It’s in the Baggs! Imperial lift silverware after final race in the London Universities Cross Country League

It was a glorious Wednesday afternoon in the middle of February – the hottest winter day on record – which was no surprise to many of Imperial’s cross country runners who knew this competition had been hotting up for some time.

The final fixture in the London Universities and Colleges Cross Country League was to take place just a (7km) stone’s throw from Beit Quad – in the fields behind the infamous HMP Wormwood Scrubs.

Prior to the race, Imperial were leading the women’s league, with the B team also clinging to the podium in third.

The men’s team were looking fairly comfortable in third place in the men’s league, but there was still everything to play for going into this final event.

Most importantly of all, Imperial were sitting atop the mixed league – a new competition for this year that combines the scores of the women’s and men’s team placings in races to crown the ultimate overall cross country squad.

Starting the day just 2 points clear of UCL meant that everyone had to put in a big race to ensure the first name engraved on the flashy new silverware would be the ancient runes of I-M-P-E-R-I-A-L.

After sunbathing as a warm-up and a rousing team talk, the squad took their place on the start line alongside other student runners from across London and beyond.

Before they knew it they were off, flying down the back straight of the Scrubs like escaped prisoners, before the faux-convicts took a sharp turn to take them up towards some thick foliage.

Amogst the navy and red vests were a number of candidates for overall individual medals.

In the men’s race Niki Faulkner was hoping to jump up to the podium, having raced three of four previous races and with everyone’s top four races to score he was a strong favourite for the silver medal overall. Dubious pre-race calculations suggested a simple eleventh place finish would guarantee the silver.

In the simultaneous yet shorter women’s race, Imperial star athletes Kate Olding and Georgia Curry were tied for gold going into the race. With third place in the league well out of the running, this final race was a straight shootout for the gold. Both athletes went into the race carrying minor injuries but were determined to do everything to bring home the fabled gold.

With four scoring members for each team it was also important that the women’s squad had sufficient depth to allow the B team to outscore Reading’s A team and secure an unprecedented double podium for the women.

In the men’s race Niki stormed home in third with the A team packing strongly: Oliver Newton came 12th, Joe Pomfret finished 16th, Henry Hart 17th, and Mihaly Ormay 22nd.

In the women’s race, Georgia Curry was pipped to the line by a St Mary’s athlete, with the rest of the top five filled by Imperial’s Alex Mundell in third, Chloe Baker in fourth, and Alix Vermeulen in fifth. The entire B team also finished in the top 20!

All that was left of the day was the prize-giving. First were the individual awards for the top-scoring six athletes across their best four races in the league. Fresher Alix Vermeulen was pleasantly surprised to place fourth, and was just three points behind third. Kate Olding was loudly cheered as she collected her silver medal after succumbing to an unfortunate injury in the final race, but that left the gold medal which went to Georgia Curry who just pipped Kate to the title by 2 points, scoring a ludicrous 597 out of 600 points overall.

Over in the men’s, Niki Faulkner recieved the silver medal, finishing just 2 points behind the winning athlete from St Mary’s with a total of 791 out of 800 points.

In the overall standings, the women’s A teams and B teams scored first and third respectively, with the A team receiving an unnecessarily large shield.

The Men’s took home the bronze medals before the entire squad roared when it was confirmed they had won the inaugural Mike Baggs Trophy for best mixed squad.

The gleaming trophy was embraced by all team members and paraded around the Union later that night at ACC.

Amazingly, it survived the night and only time will tell if ICXCAC will be able to retain the trophy in 2020.

Interview with Michael Crone on Orientieering

Reflecting back on a very successful weekend for ICXCAC, today we chatted to Orienteering star Michael Crone after his storming performance in Estonia in the World Orienteering Championships:

When did you get into orienteering?
I started orienteering just after high school. We had been invited to events, but they always clashed with other sport so I didn’t ever have a chance to go. When I started university I decided that would try it and I have loved it ever since. I was lucky that one of my brother’s friends ran the university club and so it was not very daunting.

