Now that the Rio Olympics have been and gone and those nail-biting moments spent glued to the television are just distant summer memories, what can we as runners take away from the two weeks of élite sport? Implementing a punishing Olympic training régime might not be realistic, but that’s not to say that reflecting on these athletics feats is not a valuable exercise. No review of the Olympic athletics would be complete without first mentioning Mo Farah. His amazing achievement in securing the ‘double double’ of distance track running was all the more remarkable when you consider how his 10,000m race played out. It is often the hardest thing to pick yourself up after a fall, whether literal or metaphorical, and for him to then go on and win the race so decisively was especially spectacular. Whilst Farah’s wins on the track were undoubtedly the highlight of Rio from a British athletics perspective, who could possibly forget the women’s 10,000m? No less than four of the athletes ran under 30 minutes as Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana stormed to victory, smashing the 23-year-old world record by almost a quarter of a minute in an amazing time of 29:17. We couldn’t have asked for more excitement from the opening race of the Games.
And it isn’t all about the winning, although we wouldn’t usually admit that ourselves… The touching story of Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino reflects the true spirit of sportsmanship and fair play that we attempt to replicate here at OUCCC. As the days begin to shorten and the climate cools, we can do more than just reminisce over a summer of track triumphs, but instead use these Olympic stories as motivation for the upcoming cross-country season. If ever in doubt, you can always take inspiration from the Olympic motto, ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’.
So whether you’re looking just to have some fun in the mud this winter, or planning how to launch your Olympic career, don’t look any further because OUCCC is the place to be.
Helene Greenwood, OUCCC Women’s Captain 2016-17, University College
OUCCC County Updates (to be updated as results filter through the lonely Webmaster)
South-Wests, Bicton – OUCCC had a huge force on show at the SWs at hilly Bicton. Dan Mulyran and James Sewry competed admirably for Dorset in a combined Under 20 and Senior’s race over 9.1 hilly kms, whilst a slightly off-colour Miles fought hard a little way back in the field. One of his Bristol and West compadres, Will Christofi, performed superbly to finish in 5th position in the Seniors: it’s clear to see that this year should be a good one for the young pretender. His other Bristol and West teammate, Adam Speake, finished further back in (something like) 15th place. Meanwhile, legend has it that a certain Mr Jamie Parkinson had got lost on a run he’d started in Dartmoor and seen the signs for the race that morning. Sourcing running spikes (to which he’d only recently been introduced), Jamie became well-known during the race under his other name: “Who-on-earth-is-that”, sticking with the front runners, before unleashing a burst up one of the final hills to win the South West County champs. Well ran to everyone from the club, an excellent showing.
The Webmaster awaits further reports…
Results for all three Varsity races at Wimbledon this year are packed into this one post… which is hot off the press (depending on the date on which you read this).