cancer) brain tumor that usually forms near the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. Due to the location of it, craniotomy surgery was too dangerous, so entry through the nose was the only way the surgeons were able to tackle the tumour to reduce the growth. Typically, it’s a slow-growing tumour and doesn’t spread to other parts of the brain or to other parts of the body, but it does have to be watched with regular scans to  monitor regrowth. Andy has a daily cocktail of drugs and steroids which mean he can gain weight very easily which he has to work very hard to manage the best he can. Andy was previously pretty sporty himself, successfully completing triathlon and Ironman events and inspiring Steve to take up running himself.

We’re looking forward to seeing Andy as he comes to support Steve at our event, along with Steves’ partner Debby and hope Steve has a great run with us.

Corporate Donation Boost To 2022 Fundraising Total

We’re thrilled to report a donation to this years total, boosting our fund raise once more.

Crane Payment Innovations donated $2500 to our pot last year and thanks to Helmeteer Mark Barnett, they’ve pledged the same amount again this year..

Mark, from Chippenham, runs for Chippenham Harriers and is a firm friend of Hilly Helmet and we can’t thank him enough for his tenacity in securing this donation for the last two years.

Meanwhile, there are still places available for this years event to be held on Wednesday 10th August starting at 7pm at Leighton Recreation Centre in Westbury, so if you’re not signed up yet, please go to Entry Central to do so. If you would prefer to run virtually, you can do that too, only please message us at robin@orangehelmetevents.org.uk for payment details for that option as we don’t want virtual and on the night entries getting mixed up.

Sportsbug Join Hilly Helmet 6 As latest Event Partner

We’re delighted to announce our new event partner Sportsbug, who have joined Hilly Helmet as a partner for our 2022 event.

An established independent local retailer, they offer an extensive range of up to date equipment, apparel and footwear to cater for many popular sports, operating from shops in Melksham and Trowbridge.

In addition, Sportsbug also offer a specialised ‘Running Room’ at the Trowbridge store which includes a treadmill enabling trained staff to advise customers on gait analysis to ensure they get the shoes most suited to their running style. Sportsbug also supply local sporting clubs with some of their special order items.

They will be attending Hilly Helmet on the night, donating prizes to the 1st male and female finishers,  1st 15-U18 male and female finishers and best helmet overall worn to take part in on the night, along with 7 spot prizes which will be awarded to finishers selected at random. We’re very grateful for their support. Sportsbug have also very kindly agreed a special discount for all Helmeteers and they hope to have a sales pitch available at the event, with more details to follow soon on what will be available.

Sportsbug sales manager Ben, a runner himself, will be taking on our hill for himself for his first attempt at Hilly Helmet while  sporting a special helmet, no doubt with a Sportsbug connection!

Fundraising Surpasses £20000 Total To Brain Tumour Support

Hilly Helmet founder Robin-Mark Schols was very pleased to meet with the CEO of Brain Tumour Support Tina Mitchell Skinner last month. Robin has his own ‘Champion Fund’ for the charity and the charity set up the meeting to present him with a certificate to mark his fund passing the £20000 mark. Starting with a fund target of £5000, Robin has raised the target several times and has been able to achieve this via several fund raisers and of course via Hilly Helmet.

“It was very nice to meet up and receive the award”, said Robin. He continued, “Once people got used to me running it became harder to achieve sponsorship as it had become what I do, so I was keen to find another way to help raise money and created Hilly Helmet. I’m delighted at the support it has enjoyed over the years both from runners and backers, with all event expenses being covered by generous event partners for every event I have put on since it first started. The success of the event, including winning an industry recognised ‘runners rated’ award in 2019 has surpassed anything I could have imagined. I’d like to thank everyone who has helped with Hilly Helmet over the 6 years we have run it, event partners, donors, volunteers both on the night or at other times behind the scenes and of course, our amazing Helmeteers who take part and help us raise the money we do. Without all the support and goodwill the event would be nothing and that’s why we keep a good eye on the little things. We look forward to seeing you once again this year on Wednesday August 10th at Leighton Recreation Centre in Westbury with race start at 7pm.



Join Our Club On Strava

We’re delighted to announce our new run club, Hilly Helmeteers. As a Strava user you’ll be able to connect with other Helmeteers or trail runners in our club and see how your weekly mileage, elevation and hours on feet stacks up against fellow club members. It’s free to join, so don’t delay, and sign up today at the link below.


A Hilly Helmet Thank You For 2021

Hi Helmeteers, it’s been a few weeks now tying up loose ends and settling our bills but we’ve finally been able to get the final total off to Brain Tumour Support.

Thank you all so much for once again supporting our event as we celebrated our fifth year, an event we had to get on as we came out of such a tough time after the lock down of 2020.

It was great to see 175 entrants signed up this year though not all were able to run on the night due to a variety of reasons, with some still getting in touch with details of their virtual effort. If you’ve done a virtual effort and not yet received a memento, please do get in touch.

Around 130 actually ran on the night led home by Ed the Viking for the men and Beth for the ladies. Our friend David from our HH cousin Hazelbury Hurrah! was the winner of the best helmet as he sported a peacock design.

We are thrilled to once again be in a position where Brain Tumour Support will be receiving a total very close to £5000 from us this year. As you may or may not know, at our event 100% of your entry fees is able to go to the charity thanks to all our event partners who fund all our expenses. In addition this year, we got a real boost to our pot with a corporate donation of $2500US plus two runners who together raised almost £500 in personal sponsorship. So the total? £4900 plus some bits of clanky change, thank you all so much, we’re delighted to come back so strongly from having to go virtual in 2020 and once again really appreciate our Helmeteers and our helpers who keep coming back to make this such a fun evening.

Big thanks also go to our ever present photographer Martin who has taken such great photos at all our events which are all available to download for free at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/downlands/albums/72157719672819836?fbclid=IwAR3K3AbrS-_2afc8wGoK1LYhv7wXWLkPFPLZLlbRUHIXFvRDMsASa8ER8gU

The recreation centre proved once again to be a great venue and further enhanced by an outside bar and bbq put on for us by the cricket club.

Lets not forget our event partners too, without whose backing we couldn’t do this, Kyna Software, Stampede Sports, Stark Ecology, Mike Sargeant Dry Stone Walling, Beaverteeth Services, and of course The West Wilts Magazine, all of which have supported us multiple times since we started in 2017.

We were really grateful for all the lovely comments from our participants too. We were delighted to collect an award in 2019 based on our Helmeteers feedback, so if you enjoyed yourselves again and would like to let everyone know, we’d be very grateful for your time leaving feedback via this link at the Racecheck website. Who knows, you might even win us another. https://racecheck.com/races/the-hilly-helmet-challenge/?fbclid=IwAR27YGKOROHqcmuOH7zRBQV7hiOt6Op_QSxMrHB3QHye4Lyvwzv-AJdUya4

We appreciate these things can take a little time, but your positive feedback really helps let others know how much you enjoyed our event.

So that’s it for 2021. We’re now planning for Hilly Helmet 6, so get your diary out. Wednesday August 10th is the date we’ll be aiming at and we’ll be hoping to have entry open by the end of the year. Maybe a nice seasonal present? Thanks again, we hope to see you again next year.