How do you suggest that people get into orienteering?
In the UK it is much easier. Most cities have active orienteering clubs. There are two orienteering clubs in London. I am a part of south London orienteers (SLOW). There are generally events up to three times a week

What is your favourite thing about the sport?
It is both a mental and physical challenge. It doesn’t help to just run fast. It teaches you to make quick decisions under extreme pressure, instantly punishing you for mistakes.
It also takes you to unique places where you know very few people get to go.

What skills do you need to succeed?
Be able to run very fast in any terrain. Think fallen trees, through marshes, over rocky terrain. Have some sense of direction. Overall I think that you just need determination and dedication. As with anything it is quite frustrating when you start because you can run a lot faster than you can navigate.
My perfect races are always when my running speed matches my navigation speed

Tell us about your most enjoyable race.
Orienteering is a sport that is all about making mistakes. Nobody is perfect, everyone makes an error. Some are just measured in seconds rather than minutes. Every race starts off with the goal of minimising those mistakes. To do this you often get into a space of mind that just feels like magic. Bear in mind that every race that you do is somewhere new, the map made by a different mapper. You have no idea if you and the mapper will think in the same way so in the first few minutes of the race your brain adjusts to this. If this happens in a race it suddenly feels like magic. Everything begins to make sense and you can run as fast as you like and not make many mistakes. This is my ultimate goal in a race and I’ve been lucky to achieve it in two world championship races five years apart. First in Lausanne in 2012 and now in Tartu. It’s an extraordinary feeling that only an Orienteer understands. It’s one of the reasons why we are such a tightly knit community.

Tell us about your experience up to and during the World Championships in Estonia.
My build up to world champs wasn’t that great. I was only told in May that I had been invited to take part. I hadn’t been planning on going this year. In Orienteering it is as much about mental as physical preparation. My physical training went really well up to that point and I had also been lucky that I have competed in some international competitions in Denmark and Italy in the lead up to world champs. One aspect where I really felt underprepared though was in preparing for the specific area that I was running in. I had an old map of the area, but usually around 6 months in advance I would have started using street view to get an idea of the area and the various challenges that I faced (you aren’t allowed to enter the competition area until you start your race). I had some people help me do some preparation, but it was definitely less than I would have liked. And I also had a lot going on with my various projects at Imperial so it was difficult to keep up with everything.

This didn’t seem to matter too much in the qualification, races that are notoriously quick and less technically difficult, but it was definitely a problem in the final!
This is my fourth world champs experience. This one was slightly different because I didn’t have anyone else from my own country which can make it slightly more challenging since there are often a lot of thoughts going on in your head!
Every one of them has been very special for me and this one is not really any different
I’m quite glad that I came because I was considering turning down the offer.

I think that a part of me has always thought that I couldn’t replicate my qualification in 2012 where I became the first south African (and first African) to ever qualify for a world orienteering championship final). There’s a part of you that feels like you probably reached your peak and it’s all downhill after that.

Which is a pretty horrible feeling to have to be honest
This year we also saw who was in our heat, so there were even more nerves and it was the first time that I was using this specific version of touch free timing.
We had been training in some of the forest areas so the tapering wasn’t going well at all! I just felt like I hadn’t rested enough.

But suddenly when you pick up your map, turn it over and you feel the magic then there is nothing that will stop you. My race wasn’t mistake free, but I scraped into the final. Placing joint 15th with a Norwegian (Norwegians are very good at orienteering). One second slower and I wouldn’t have made it.

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So after that there were suddenly no other expectations… I had already achieved more than I could have ever dreamed.

40th Surrey Hills Race

On Sunday 11th June, 8 elite members of ICXC’s trail inclined cohort headed to the hills. South London Orienteers and Wayfarers (SLOW) were hosting the 40th edition of the Surrey Hills Trail Challenge, with ‘minimum’ race distances of 30 km, 16 km and 10 km.

