With FEAR this year on the same weekend as National Cross Country and British Indoors the Men’s team was missing some crucial members, particularly in the middle-distance events. To make matters worse, president and 400/800m extraordinaire, Max Buckley, was out with Covid and his trusty Magdalen sidekick Isaac also out with injury. The day didn’t start off well, with losses in the 60m and 60m hurdles. A last-minute injury in the warm-up from Joe Murphy and Archie deciding not to jump over one of the hurdles meant our 60m hurdles performance wasn’t as expected. A full team and making sure we don’t treat the hurdles like our friends and instead stay well away from them come Varsity next term and our hurdlers should fare much better.
Both the 4x800 and DMR had some experimental teams with some of our first-choice runners deciding to run 12km at Parliament Hill. Why they thought this was a good idea, no one will ever know! Cambridge resoundingly beat us in both distance events, although not without Tommy Lees providing some quality entertainment. Tommy, running the 1200m leg of the DMR, decided to make life hard for the Cambridge runner Angus Harrington. Making sure to secure the inside lane he refused to let Angus pass, putting in a surge every time he tried and making sure those elbows got some good use on the bends. Going through the first 400m in 57sec was always going to be unsustainable and Angus did get the better of him in the end. But not before making Angus enter a world of pain and providing some quality entertainment for the supporters in the stands.
Isaac, although not running, was a critical part of the day. Providing us all with our FEAR t-shirts, complete with questionable quote, and most importantly leading all the cheering from the stands, nearly losing his voice on many occasions. The 4x400m is an event we are strong in, but without Max and Isaac Cambridge just had the better of us. The 400m squad this year is looking seriously good with some awesome depth. This should serve us well over the next 11 weeks and make sure we win the 4x400m come Varsity.
And so, we finished the day with the 4x200m relay. With the Cambridge president realising the staggers were wrong, there was a 20min delay to the start of the Men’s 4x200m. Sadly this did not go to plan for the men in dark blue either, with Henry pulling his hamstring 80min into the first leg.
So, a 6-0 defeat on the track for the Men is not the best of starts to the season. But all involved are determined to make sure it doesn’t happen in Trinity. With 11 weeks till Varsity the Men’s team have got the time to fix a few things up, get back from injury and make sure we are fit, and firing come Trinity. The day was rounded off with a whole club social and team moral boosted immensely with Max Buckley being able to join us, having tested negative!