Lawrence was born in the NARP. Molded by it. He didn’t see a pair of spikes until he was already a man; by then they were nothing to him but odd little pointy things. With no fewer than 128 parkruns to his name did our Men’s Captain first set foot in Cambridge all those years ago. His life experience at Haslemere Border AC had taught him that running was primarily for middle-aged marathoners looking to spice up their marriage, and not something that should be a serious endeavour. Of course, our Hollom was an elite Olympic athlete. It was just that his international medals were of the mathematical variety, and he was more concerned with calculating Hollom’s Number than Hollom’s mileage.
Yet from these humble beginnings, a seed took root and began to flower. A taste of the mob match led to a run at BUCS, then a IIIs Team, multiple IIs Teams, National XC races and oh my days, the man now has a BUCS medal. Even his own extensive statistical analysis couldn’t comprehend the demolition of Oxford’s IIs he dished out this year as team captain. It is a coming-of-age story to make your heart burst with pride.
Of course, his journey has not been without its struggles. An ill-advised wave of hello to Tom Kearns in his third year led to a solo bike crash and a broken elbow – Lawrence learned to never trust baby-faced vets again. A fire alarm blighted his hospitality of a visitor in 2017 – Lawrence learned to make sure his guests left with their shoes on in future. His Freshers Varsity Match 3000m left him so thoroughly scarred that it remained his PB for the next 6 years (until he took almost a minute off it this year).
But through these trials, tribulations and glorious successes Lawrence became the man he is today: a master of all trades, as wise as anyone you’ll ever meet, and a certified speedy bloke. If you want to learn his ways (and you should), you are in luck. As this year’s Men’s Captain, he is obliged to impart his wisdom at every opportunity. I predict a lucrative reign.