The distances were given as minimum since this event was an orienteering race, where map reading was an advantage (as many found to their peril). The races required ‘dibbing’ at between a number of checkpoints.

Callum Matthews, Merissa Lim and Henry Hart set off first in the 10 km category, shortly followed by Emma McCracken, Robert Salawa, Fergus Johnson, Jack McKeon and Henry Maynard in the 16 km.

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In the 16 km, the Imperial pack of Robert, Fergus and Jack were having a storming first half, just off the lead, until they discovered they had fallen foul of the race’s nature to deceive and soon found themselves a little off track. This resulted in a 3 km detour, leading them to finish the race behind slower runners whom they might have beaten. However, they did not win the prize (unofficial) for the longest race of the day. That accolade went to Emma who clocked 23 km at the finish having got within a kilometer of the line efficiently, only to run in circles to find the last checkpoint and finish line! Despite this, Emma still managed to bring home some beer for being the fastest U23 Woman! Henry Maynard only got slightly lost and so came in as the first Imperial runner in the 16 km race with an impressive 13th overall.

In the 10 km race, Callum and Merissa had a solid race with few mishaps to finish 14th and 15th. As the Imperial pack in the 16 km course demonstrated, trying to navigate this course for the first time alone is risky. The author decided to run with a fast local, before kicking to win by 1 second.

It was a successful outing for ICXC, running some excellent trails above Dorking. We look forward to going back next year. In addition, we look to make trips out to the hilly surroundings of London more regular; Box Hill and Lewknor will feature heavily. Like ICXCAC’s Facebook page for relevant updates!

LUCA Outdoors Championships 2017

Saturday 27th May saw the final event in the London Universities and Colleges Athletics (LUCA) outdoors championship take place. The series of 3 athletics meets between the London universities had previously visited St. Mary’s and Woodford athletics tracks, and the destination for the final was Battersea’s Millennium Arena.

luca2The warm but windy day began with a 1-2 for Imperial in an excellent women’s 1500m led home by Kate Olding in a time of 4:57.16, closely followed by Sarah Johnson in 5:03.29 and Ophélie Meuriot finishing 5th in 6:11.17.

The men’s race saw some good performances too, with Fergus Johnson (4:54.13) and Duncan Hunter (4:58.90) competing in the first heat, and Duncan Ingram (5:01.51) and Lawrence Tse (5:48.01) running in the second.

Meanwhile, 5 Imperial athletes competed in the long jump; David Fong leapt 5.94m – enough to finish 2nd on the day – with multi-eventer Hunter jumping 4.49m and Jack McKeon 4.22m. In the women’s event, Zhen Wang-Koh flew 2.99m and Meuriot reached 2.84m shortly after her 1500m. Wang-Koh later went on to clear 1.20m in the high jump.

18699866_269059920224076_806913222841257939_nIn the 100m sprints, Imperial’s Paul Guillon ran 12.83, with Stefan Renstrom finishing in a rapid 12.21, and Hunter running an impressive 13.07 after his 1500m and long jump. Hunter and Guillon then went on to run the 200m in times of 26.86 and 26.01 respectively. Not satisfied with 2 sprint events, Guillon next ran the notoriously difficult 400m to post an impressive 56.20.

In the even more difficult women’s 400m hurdles, Jenny Lea ran 1:36.16, despite having never jumped over a hurdle before! She also hopped, skipped and jumped valiantly in the triple jump.

With the sun beating down on the Battersea track, a water station was set up for the longest event of the day – the 5000m. In her 3rd of 6 events, Ophélie Meuriot finished strongly to run 23:55.77, just ahead of Catherine Spurin’s 24:14.17.

In the men’s event, McKeon posted a new personal best of 18:04.92 despite the heat, gusts on the back straight of the track, and suspect water delivery from his teammates.

McKeon then went on to compete in the 800m, running 2:28.71, just behind Duncan Ingram’s 2:27.58, finishing 3rd and 2nd respectively in the second heat. Imperial’s future athletics captain Max Thorp earlier posted a speedy 2:10.46 to finish 5th in the first heat.

