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general faqs

WHAT IS HELL & BACK?

HELL & BACK is an obstacle course adventure run that takes place a number of times each year in the stunning Killruddery Estate, Bray, Co Wicklow.

 

Participants - or HellRaisers - must cross rivers and forests, climb hills and mountains and crawl through bogs and swamps, as well as negotiate their way over, under, around and through our infamous man-made obstacles, including Hell on Earth, Heartbreak Ridge, Satan’s Pit and, during summer events, the Water Jump & Splashdown Slide. 

 

Many of you will be familiar with these torturous obstacles from RTE’s hugely popular TV show, Ireland’s Fittest Family so HELL & BACK is a brilliant way to test them out for yourself!
 

Check out our videos to give you a great understanding of what exactly is involved.

IS THERE A MASS START?

No, everyone doesn’t start at the same time. Instead, there are a number of starting times – or waves - throughout the day with 250-400 HellRaisers in each wave.

 

You choose your preferred wave start time when you register and you can double check this – and the start time of a friend - on the Start Time Checker.

CAN I CHOOSE MY START TIME? 

Yes, when you are registering, you will be asked which wave you want to start in. There is a €2 charge to go in Wave 1 and be the first HellRaisers to tackle the virgin course! You can double check the wave you have registered for on the Start Time Checker.

CAN I CHANGE MY START TIME? 

We will always do what we can to try and get you into another wave. Please note though that, for health and safety reasons, there are a limited number of places in each wave and they are allocated a first come, first served basis so unfortunately we will be unable to fulfil all wave change requests. 

 

You should firstly check out the Manage my Booking feature, where you may be able to log in and change your start time yourself.

 

If you cannot log in, email registrations@aliveoutside.ie as early as possible and we will see what we can do to help you out. 

Unfortunately, we are unable to make any start time changes within 7 days of an event.

WHERE IS HELL & BACK?

HELL & BACK is located in Killruddery Estate just off the Southern Cross Road in Bray, County Wicklow and around 35 minutes from Dublin city centre via the M11/N11. Bray is also serviced by the DART and Dublin Bus.

Location

DO I NEED TO BE ABLE TO SWIM?

 

During summer events, there are plenty of water obstacles, including the Water Jump, Splashdown Slide, Pontoon Mania and Ice Baths so yes, you will get wet and yes, you should be able to swim - although you can walk around any obstacles (water or otherwise) if you are not comfortable in doing so non-swimmers can still take part.

 

For safety reasons, everyone doing the Water Jump and Splashdown Slide obstacles at the lake must wear a buoyancy aid. There are lifeguards on duty in the case of an emergency - but please do not attempt either of these obstacles if you cannot swim!

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Cant take part

CAN'T TAKE PART?

 

As per the Event Terms and Conditions which you agreed to when signing up, unfortunately we cannot offer a refund if you cannot take part in HELL & BACK through injury or other personal circumstance. You can though appoint someone to take your place by following these instructions:

 

  1. Go to Manage my Booking and enter your email and Order Ref from your original ticket.
     

  2. Choose the “Transfer my Ticket” option.
     

  3. Enter the email address of the person you are transferring your registration to.
     

  4. Make sure they receive an email from us, asking them to confirm they are taking your ticket.
     

  5. When they have done so, you should receive a email confirming that the new person is taking your ticket.

If you have any queries on this, email us at info@aliveoutside.ie.

WILL I NEED HELP AT SOME CHALLENGES?

Absolutely - no matter how strong or tall you are, you are going to need the help of your fellow HellRaisers (or our course marshals) at various parts of the course. Don't be afraid to ask someone for a booster or helping hand - just make sure you turn around and replicate the favour when you get to the top!

WHAT TO WEAR?

FEET
• Traill runners are best as they give better grip in muddy conditions
• Astro boots also work well
• We strongly advise you do not wear normal runners or any other footwear, as the reduced grip will increase your risk of injury
• Studs, cleats, blades & spikes are not permitted

HANDS
• Fingerless cycling gloves are best as full finger gloves will get water logged

UPPER BODY
• Base Layer – compression top
• Top Layer – Technical t-shirt (optional)
• Wear long sleeves to help protect your arms at crawl obstacles
• Avoid cotton materials!!

LEGS
• Compression leggings are recommended to help protect legs when crawling.
• Avoid flimsy material that may rip or tear.

