For the first time, we entered an OE cross-country running team into the annual Thames Hare & Hounds Alumni Race. For many OEs, school cross-country “running” may bring back memories of ploughing through ankle deep mud on Epsom Downs on cold, wet winter afternoons. By contrast, the 2023 Alumni Race covered 5 miles on Wimbledon Common with firm ground underfoot and bright September sunshine – although a slightly cooler temperature than that afternoon’s 28oC would have been welcomed by many of the participants.
Our team of Paige Chamberlain (Crawfurd/Murrell 2017-2022), Lucy Marquand (Rosebery 2012-2017), James Bourne (Crawfurd 1983-1988), John Bennet (Robinson 1972-1976) and Paul Newby (Holman 1958-1962) all ran great individual times and all were well-placed in their categories. Collectively, despite our five runners falling into five different age groups, our OEs finished third in two of the large and complex collection of team categories, including the “Christopher Chataway Cup” for over-50 men, as well as a respectable eighth in the overall age- and gender-adjusted “Shrewsbury Cup” competition. These were great achievements for a small team competing against 36 other schools.
Particular mention must go to Paul Newby, who organised our team entry, and for whom this was his first sporting representation of either the OE Club or the College – some 60 years after he left the College! Paul completed the race in a time that many younger people would have been envious of, he is an inspiration to us all.
Our team had an enjoyable afternoon – not just from the running, but also during the post-race “tea” when we shared our many different stories and experiences of life at the College and after.
It would be great if we could have a bigger OE representation at next year’s event, currently booked in for the 14the September 2024. If you would be interested in taking part please get in touch with the OE Club via email@example.com