In the women’s 800m, women’s captain Alex Mundell ran extremely well to finish 3rd in 2:24.16.

Next was the turn of the spectators’ favourite – the steeplechase. This event involves hurdling 5 large barriers (91.4cm for men) per lap over 2km or 3km, with water jumps to contend with each lap too. A crowd typically gather around the water jump, with plenty of splashes and tumbles occurring during each race. Representing Imperial in the men’s race was Duncan Ingram, who went on to finish in 12:31.00 after a surge in pace on the penultimate lap to ensure he was not lapped by the eventual winner!

Over in the field events, Athletics Captain Raul Rinken came 2nd in the shot put, throwing 10.47m, while James Davis reached 7.70m and multi-eventer Ingram threw 5.86m. Davis and Ingram also competed in the javelin, with throws of 26.81m and 20.04m respectively. Davis also entered the discus, throwing 17.69m, while Rinken won the event by over 7m with a huge throw of 36.38m.

18740287_269060183557383_9221667256603695248_nIn the women’s events Liv Papaioannou came 5th in shot put with 7.21m, ahead of Mundell with 5.79m. Both Papaioannou and Mundell also threw the javelin along with Meuriot, with Papaioannou finishing 3rd with 23.91m, ahead of Mundell’s 15.88m, and Meuriot’s 8.50m. Meuriot’s final event was the discus, in which she threw 9.45m.

Some of the most exciting races of the day were the relay races. Imperial’s 4x100m teams finished in 48.84 and 63.82, and the men’s 4x400m team came home in 4:19.19.

In the medley relay, a special event which has 200m, 400m and 800m legs and both men and women competing in one event, Imperial assembled a strong team enough team to podium; finishing 3rd in 7:49.55.

As the event was the 3rd and final meet of the series, medals were presented for the highest points scored in each discipline over the course of the championship.

Overall, bronze medals went to Women’s Captain Alex Mundell for 800m and our medley relay team, silver medals to next year’s Athletics Captain Max Thorp for 800m, Liv Papaioannou for javelin, David Fong for long jump, and Athletics Captain Raul Rinken for shotput and gold medals to Kate Olding for the 1500m and Raul for discus.

In the final standings, Imperial managed a respectable 4th place out of all the competing universities and colleges, behind UCL, King’s and LSE.

luca1Special thanks go to Imperial’s Matt Douthwaite and Shiv Patel for all their hard work and dedication in organising the championships.

Clare Maurer Wins Pole Vault GOLD at BUCS

The weekend of 29th April – 1st May marked ICXCAC’s representation at the 2017 BUCS Outdoor Athletics Championships.

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The third day of the Championships saw Imperial’s very own Clare Maurer clear 3.70m in the women’s pole vault final and bring home the title! Below is an interview with Clare following this incredible achievement:

How did you get into pole vault?
I used to do gymnastics when I was younger and after deciding to stop that my school sports teacher encouraged me to try pole vault as both sports have similar traits. So I decided to give it a go and have loved it ever since!

What was the build up to BUCS like training wise and otherwise?
Training before BUCS went really well and I was fresh back from warm weather training in Spain which was an ideal environment to prepare for the outdoor season (unfortunately the weather in Bedford was quite the opposite to sunny Spain!!)

What expectations did you have coming into the championship?
I don’t like to put too much pressure on myself but I knew training had been going great and I was in good form. I achieved a bronze medal at the indoor championship so I was looking to improve on this but I knew that the competition was going to be tough.

Take us through the whole experience of competing and how it felt to win.
Warm up went well, despite a downpour of rain and cold conditions, so I felt good going into the competition. I knew in a championship like this clearing heights first time was important and after successfully doing this for my opening height, 3.70m and 3.80m, I gave myself a really good chance of winning! I was really determined to clear 3.90 and just clipped the bar, so it wasn’t to be, but I had just been crowned BUCS champion and had achieved an outdoor PB so I was over the moon. It was also great to have support from my coach, team mate and imperial coaching team.

