Freshers' Fun Run 2007
By James Kelly
The dawn of Michaelmas term sees the Cambridge University Hare & Hounds out to defend their wins in December's Varsity Match, but before hostilities with Oxford are revived, old collegiate rivalries were renewed in the Freshers' Fun Run, the first competition in the Chris Brasher College League. With squads boosted by an influx of new talent, the colleges aimed to topple the defending League champions Jesus (men) and Selwyn (women).
As the races unfolded, the quality of this year's crop of runners was clear for all to see. In the women's 2.7km race, two freshers stormed clear of the field in an historic fashion. Eventual winner Charlotte Roach (Trinity, 9:09) and runner-up Helen Rollins (Corpus, 9:22) both shattered the previous course record. Returning half-blue Laura Spence (Wolfson) finished a strong third in 10:02.
The men's race featured a barnstorming finish, with Owain Bristow (Queens'), a key contributor in last year's Varsity Match, sprinting clear of David Yu (Trinity) in the final 100m of the 5.17km race to win in 16:03. Following Yu (16:05) home in third place was Jonathan Cook (Jesus, 16:36).
Computers and calculators were at the ready to resolve the fierce team competitions. Trinity, a close second to Selwyn in the women's competition of last year, used Roach's run as a platform for victory and the ideal start to the current campaign. The sizeable contingent from Caius grabbed an impressive second. In the men's team competition, Jesus used a strong pack to resume its successful reign at the top of the College League. A rejuvenated Downing team, boosted by the arrival of Tim Pattison (4th) and Scott Knackstedt (7th), the second- and third-placed freshers, claimed a convincing victory in Division II to kick-start its promotion campaign.
Phenomenal support from the Senior and Junior committees and the tireless work of League Organisers Chris Morris and Aidan Brown ensured a successful start to the racing season. The College League will reconvene on 21 October for the Grantchester Meadows race and a chance for revenge to be taken.