REMEMBER
Duct Tape, Electrical Tape & Cable Ties are not allowed on your shoes as they come off too easily and thus become a danger to the livestock on the farm so ake sure you triple knot your laces instead.

IS THERE A CUT OFF TIME?

Yes. For Health & Safety reasons, there is a cut-off time for each HELL & BACK, depending on the length of the course. This cut-off time will be communicated to all HellRaisers beforehand, as well during the pre-run Safety Briefing.

If you have not made it to a particular obstacle by a certain time, one of our Safety Marshals will assist you off the course by buggy. Please note that the site will also close soon after the course shuts down so please make sure you bring all belongings with you.

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Age

WHAT AGE MUST I BE TO TAKE PART?

H&B ADULT

For insurance purposes, you must be over 16 to participate in HELL & BACK Adult events. 

All 16 & 17 year old participants also must have completed a digital Parental/Guardian Consent Form, which is available from info@aliveoutside.ie with the following information:

  • Date and distance of H&B Event;

  • First name and surname of teenage participant;

  • First name and surname of parent or guardian;

  • Email and mobile of parent or guardian; and

  • If you are part of a 21+ group, please also include which group the teenager is part of.

H&B JUNIOR

H&B Junior is suitable for 8-12 year olds. Children will need to have a designated adult on the day to sign them in and collect them from the finish line to be able to participate.

 

H&B FAMILY

H&B Family is suitable for adults to do with their children who are aged 10+. Please note that H&B Family is the full Adult course – but because the parent is with their child at all times, they can make the decision whether to do certain obstacles or not. If you are bringing a large number of children to take part in H&B Family, the adult to child ratio must be of 1 adult to maximum 4 children. So if, for example, you are bringing 5 children, you will need 2 adults etc.

 

H&B TEEN

H&B Teen is suitable for ages 12 to 16 and requires a parent or guardian to register the teenager online with consent form. 

EXTREME WEATHER EVENT RESCHEDULING POLICY

HELL & BACK events take place all year round and will go ahead within the reasonable weather expectations of Ireland. But, as everyone is aware, there is the potential for extreme or severe weather and therefore we have an Event Rescheduling Policy in place if the conditions are very bad.

Our aim is to do all we can to make your experience as enjoyable and safe as possible. If, though, we deem weather conditions to be potentially hazardous and unsafe for participants, we reserve the right to postpone and reschedule the event for an alternative date to maintain competitor safety.

Where possible, our policy is to postpone an event NO LATER THAN 21:00 on the night beforehand and our decision about postponing an event is final.

IS THERE A CHARITY ELEMENT TO HELL & BACK?

While not necessarily a charity event, we recognise that HELL & BACK is a fantastic platform for HellRaisers to raise lots of money for various worthwhile causes that are personal to them. Our research shows that the average fundraising doing H&B raises more than €900 per person.

With this in mind, we have teamed up with the fundraising platform Enthuse to provide a simple, integrated solution for those wanting to use H&B to raise money for their favourite charities.

 

To find out more about utilising H&B as a fundraiser, check out our Fundraising Page.

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE COURSE?

The smart alec answer is nothing much as it will all be a surprise on the day! 

As well as scaling the obstacles we have been developing since 2011, you will also be passing through forests, bogs, rivers and streams, as well as running up and down plenty of hill slopes - and if you are signed up to the 13KM, you will even scale the Little Sugar Loaf mountain!
 

Out on the course, you should follow the clearly marked route and make sure you obey the instructions of our course marshals.

If you get into difficulty at any stage, take a break and ask for assistance, either from a fellow HellRaiser or one of the course team. An essential part of the H&B ethos is that we never leave anyone behind...so help is on hand at all times!

And the good thing to know is that there are no penalties if you don’t complete an obstacle – in fact, you can walk around any obstacle you are not comfortable with...although we would advise you to run away as fast as you can as the marshal at that obstacle will probably give you one hell of a slagging for skipping it!

Our Summer events usually include some water obstacles at the Lake in the centre of the course, including the Water Jump and Splashdown Slide, and as mentioned above in the "Do I need to be able to Swim?" section, for Health & Safety reasons, everyone must put on a buoyancy aid before attempting any of the water obstacles.

Remember that H&B is not a race, it's a challenge - so there are no timing chips or official times. For those wishing to record their times, there will be a digital clock at both the Start and Finish Line allowing you calculate your own time - although you are bound to enjoy the experience more if you ignore the competitive side and instead focus on the amazing atmosphere and stunning Wicklow countryside!