What are your goals going forward?
I’ve just been selected to represent British universities at the Loughborough international on 21st May so I’m really looking forward to that. I’m also hoping to compete at the British championships and jump over 4 metres.

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Find full results from the weekend here.

Trail Taster Session: Easter 2017

Towards the end of the Easter ‘holiday’, two trail team members headed for the Chiltern Hills to experience some thrilling downhills and challenging uphills.

We caught the Oxford tube at 9am from Shepherd’s bush and arrived at Lewknor less than an hour later, and immediately hit the hills. The route took us along much of the Watlington 10k and 10 mile race trails, as well as up alongside the iconic White Mark on Watlington Hill and the brow overlooking the ‘Stokenchurch Gap’, a gorge cut through the hills for the M40.

The route... In all its glory
The route… In all its glory

The hills definitely showed why the Chilterns are classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AOSB). Particularly when the sun came out, the views over the whole of Oxfordshire from a high vantage point were purely breathtaking. The bluebells were in full flower in the woods, resembling a purple carpet in between the trees.

Some lovely scenery
Some lovely scenery

On the way around Hartmoor wood, we spotted a herd of around 100 wild Muntjacs in the adjacent field. They then proceeded to bound right across our path and into the next copse, making for an impressive sight. Many squirrels and even a fox were also spotted on our travels.

 

On the way back, we popped into Ye Olde Leatherne Bottle in Lewknor for a refreshing pint. All in all, we managed to get a beautiful long effort of 25k with 650m of climb for £14 and just 5 hours of our precious revision time.

Rehydrating post-race
Rehydrating post-race

If you are an ICXC member, be sure to look out for the next outing to be posted soon on the facebook group! Pace and course are very negotiable.

Kong Mini Mountain Marathon – 2nd April 2017

After battling through Saturday morning London traffic and (arguably worse) 7 hours of dodgy radio stations, we arrived at our luxury accommodation, a giant tipi, at the YHA in the village of Coniston. After unpacking, chilling out for a bit and getting some food for the morning, we spent the evening in true glamping style… in the pub sampling the local delicacies.

With race registration only 5 minutes from the glampsite, we had a relative lie in, fuelled up and headed out. With hardly any clouds in the sky, there was much debate as to the tights vs shorts dilemma. In the end, three of use opted for tights, which we immediately regretted due to balmy +10 °C temperatures and (relatively) blistering sunshine throughout the whole race.

After registering, we headed together to the start line, with Ben and Rob running as a team and Shivam and Jen going solo. Receiving our maps and dibbing the start control, we were off – only 4 hours of running standing between us and cake!

The next four hours flew by! Team‑Ben-and-Rob and Jen followed a similar course for the first few controls, taking them over the beautiful Kitty Crags towards Dry Cove Bottom. However, after Jen gave the other two an introduction to free climbing by leading them up an almost vertical, scrambly gully, the two teams parted ways at the top of the crag. Team‑Ben‑and‑Rob turned south after Black Sails towards Levers Water and Jen instead headed up Swirl How and onwards to the Great Carrs (mainly to bag an extra control to make up for the one she ran right past just before heading up the gully!).

The Great How Crags ridge was absolutely spectacular, with views right out to the coast and the Irish Sea. Down at the Low Water control, Jen briefly met Team‑Ben‑and‑Rob, who were bounding down from their scenic route to the summit the Old Man of Coniston. No race would stand in the way of them bagging a Lake District classic Wainwright! Both teams chose the same route back down Walna Scar road to the finish line, with Jen back in 03:50:37 and Team‑Ben‑and‑Rob playing it cool by returning with only 1 minute to spare in 03:58:50.

Over on Team Shivam, the first 3 hours of his race went really well. He covered a lot of ground (not to mention the elevation gain!) and racked up the points to the west of the course, including a visit to Goat’s Water at the foot of the Old Man and from there climbing up to summit the lofty heights of Dow Crag. However, the dreaded cramp struck after 3 hours and Shiv reluctantly finished earlier than planned, with a time of 03:01:09. A real frustration, certainly, but no doubt Shivam will be returning to future races to settle the score!

