Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust

A bit of a hoohah for patients at Addenbrooke's

Hoohaah owners, Alison and Hannah, who are supporting ACT this year tell us how hoohaah started as their hobby and how competitors and volunteers keep coming back to their events time and time again.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Hoohaah owners, Alison (below left) and Hannah (below right) tell us how hoohaah was born out of their hobby and how competitors and volunteers keep coming back to their events time and time again. Will YOU sign up for our final hoohaah events on 7 October? Details at the bottom of this post.

As regular running companions it was only fitting that hoohaah should be conceived on one of our runs together. While taking part in a charity 10k race we found ourselves asking ‘how hard can it be to put on a run?’ With the outdoor swimming pool at our children’s primary school being threatened with being de-commissioned we thought we could put a run on to raise much needed funds to keep the pool serviceable.

HannahThinking the answer to our questions was ‘easy’ we set about putting on the inaugural ‘Bourn to Run’ in 2008. Despite realising the answer was in fact ‘far from easy’ and involved months of planning the first ever event proved a massive success raising sufficient funds to allow the pool to continue in operation for future years of school children to enjoy. Hannah and I continued with Bourn to Run for 3 more years honing our race director skills. We are very proud of the fact that Bourn to Run has become such a regular fixture of the school (and indeed running) calendar that it is now in it’s 10th year and has raised over £50,000 for the school. No mean feat for a school of only 200 pupils.

After 3 years of organising Bourn to Run we handed over the reins to the school committee as our children had left the school. Despite saying ‘never again’ on many an occasion we loved the buzz of race day and the camaraderie of the running community. As a result we went on to set up hoohaah with a view to putting on our own runs and continuing our fund-raising for other local causes. Hoohaah came into operation in 2011 with it’s first run at the Wimpole Estate in 2012.

Since 2012 we have extended our range of runs and venues from just one a year to 5, always in beautiful, mainly off-road, locations. Each year we pick a charity to benefit from the fund-raising at our runs and have supported local groups such as Headway Cambridgeshire, MindEd Trust, East Anglia Children’s Hospice to name just a few. We are hopeful that by the end of this year our events will have raised over £90,000 for charity. Our goal is to reach the £100,000 mark by the end of 2019.

Having lived in the area for many years we like to support local charities that mean something to us having touched us or our friends and family in some way. We chose ACT this year as it is our local hospital and has supported some of our close friends and family through difficult times.

On a personal level running was a hobby that has grown into a business and has cemented a decade long friendship and forged links with the wider community. We have made many friends along the way and been privileged to share in the achievements and personal goals of runners of all abilities. Since 2012 nearly 11,000 runners have taken part in hoohaah events. As well as the runners our marshals have been the backbone of our events and we have seen their kindness and willingness to help support our events create an atmosphere of encouragement and community spirit that has truly touched us. Many of our marshals, and runners, come back time and time again and have become friends of both hoohaah and Hannah and I personally.

"I cannot believe it will be 5 years this weekend that I first volunteered for you on 19 may 2013 at Wimpole. I have not missed an event since. Thank you so much for having me, I have loved every minute" - Paul

"I love running because my training runs are always different, from track sprints to a gentle jog in the park with my dog Junior to hill sessions and of course the good old British weather pays a large part my running from wind and rain and snow to a Lovely summers day" - Michelle Mitchell who ran the Thetford Forest 10K on 11 March for ACT after receiving a liver transplant at Addenbrooke's. Read more about Michelle's story here.

I really enjoyed running in hoohaah Thetford forest 10k for the scenery and the natural environment. The 10k was part of my winter training but great fun too. For me running has helped to raise awareness for organ transplant but also keeps mentally and physically fit.

Running is a social sport because talk while doing it ( well sometimes)

To anyone thinking of taking up running the health benefits of sport and exercise to both a person’s physical and mental well-being have been well documented. For those entering a hoohaah run we aim to provide events that take in beautiful country-side, that are inclusive of all running abilities and that are friendly and supportive creating an atmosphere that is fun and relaxed. We have seen friendships made and stories shared at our runs which, as well as the generosity of our runners to our chosen charities, has given us a warm-glow that means instead of saying ‘never again’ we find ourselves fired up for the next event!

- Alison & Hannah

Sign up for our final Hoohaah events (10 miles or half marathon) on 7 October at Wimpole Estate. Click here to find out more about the 10 mile event and here to find out about the half marathon.

Find out more about hoohah at