Sports the Olympics Forgot – Pole-Vaulting over Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian’s Wall stretches for 74 miles and separated Scotland from the rest of the Roman Empire. The Wall has always been a symbol of the differences between England and Scotland and this fact lies at the basis of the Pole Vaulting event held near Chester’s Fort every January 27th since 1890. Although Hadrian’s Wall is totally in England there is a symbolic meaning for Scots to be on the side that’s closer to Scotland – it feels more like home.

There are three elements to the event, the first two of which involve leaping from England into Scotland. The first is the Pole Vault event where athletes, using professional athletics poles, vault over the wall and try and land as far as possible into Scotland. Each vaulter is given six attempts and the person with the longest distance is the winner.

The second event is the ‘Vault over the Wall’ that is for both professional and amateur athletes alike. The aim here is simply to vault over the wall using any implement possible such as a garden spade, a fence post, or even a car bumper. Not all attempts are successful; to have a chance of winning the athlete must clear the wall and again, the furthest distance wins the prize. Competitors can have a maximum of 10 attempts in the two hours set aside for the event. All contestants sign an insurance waiver before the beginning of the event.

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