Finding himself unable to actually run a marathon this year, Max has taken the wise decision to try and organise one instead. Originally planning to run the Connemarathon in 2020, pandemic-induced race cancellations gave Max an extra three years to prepare, only for his plans to be derailed by injury in the final build-up. Taking place near Max’s home in Galway, Ireland, the Connemarathon is known for its scenic views and having a total elevation gain equal to the amount Max would amass in a typical year running in Cambridge – maybe missing it wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
Nevertheless, Max’s running has been on a steep upward trajectory this year, with fine runs at Varsity Mob Match and BUCS XC. His breakthrough season was cruelly interrupted by injury, but the long hours on the Trinity gym watt bikes bode well for his return.
After an undergraduate degree at UCD in Dublin, featuring a spell in UC Berkeley, Max will soon enter his third year in Cambridge. As a core participant in the maths PhD student takeover of the Hare and Hounds, Max divides his time between running and pretending to understand the universe, one of the core tenets of modern theoretical physics.
Max has a difficult task ahead trying to replicate Iain Davies’ successful reign as lead Boundary Run Officer. Let’s just hope that his debut in marathon organisation goes better than his attempt to run one.
Despite not even helping at Boundary Run this year, 2021’s “Harey-est fresher” is ready to help make 2024’s race bigger and better than ever before. Finishing off a year as a welfare sec, we were the recipients of her 6am emails. This is all part of her excellent time management skills, as illustrated by her strict “ be home by 7am” rule. Currently in the depths of the dreaded 2nd year Medicine, her intercalated year in “Educational Policy and International Development” promises to give her magnitudes of free time to dedicate to the noble cause of Boundary Run. Zara’s extensive Harey social network will come in handy for convincing people to help out, and her special alumni links open up even more avenues for exploiting volunteers. A keen long-distance runner (2X completer of Ely), her appreciation of far-flung corners of Cambridge running routes will come in handy for course inspection and mapping. I for one cannot wait to see Zara’s endless energy be channelled into making us more money organising a great race.
An interview with the wildlife of Matthew Blacker’s childhood, in a bid to establish his fitness for the role of Boundary Run Officer, Cambridge University Hare and Hounds Committee, 2023-2024
Suburban Perth on a Tuesday evening. Dusk. Present: CUH&H, several species native to Western Australia.
CUH&H: Hello everybody. Thank you for being here. I’ve come from a very long way away, and I want your help answering the following question: ‘What will make Matthew Blacker a good Boundary Run Officer?’
There is a prolonged silence. Finally:
WESTERN BRUSH WALLABY: Quite hard to think of much, to be honest.
QUOKKA: Yeah mate, not a huge amount. He’s always been pretty good at sums – he’s doing a PhD in Physics, isn’t he?
(A stray DIBBLER passing by); Actually, it’s a Gates-funded doctorate in theoretical physics: he’s developing a new theory of quantum gravity, specifically in a universe that–
PYGMY PYTHON: Shut up, Brian. (DIBBLER flees the scene). Anyway, Matthew’s always loved both sums and running around, particularly very long distances. I know he’s done a fair few ultras…
PAINTED BUTTONQUAIL (interrupting): Yeah, and he won’t shut up about them. The survivors of the ‘So Ricci had my beanie…’ ninety-minute SLR anecdote this February have formed their own support group.
PYGMY PYTHON: …so the challenge of wrangling a half- and full marathon should be well within his capabilities.
CUH&H: OK, that’s good to know. I have here a few quotes: Julia Jakob claims he’s ‘a sociologist who thinks he’s a numbers guy’, Strava Inc. have filed him under the category ‘threats to the mileage algorithm’, and the St John’s College catering team state ‘we keep hearing about him at Breakfast Club, but he’s never touched one of our hash browns.’ Can any of you speak on this?
JAVELIN LIZARD: Yeah, nah, he’s not much of a morning eater – he recently ran London Marathon in 3:01 on a bottle of electrolytes. Shame it then took him longer than that to get from the finish line to the drinks reception.
RUFOUS BRISTLEBIRD: I heard he thinks Australia is better at breakfasts.
PAINTED BUTTONQUAIL: I heard he thinks he thinks Australia is better at everything.
DIBBLER (from underneath a eucalyptus leaf): Especially cricket. Which he loves, incidentally.
PYGMY PYTHON: Brian, I swear to God…
CUH&H (in haste): Listen, we’re getting off-topic, and we have a track session to get to. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about Matthew?
QUOKKA: Matthew is universally known as Blacker.
PYGMY PYTHON: Even by his mum.
DIBBLER: Especially by his mu–
(Exit PYGMY PYTHON in pursuit of exiting DIBBLER.)
JAVELIN LIZARD: He’s got the energy of an excited puppy and we all love him for it.
QUOKKA: He’ll make a great Boundary Run Officer. We’ll be watching with excitement and enthusiasm from Down Under.
CUH&H: That’s great. Thank you all so much!
(Enter PYGMY PYTHON, licking lips.)
PYGMY PYTHON: Did I miss anything good?
After losing an uncontested election against an ancient force of transport nature, Jeremy Dempsey has returned to the committee to offer up some boundary run wisdom to help fund this great club for another year. Despite serving 4 years on the committee, his sole contribution is likely to be his access to the house in which Iain Davies rests his head, though perhaps he will have a point to prove after a mysterious spell as 3rd social sec. Out of the parliamentary buildings, he lets his speed do the talking. His top 10 finish at BUCS XC and silver medal in the BUCS 1500m are arguably his best running achievements to date. However, some would argue his consistency in breaking the 5-minute mile barrier as many times as Niamh surpasses these achievements. Phil O’Dell would have you believe he is a man who pushes the boundaries of each of the 7 deadly sins, but those closest to him know he does his best to preserve life, attending as many medicine lectures as possible – he even sometimes turns up for the first half of the lectures! It’s been a tough year balancing running with this, but the many out and backs along the Lowestoft Rivera have made him stronger in the legs and in the mind. I truly believe his first 5 years in Cambridge have made him stronger; he is now ready to make a minor contribution to the boundary run.