Varsity 2013 took place in a very wintery setting up at Bodington fields due to the recent snow fall. The course was 5.4km for the lasses and 8.1km for the gentlemen and Bellew.
As is tradition the ladies went first with Susan Partridge destroying the course in a rapid time, finishing a minute ahead of her nearest competitor and a further two minutes ahead of the next university finisher. Bronwyn Hodgins ran faster than the time she got chased by the police and so didn’t have to spend the evening in the back of a police car again and instead beat the Edinburgh Braids 2012 champion Lucy “a girl with kaleidoscope eyes” Crookes. Hannah Drewitt’s finish kept the Uni score low and was closely followed by our other favourite Canadian Colleen Wilson. Caroline Ford was our last point scorer, but in a sentiment expressed by Elliott Jackson it was deemed that she could have gone faster had she been wearing her more aerodynamic crop top, many a lad concurred. Catherine Whitfield was next to finish. Bethan Davies made her return after disappearing into hibernation for winter. Due to our large attendance we packed out the bottom positions with some respectable times and some own personal battles taking place. Jessica Dinkins put in a five second lead over Laura Boehm winning the battle of the foreigners. Rachel Friend and Hannah Reichert were left running their own races, and bringing up the rear was a rather pleased Sarah Marsden (not because, as I quote from facebook, “she is in a relationship with Dan Whittle”, but instead that she had beaten someone) followed by content Bethan Hammond.
The men’s race was won by Dan Garbutt, formerly from Met, however he wasn’t the fastest mover on the day, that honour belongs to DJ “big cat” Crizzle and his ability to move from girl to girl on the dance floor. Never before has so much been tried on with so many by so few (stole this bit from Churchill (the man not the dog)), I would upgrade his name back to predator but that implies some sort of success rate. Richard Anderson was the first university competitor over the line and Liam Lloyd was soon to follow. Our late great leader Freddie Slemeck made an appearance. There was then a short interlude before normal service was resumed by Phil Sesemann and Josh Stone and Callum Greenwood. Glenn Phair’s absconding from alcohol gave him the edge over Ben Marriott but let’s hope it hasn’t damaged his beer racing performances. The IT bossman and worlds greatest gentleman, Alex Bellew, remained injury free for the duration of the whole race and completed it in a rather fast time. Despite this performance he has resigned his place in the London marathon; I personally was looking forward to his next training update. He cited two major reasons for his resignation, firstly being he would have to train for it and secondly that if he didn’t Joss would beat him and he couldn’t be having that. Tom Powell then firmly settled his fish and chips score with Jack Wood after beating him in two races within a week (full PECO report to come at the end of the league). Tom also avoided the embarrassment of resigning as Men’s race captain after threatening to, had he not been one of the top 12 uni finishers. In a post race interview, Jack Wood revealed he thought that he may have had Tom within the first lap but paid the price for a quick start later on. Luke Buswell split the fish and chip buddies down the middle, having only just managed to turn up to the start line. The results tumbled in with Beau Smith, Joe Coleshaw and Finn. Finn just pipped Alzheimers to the post, but we’ll let him off as he forgot where the finish was. Jago Leckie completed the course followed by Silva Surfer Shan. Josh Woodcock-Shaw was the last finisher before the most important battle of the day.
These reports are always going to be a little biased towards my race mainly because when you’re at the back, you have no idea what order the guys in front of you are finishing in unless you get lapped. At the start the main players in this story, Matt Evans, Dan Whittle and Johnny Wells, all took it easy and let the rest of the field get away including our other great rival Jarram Jarram. The lads from uni quickly caught up to those paying the price for a fast start and were picking them off as we went. Towards the end of the first lap and hilly section Evans made a break for it, but Whittle took it easy knowing Evans had made the same mistake less than a week before at the PECO league. But Evans didn’t mind because just like Lance Armstrong he had his secret weapon, not blood transfusions and EPO, but a hangover from the night before. Having recently set two parkrun PB’s and beaten Joss at a PECO league race whilst in a similar condition he knew he had what it takes. As the second lap set in the distance beaten the uni boys increased and with Stringer in his sights, Evans was only spurred on more. By the end of the second lap Evans was about to overtake, but Stringer withdrew having remembered he had an exam at that time. As the third lap kicked in Wells had left a gap to Whittle and the gap to Evans was closing. The last set of hills approached and Evans knew this was his for the taking but as with any drug the side effects of Sainsbury’s basics cider were starting to take their toll. On to the final straight and Evans held off for an emphatic victory in the battle of the back markers. Wells was soon to follow and Whittle retained his dignity by beating Jarram Jarram.
The other main rivals in the battle of the backmarkers failed to turn up. Ashley Bailey spent his day with teenagers in training to become the next Rob Johnson. Crizzle was not in attendance due to his Aunty being around, although that didn’t seem to hold him back that evening. On a completely unrelated note Catherine Garbutt was also a no show (coincidence?).
Mal Smith and Adam Connell rounded off the day although could have gone faster had they not stopped for a yoga session midway through the second lap.
These fabulous results meant that we well and truly smashed the Met after some fighting talk my one of their members who didn’t even have the decency to turn up to get a sound thrashing. Post race celebrations started with a trip to Bryan’s fish and chip shop, so a Mr T.Powell could reclaim his winnings courtesy of Jack Wood. This was followed by a party at Bellew’s. Crizzle ditched his Aunt in favour of this and in the process of asking Freddie about his Hogwarts career managed to upset some sheep. Caroline Ford learnt the hard way why you should never pretend to be Bellew’s girlfriend, although as we now know, the only man for her is Joe Jonas. Line of the night goes to the bouncer who told Caroline, “well if he is your boyfriend he’s probably been cheating on you”.
With results like these I’m looking forward to smashing the Met once again at BUCS .