After an introduction to the history of the Royal Shrewsbury School Hunt given by the Teacher in Charge, the competitors lined up in their House pens along the start line before the famous Huntsman’s cry and bugle call brought the race underway. A mad dash across Central followed, in pursuit of the ‘hares’ – our two captains of the Hunt, Sam Western (S) and Lillian Wilcox (EDH) – and out along the edge of the School gates to begin the 2.3km course.
Among the boys, an early lead was established by Bradley Keay (R), looking confident as he strode towards the descent at Oldham’s Gap, chased by a pack of Port Hill lads jostling for second. The girls’ race was being led at the half-way point by Eloise Jones (MSH), though she had a group hot on her heels.
The second half put the competitors’ stamina to the test, with a sharp uphill stretch after running along the river, before heading back along the edge of School site and in front of Chapel to a last sprint alongside the front of Main School Building.
Emerging first in front of Chapel was Bradley Keay. His finishing time of 8:11 placed him among the very quickest we have had in this race over the years. Not far behind him was Sam Jones in 8:35, quickly followed by Hamish Griffiths, Louis Crofts and Massimo Wyatt, all of them from Port Hill.
In the girls’ race, Eloise was pipped to the line by Emily Windsor Clive (EDH) in 10:42, just two seconds ahead of Eloise. The bronze medal went to Anisha Mupesa of Moser’s in a time of 10.51.
As well as being an individual race, this was very much about the House competition, with places determined by the positions of the first six runners across the line from each House. In the boys’ competition, Port Hill managed to take the glory – not surprising given that they took four of the first five places – with a very low score of 39 points. Next was Churchill’s with 137 points, just ahead of Radbrook in third with 139.
The girls’ House race was won by a single point, with Emma Darwin Hall claiming victory ahead of Moser’s, and Mary Sidney Hall taking the bronze.
It was a great spectacle to see so many new Shrewsbury School pupils giving their best effort for their House, and the spirit on display was really terrific, right down to the last finishers. Congratulations to all competitors.
Teacher in Charge of the Hunt