We returned to race registration to download our final scores and, more importantly, sample the unreal cake selection. The gingerbread was a personal highlight. Team‑Rob‑and‑Ben came in 3rd in the MU23 category with 240 points and Shiv came in 5th with 130 points- still a cracking score considering his injury! In the F category, Jen came in 11th with 270 points.

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Happy kit at the end of the race

After a team photo, we hobbled back to the car, had a quick wash and set off for the drive back. Surprisingly roads were really quiet and the hours flew by; Shiv having downloaded some outstanding playlists meant we were singing along to Taylor Swift, S Club 7 and Atomic Kitten all the way back to London. A great time was had by all and we can’t wait for the next round in August!

Figure 2 Smiling faces all round after a great morning's racing
Smiling faces all round after a great morning’s racing

Trail Team Triple Win

On a cold weekend in Wales, the ICXC Trail Team performed at their best. Three races, three wins (and two second places on top) and many happy faces. The Welsh Trail Series Round 4 was in complete Imperial hand with Michael winning the 10mile race by 6 minutes, Simon winning the marathon by 15 minutes and Charlie was basically racing by himself in the ultra, winning by 30 minutes. Madeleine came home with a brilliant second place in the women’s 10mile race, despite only signing up a week before the race. To complete the podiums, Andi came second in the Marathon.

After minor difficulties finding a suitable union minibus and exchanging keys twice, we set of Friday evening to our bunkhouse attached to the Dragon’s Back Inn, a cosy pub in the middle of nowhere. The alarms were set for 5:30am to be in time for Charlie’s ultra start. The tired faces weren’t exactly filled with joy as it was still drizzling in the morning, despite an explicit “no rain” forecast. On our way to the event HQ, the rain eventually stopped and latest at the car park, where numerous head torches were making their way to the race bib collection, the excitement for the race was back in all faces.

10mile pre-race selfie
10mile pre-race selfie

After the chaos in the events HQ, it was nice to be running out through the Welsh hills. All races began with a nice climb to a ridge where the 10mile race separated. During the descent from this ridge, the sun started to fight its way through the clouds, opening magnificent views across the valley. The only problem, the downhill screwed up our thighs. And it was only 10km into the marathon. Meanwhile the 10mile runners had also started their race, with Michael “sprinting off” as some have said. The new Trail faces stayed together for some time, Eytan not missing the opportunity to take some cheeky on the run photos. Madeleine pulled away from the group on the uphills while Henry and Charlie briefly met at the top of the ridge, despite being in different races.

"Racing" ... ?
“Racing” … ?

The 10mile runners were back long before the other three. Malte pulled out a Usain-Bolt like sprint finish, thankfully captured for eternity by Eytan on his camera. Meanwhile, the second half of the marathon was relatively flat and Simon started to speed up building his lead. Andi was slowly being caught by the third placed runner, but the technical downhill 5km before the finish increased the gap, which lasted until the finish line. This only left Charlie running, but speaking to the race organizers, we found out that “number 30 is flying” on the ultra course. The rest of the team did not even manage to get back in time after showering at the bunkhouse and, sadly, missed Charlies finish.

Smiley faces after a great weekend!
Smiley faces after a great weekend!

 

After a well deserved dinner, the rest of the evening was spent in front of the fireplace with mulled wine, beer and several games of Mafia. The perfect end to a brilliant day of racing.

LUCA This Girl Can (Neon Rave Run!)

Huge shout out to all the ladies who ran the 2016 This Girl Can Neon Run last Thursday!

It was great fun, with a fantastic turn out from Imperial (Imperial ratio, say what?), and we all looked amazing/slightly ridiculous in our funkiest clothes, glow sticks, neon face paint… I just hope you all remembered to wash your faces before Friday AM lectures!

