It’s amazing just how much you can base around the famous Jersey potato. We farm them, export them, cook with them and now we even race them! The end of November marks the start of some cool crisp mornings and the ultimate pre-Christmas dinner race, the Great Potato Sack Carry Challenge! Raising money for Jersey Cheshire Home and the Jersey Brain Tumour charity the challenge pits competitors against one of Jersey most gruelling hills carrying a 25k bag of Jersey’s finest spuds.
A 500m sprint up one of Jersey’s toughest climbs, the event is held at Chemin de Catel Hill overlooking the beauty of Greve de Lecq bay. Whilst there is no mistaking the physical endurance of this event, the underlying feeling is one of fun and coming together in support of some great local charities. With the hum of the Simply Christmas fair drifting up the hill from the barracks, as competitors you cant help but fall into the festive spirit and feel a little like Santa carrying his sack across the Jersey terrain.
The Great Potato Sack Carry Challenge was born in 2012 as a fun and informal sporting event that the whole family can enjoy. Participants can enter individually, in pairs or in teams as they attempt to carry a sack of Jersey potatoes to the top of the hill amongst roaring support from friends and family. Organisers make sure racers don't take the event too seriously and competition is all friendly by actively encouraging racers to don fancy dress costumes or indeed anything they like except lycra. It truly is the race for potato lovers and athletes alike!
Children are able to play their part in the race too, getting the chalks out to scrawl messages of encouragement along the tarmac hill strip, before participating in the potato and spoon race that tops off the mornings festivities. Once the race is over its high time to duck into the Christmas fair to snatch yourself a sausage baguette, a cup of mulled wine and purchase some great genuine Jersey produce and local crafts for Christmas pressies.
The friendliest and one possibly the toughest of all Jersey’s challenges, one glance at the almighty Mr Potatohead trophy gives you a feel for the experience. It’s warming, fun and brings together the best of Jersey; hills, community and potatoes. And the best part of the race is that winners get to take home their own spuds for a slap up dinner. Yum. It’s going to be a great feast this Christmas!