Teddy Hall Relays 2005 Report

On Wednesday, March 9th, fourteen eager Cambridge cross-country runners competed in the popular Teddy Hall relays in Oxford. The relays had a record turnout of almost 700 hundred runners. The course started on Oxford's track at Iffley road, and four miles later returned there, taking in picturesque views of the Cherwell and the local tarmac en route. Teams were of four for the men, and three for the women. With nine men and five women, four of our athletes were forced to double up legs.

In the men's A race, Owain Bristow started well to put Cambridge in fourth place after the first leg. Rich Ward followed, fairly rocketing out of the stadium, and rocketing back in again twenty minutes later. After a few minutes' break, he did it all over again, for the men's C team.

Meanwhile, Diarmuid O'Seaghdha and Will George kept up the pace to bring the A team home in third place, just behind two Oxford teams, the first being made up of half the Oxford Blues' squad. Emma Pooley led off at a cracking pace for the women's team and handed over to Claire Day in fifth place. Day hung on grimly throughout her lap, and crept up one more place.

Claire Willer managed to snag another place on the last leg to give us third overall. The women's B team was made up of Katherine Vinnicombe, Beth Tanner and Emma Pooley the second. They stormed through to an impressive twelfth place.

The men's B team started well: new club captain Si Rutherford took the first leg, snatched a quick breather, and shot off again for the C team. Andy Bell paced the 2nd leg well, and it was only when he reached the finish line that things went pear shaped. He was somewhat surprised to find Aidan Brown, the third runner, with his trousers half-off and his shoes half-on. In an ill-fated attempt to keep warm, Brown had over-estimated his trousers' useful ankle zips, and had assumed that he was capable of pulling them off faster than Bell could sprint 200m. He was not. A minute or so too late he scuttled off, amid jeers from the crowd, only to stop just out of sight of the stadium, to tie his shoes up. Despite a valiant attempt to recover lost ground, Brown handed over to Alex Mcintosh six places down from where Bell had left them. Mcintosh however, brought off a fantastic last lap, to gain three places, and bring the B team home in fifteenth overall. Jacob Eisler and Andy Bell Mk. 2 made up the rest of the men's C team. Together with Ward and Rutherford, they slotted the team in at a very respectable 19th.

The race was followed by tea and cake in St Edmund's College, otherwise known as Teddy Hall. The tea was without milk, and the cake was without cake, it all having been eaten by hungry runners. Luckily, this state of affairs did not last long. Nor did the new cakes. There followed the reading of the results, which are highly suspect. As far as we can tell, Rich Ward finished somewhere between 4th and 7th overall. Emma Pooley probably came in seventh, and has the prize for fifth place. However, their times are still fantastic, whatever they are. Overall, we came home with some great results, and had a very enjoyable day out.

by Aidan Brown