Above l to r: Mark and Alex Yale, Kait Weston, Eliza and Howie Hodgson, Sian Fox and Sonia Manser
Amongst our number were five Housemasters, 15 further members of staff, 17 pupils, 17 parents, one sister, a handful of staff spouses, and three Old Salopians. There was therefore a real sense of a community effort, and there can be few events that have brought together all these different segments of the Shrewsbury community.
The race route itself was tipped to be a tough one, with a large number of rather imposing hills to tackle, and the prospect of four 10.5km laps for the full marathon, and two laps for the half. Nevertheless, our team took to the startline with confidence, looking really rather splendid in our new blue team vests, and proud that we were officially the largest team to have entered the races. A pasta party the evening before had provided the opportunity to share training stories, injury woes, and to come together as a group having spent the most part of the lead-up training apart. There was also the chance to hear from Stephen Drew about the charity Medic Malawi, which many of our runners had raised funds for.
On race day itself, the Quarry was awash with lycra, skimpy shorts, and the familiar aroma of Deep Heat. Nerves were clearly visible, not least due to the delayed start for the full marathon (which started a full 20 minutes late!) However, when the races got underway, the blue vests of Shrewsbury School were soon off and away, and we were able to settle into our races. The support on the course was truly exceptional, and in particular, we must thank all those who came to support on the corner of Ashton Road by the School tennis courts. With African drums pounding, banners waving, and some of the most vocal and enthusiastic cheering on the whole course, it was a welcome part of the lap having tackled the brutal climb out of Coleham and up Kennedy Road.
The first running of this event – whilst not without its teething problems – was a great success, and it was a tremendous day for the town, and indeed the School. Race organisers 'In the Running' have suggested that the event will become an annual fixture, and we would envisage the event getting bigger and bigger, with many more taking part. It would be fantastic if next year, Team Shrewsbury School could hit the magic number of 100, so start your training now!
Well done to all who took part in the event – you did Shrewsbury School proud! In the half marathon, Port Hill's Toby Lansdell was the fastest Shrewsbury pupil with 1.31.48, with Churchill's Rory Fraser not far behind in 1.32.02, and the ever-inspirational figure of James Humpish (SH) completing the tough course in a superb 1.33.42. History Master and Master i/c Athletics Ian Haworth ran a blistering 74.37 to place 6th amongst a highly competitive field at the top end, and there was a Shrewsbury victory with Old Salopian and former Huntsman Oli Mott winning the inaugural event in a sickeningly quick time of 70.14, four seconds ahead of Shrewsbury AC's county star Joe Brocklehurst. Oli's wife Hilary matched her husband's efforts with a win in the women's half. The marathon saw just two (brave? stupid?) Team Shrewsbury runners, with Giles Birt representing the parents completing the course in 4.38.45, and Master i/c The Hunt Peter Middleton coming home in 2.55.22 to take 5th place.
The day was a highly enjoyable one, and we look forward to next year's event!
We are very grateful to everyone who has generously supported Team Shrewsbury by donating to Medic Malawi. Donations can still be made via http://www.justgiving.com/TeamShrewsburySchool
Below l to r: Mark Huang, Rob Cross, Seb Cooley, Toby Lansdell, James Humpish