The Imperial Girls team at large
The Imperial Girls team at large

It was a nice and easy 6km loop around the Thames, with 3 stops for group exercises/dancing/selfies. It’s safe to say there were lots of confused looks from strangers, as well as many star jumps and sit ups (the fun kind), but not even the rain at the end stopped us from smiling.

I think all the girls will agree with me when I say there’s no better feeling than jogging past the London Eye at night in a stampede of ~150 girls, all looking like aliens, and singing ABBA at the top of their voices. This is why we go to uni in London, right?

Casual Team Selfie
Casual Team Selfie

And even if making it to the Slug and Lettuce was just one of our Wildest Dreams, some us of certainly made sure to Shake it Off in Style with a Mean Taylor Swift sing-along in the minibus back to campus.

Can’t wait to see you all next year and remember, there is no such things a bad runner! Only someone who has never ever tried!

Charlotte #imperialgirlscan 

CROSS COUNTRY: IC have record turnouts at first race

The shouts of “ICXC we so sexy” lit up the first race of the London Colleges League last Wednesday at Parliament Hill. The London College League (LCL) is a series of six cross country races which take place throughout first and second term all over London, including Richmond and Bushy Park. A remarkably dry October day on Wednesday, the lumps and bumps along the grassy and gravel tracks still presented challenging terrain for the unwary. With their shiny new red & blue Imperial vests in hand, the newest members of the club were ready to represent their university against the masses of UCL, Kings, Brunel and St. Mary’s to name but a few.

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Record numbers of runners in shiny new vests

A substantial turnout made this an excellent race for both sides with 150 finishers in the men’s race and 103 in the women’s race. Imperial also had a record number of runners for an LCL with 48 on the start line. The start was slightly maniac as usual with many spectators wondering whether Cross Country and Athletics Club Captain, William Jones, had got a head start as he sped up the looming hill to take photos of the team.

Sarah Johnson led the women’s team coming in an excellent 9th after a gruelling half marathon the weekend before. New recruits Charlotte Van Zelst and Kate Olding both had excellent debut races for the club coming in 13th and 16th respectively. Despite complaining about not racing until halfway round, Women’s Captain Alex Mundell finished the Imperial Women’s 1st team coming in 23rd, placing them 3rd out of 22 teams.

Ellie Johnstone finished well in 32nd, followed closely by Leanne Lyons. Freya Espir also had a strong first race back finishing 42nd and Sofia Bettanin ran very well in her debut too coming in 51st, placing the Imperial 2nd team in a strong 10th. The women’s 3rd and 4th teams finished in 14th and 17th.

In the men’s race Joe Selley led out a solid first lap to gain a well-deserved 5th for his first race in an Imperial vest despite limited marking, followed by Chris Allison in 7th. Harry Scriven worked hard throughout the racing groups behind and gained 25th place. Fergus Johnson paced well and was hotly pursued by Greg Jones in 41st and 44th respectively, new man Daniel Garcia following closely behind in 45th. This places the Imperial Men’s 1st team in a strong 4th position out of 29 teams.

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Rob Tomkies loving the camera

Circuits specialist Lewis Jackson powered through to 49th, followed by Joss Knight coming in 60th who had already cycled to the race beforehand. Core coach Edmund Jones crunched his way to an excellent 68th, with fresher Finn Collyer putting in an excellent first display to finish 72nd. Rob Tomkies and Luis Munoz Heinen finished a strong Imperial 2nd team to place them 11th in the standings. The men’s 3rd and 4th teams finished 15th and 19th overall.

The club was extremely impressed with all new comers, from those veterans of the mud and cold to those who have never done a cross country race before. Many committee members commented that this was the strongest Imperial team that they had seen in many years and were confident that the club is in safe hands with its new members. Once again ICXCAC would like to congratulate all those who raced and look forward to seeing more new faces at the next LCL on Wednesday 2nd November at Mitcham Common.

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View of the daunting start…

If you’re interested in joining Cross Country and Athletics, please visit the union page, find us on Facebook or email run@ic.ac.uk.