WHAT TRAINING SHOULD I DO?

There is no easy way through HELL & BACK but training definitely helps!

 

Check out our Training Page for more information and advice and tips.

ARE THERE OFFICIAL PHOTOS?

Yes. Our crack team of photographers are strategically placed around the course to capture your movements over, under, through and around the various obstacles.

 

We take thousands of photos at each HELL & BACK event and post them to our own Facebook page, or those of our sponsors, in the days afterwards.

 

Keep an eye on our Social Media for the latest photo updates.

WHERE TO STAY / WHAT TO DO IN BRAY?

If you plan on spending a bit of time in Bray or Co Wicklow before or after your HELL & BACK adventure, there is lots of accommodation and plenty of activities in the surrounding area to keep you and your family / friends occupied all day and all night!

 

As a proud member of Wicklow Tourism, we encourage HellRaisers to take advantage of everything Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland, has to offer. It is home to Ireland's largest national park, the country's highest waterfall and the biggest man-made lake.

 

As well as its unique landscape, from cliffs and sandy beaches to rolling mountains and hidden lakes, Wicklow is at the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East.

  • Follow in the footsteps of St Kevin at Glendalough’s 6th Century monastic site;

  • Experience the troubled times of the 1798 Rebellion in Wicklow Jail;

  • Admire the grandeur of Russborough or Killruddery House; or

  • Wander through Ireland’s most beautiful gardens, such as Powerscourt or Mount Usher.
     

Wicklow is also Ireland’s premier outdoor destination:

  • Walk or cycle the Wicklow mountains;

  • Play on some of Ireland’s best links and parkland golf courses;

  • Ride through stunning landscape; or

  • Fish along our coast, rivers or lakes.

 

For a list of things to do, places to stay, restaurants to dine in and pubs to relax in, simply clicks on the link below.​

CLICK FOR A LIST OF WICKLOW ACCOMMODATION

 

CLICK TO VISIT WICKLOW TOURISM
 

Insurance

PERSONAL ACCIDENT COVER

HELL & BACK is Ireland’s Toughest Mental & Physical Endurance Challenge and there are risks associated when participating.

A Personal Accident Insurance Fee of €6 (adults) or €3 (children) is a mandatory part of your registration fee, which may help cover the costs of any injury you may sustain taking part.

This Personal Accident Policy, which is underwritten by AIG Ireland, provides various benefits, including €1,500 Medical Expenses per person (excess of €65), for injuries sustained while participating in the HELL & BACK Event you have registered for. Please note that Loss of Income is not covered.

This is a very brief synopsis of the cover provided and does not form the basis of your contract with AIG. For a full synopsis of the cover provided or if you have queries, please email registrations@aliveoutside.ie.

One the Day

on the day faqs

COLLECTING YOUR WRISTBAND 

 Wristbands are available for collection onsite at the Registration Tent. You must collect and sign for your Wristband at least 30 MINUTES before your allocated Wave Start Time.

 

Your unique Wristband, which you must be wearing to be allowed into the Starting Pen, will be coloured according to your wave and have your individual Race Number printed on it.

Anyone who arrives after their allocated Collection Time may be removed from the event without refund. You can find out your allocated Wristband Collection Time on the Start Time Checker.

Make sure you securely fasten your wristband before you start as you will need it at the Finish Line to collect your exclusive "I Made it Thru HELL & BACK" T-shirt.

WHERE CAN I BUY A CAR PARKING PASS?

During the registration process, you are asked if you would like to purchase a discounted Car Parking Pass. If you choose "yes", you will receive a QR code with your registration ticket, which you should present to the Car Park Attendant when entering the pre-paid car park.

 

Car Parking is also available by paying €10 cash at the Gate on the day. 

WHAT ABOUT PUBLIC TRANSPORT?

As part of our initiative to reduce traffic congestion and make HELL & BACK a greener event, we encourage all participants to use public transport where possible when travelling to and from Killruddery.

 

For H&B Large Scale events, there is a direct Shuttle Bus service between Bray DART Station and Southern Cross IDA Car Park, a 10 min walk from the Registration Tent.

 

A return Shuttle Bus ticket costs €4.50 when you pre-pay as part of the registration process or €5 on the day. If you have pre-paid for a Shuttle Bus ticket, bring a copy of it on the day to show to the Bus Driver. 

 

Full details of the Shuttle Bus Timetable will be announced in advance of the event via email and on Social Media.

