Eighteen LSE wombles wimbled across the river to Wimbledon Common last Wednesday (15th); the battlefield of choice for the annual University of London (UoL) Cross Country (XC) Champs. As a medium-sized team, the UoL Champs is our best shot at getting medals in the Cross Country League as the mighty Imperial, who often win LUCA (London Unis and Colleges) medals, left the UofL collegiate a decade ago.
No expenses were spared for the last LUCA XC race of the season, with the tribal facepaint making its debut appearance. The course wasn’t the usual two laps for girls/three laps for guys LUCA standardisation; women had a much shorter 4.7km lap here whilst men still ran 9.4km. The terrain proved testing for all choices of footwear, with spikes struggling on the firm trails and trainers sliding on the muddy hills. However, the autumnal aesthetics were a solid 10/10.
Our shining French star Typhaine brought home the goods once again, winning the individual women’s Gold. The men’s team (Amrik Gill, Gustav Fritzon, Mitch Hayes, Joseph Shaw, Pierre-Louis Lostis) won Bronze, with the latter four men all finishing within two seconds of each other. The women’s team (Typhaine Christiaen, Martha Wightman, Kailee Traficante, Kirsten McNally) also managed the Team Bronze in a field of 100 ladies.
Run of the day came from Mitch Hayes with his storming sprint home seeing him finish 30th out of a 131-strong field; an improvement on his 39th and 42th respective placings in the last two races. Mitch joins the elite crew of ten unwaveringly-committed runners who have completed all three of the LUCA XC races so far.
Will their streaks last? If you took all the PS2s in the world and stacked them up, would they still be shorter than Amrik’s stride length? That’s one secret he’ll never tell.
TBC next term with Season Two.