Make sure to give yourself plenty of time in case of DART delays etc. If your DART is late, don’t worry – we will slot you into the next available start time!

IS THERE ANYWHERE I CAN LEAVE VALUABLES?

For Large Scale H&B Events in June and September

Yes, we have a free Secure Valuables Drop for your personal valuables (car keys, wallet, phone) located in the Lambing Shed close to the Changing Area and Showers. 

 

Please note that valuables must fit into a small freezer-sized zip bag.

 

You will be given a numbered wristband upon leaving in your valuables - and must present this wristband upon collection.

 

Important: no wristband, no valuables!

For Smaller H&B Events including H&B Midsummer, H&B Dawn, and H&B Winter

Yes, we have  Secure Valuable Drop for your personal valuables located at Basecamp after when you come through registration. You should leave your kit bag in your car, which is a short walk away.

 

Please note that, at certain times of the day, the Secure Valuables Drop gets very busy so the earlier you get to it, the better! 

ARE THERE CHANGING FACILITIES?

For Large Scale H&B Events in June and September

Yes, there are Male and Female Changing Areas available in the Lambing Shed for you to use before and after the run.

 

It is strongly recommended that you bring a towel and a change of warm, dry clothes as you may be cold and wet when you finish and may have a distance to walk back to your car or bus.

 

There are also warm showers in the Lambing Shed to rinse the first layer of muck off - you should have a good wash when you get back home!

For Smaller H&B Events including H&B Midsummer, H&B Dawn, and H&B Winter

For the smaller H&B Events, you should arrive togged out in your running gear although there is a small Male and Female Changing Area in Alive Outside Basecamp, which you can use.

ARE THERE SHOWERS?

For Large Scale H&B Events in June and September

Yes, there are warm showers in the Lambing Shed beside the Changing Area, Secure Valuable Drop and First Aid Centre. 

 

Remember that Killruddery is a working farm so do not expect luxury!

 

Also, due to the potential dangers they can cause to livestock, you cannot bring shampoos or gels into the showers - it is essentially water only to get the first layer of muck off...you can wash layers 2, 3 and 4 off when you home!

 

Shoreline Leisure Centre on Southern Cross Road is located nearby if you are travelling a long distance and would like a swim and shower before hitting the road. Contact Shoreline Bray for more information.

For Smaller H&B Events including H&B Midsummer, H&B Dawn, and H&B Winter

There are no hot showers for smaller H&B Events although there is running water in Alive Outside Basecamp, where you can wash off any mud before changing into dry clothes.

Shoreline Leisure Centre on Southern Cross Road is located nearby if you are travelling a long distance and would like a hot shower before hitting the road. Contact Shoreline Bray for more information.

AM I ENTITLED TO A FINISHER T-SHIRT?

Yes, if you take part in the Adult event. The families, Junior, and Teen events do not get a finishers t-shirt and receives instead a multi-functional scarf in their goody bags. To collect your finisher t-shirt, please don't forget to come by the registration tent after your course and we will give you the size needed.

Refunds

REFUND FAQs

CAN I GET A REFUND IF I CANNOT DO THE EVENT?

As per the Event Terms and Conditions, which you agreed to when signing up, unfortunately we cannot offer a refund if you cannot take part in HELL & BACK.  You can though appoint a replacement to take your place by simply following these instructions :


 

  1. Email your replacement the original Ticket / Confirmation Email or QR code.

  2. On the day, the replacement should present this Ticket/QR code to one of our marshals at the Registration Tent and collect the allocated Wristband on your behalf. 

  3. The replacement must read the Event Terms and Conditions and, if happy with them, sign their name beside the allocated Wristband Number. 

  4. So if you get injured and can no longer take part, you can allocate your place to someone else right up until the event day. 

If the event is SOLD OUT, you may find a buyer for your ticket on the Event Page of our Facebook.

If you have any queries about this, email info@aliveoutside.ie

MARKETING FAQs

BROCHURES & POSTERS?

If you would like some brochures or posters for one of our upcoming events, drop an email to info@aliveoutside.ie and we will send you a link, allowing you print them off at your own convenience.

MORE INFORMATION?

Before taking part, call us in HQ on 01 2147355, Monday to Friday from 09:00 until 17:00. At HELL & BACK, we will have an Info Desk for any questions you may have. On course, ask any of our marshals or "Hell-pers", who will be delighted to help you out!

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