House Cross Country 2018

As we all know, the Inter-House Cross Country took place last week. Before the day of the race, the enthusiasm only seemed present on the faces of our House Captains and Prefects. Words like “agony” and “pain” were even used to describe it… So it seemed like no one was going to run the entire race. But of course, things you expect never happen – and in this case, this was a brilliant thing!

At lunch-time on Wednesday, the Dining Hall was still packed with people, but the supply of food seemed to be very sufficient. Strange, as normally the most popular food options may have run out fairly quickly. But why? The answer was clear when you saw trays with the ‘smaller’ portions of food on every table. People were having less for lunch, because of the cross country that followed. And the Dining Hall was emptying out very quickly as the time ticked by, approaching the second hour of the afternoon.

Behind Main Hall, crowds of Lower School students were waiting for the commencement of the race. You could see a clear division between the colours of the four different ‘Houses’. In circles, they all cheered, motivated one another and did warm-ups. The atmosphere was extremely friendly, but all of us knew the first inter-house competition of the year was about to start…

The crowds and atmosphere kept building up and more and more people kept joining the different Houses. That was until the crowd’s chatter came to a halt when a safety briefing was given. Runners claimed their designated starting positions on the edge of the lawn, waited for the signal, everyone now ecstatic about the race. After a couple of failed attempts of the starting gun, “BANG!”, we were off.

Spots of yellow, green, blue and red sprinted across the field, upwards towards the fence. Everyone was running. Of course, some overtook and flew by, but you could tell all of us were trying our best for our team. The course for Lower School is shorter than the Upper School route, however, still challenging – especially at the twists and turns of the off-road section about half way. The surfaces were rough, uneven and bumpy too. There were a couple of slips and falls, but we all managed to stand up, regain composure and kept on running. At the finish line, a massive crowd of cheers and encouragement awaited every student. The ‘taste of the fruit of success’ when we all crossed the line, I can’t put into words. But what we did feel was adrenaline running through our veins.

What next? Handing in the finishing tickets to your House’s desk, getting your name on the scoreboard. You’d turn around and people were cheering for the remaining runners, whilst others handed out water to the finishers. People had their hands in the air as they crossed the line in celebration! You started to understand the meaning of the phrase, “Focus on process, not outcome”.

Of course, at last, Gandhi House lifted the trophy high, winning the Inter-House Cross Country for an impressive and consecutive third time. But I think everyone is going to agree with me in saying we all enjoyed it immensely.

Kenneth – F4

House Cross Country 2017

House Road Race

4th October 2017 was a grey day, without much sun and a bit of a chill in the air. On many-a-Wednesday, students would have a different use for their time. As a Form 5, I could go into town, study in the library or play football with friends. But this particular Wednesday was ‘House Cross Country’.

Hordes of runners crowded around the start line, red, blue, green, yellow. When runners set off, some bolted across the field like hares! Other jogged. Others walked.

The thing about house cross country is that it doesn’t matter if you win the race (though it does help). It’s about participation. Individuals win awards, but teams win house cross country.

This race however, even if you wanted to, was a monster to train for. The inclines, hills and surfaces are different from what you undergo on a treadmill, and are difficult to find on campus. Just to top off the difficulty of the puddles and climbs was the fact that this race was on private land. No one could train for this race.

After a mad dash across the field behind the tennis courts, we had to run behind the Morris building and through the boarding houses, straight off campus. Through the woods and over fields, past the lake and back onto campus we raced for 3 kilometres, but nearly all of Lower School made it past the finish line, in a variety of weird and wonderful styles – from Ronnie winning in style (or so I’m told, I was naturally miles behind) to the last friends beating each other on the line.

All in all the day was great fun. It was a great change from most Wednesdays, and a great opportunity to help our houses, made sweeter with my house, Gandhi, winning overall!

Tom Gray – F5

House Cross Country 2015

Saturday morning was cold and wet. Like always, it started with tests, although this week we had to wake half an hour earlier. After tests, everyone changed to their house t-shirts and went to the Main Hall. The people were all chatting, supporting each other, and the cold weather was over come by the warm friendly atmosphere. No one was left out. When people organised themselves into four groups: Mandela, Teresa, Pankhurst and Gandhi, the Cross Country began.

As soon as people heard the starting pistol, everyone started moving. Some were running, others walking. The cross country is not only about who comes first, it is about participation, and if you are not a good, runner or you had an injury you could still come and support your house. In fact more than 350 students participated. The race was long. It went all the way behind Morris Building and Red House, to Paul House, on the football pitch and all the way back to Main Hall. The worst part was that the grass was wet and the air was cold. However, we got there at the end.

The Upper School road race started straight after that. Upper School had to run twice as much as we did. When the race was ending my friends and I went to cheer. We stood right before the finish line and supported not only our houses, but also our friends and other people who were running. Mr Johnson’s (physics teacher) son wanted to run road race too. However, he was too young for them, so right before the finish line Mr Johnson took him and they walked together to the finish line. At the end Pankhurst won.

For Lower School Filip Skierski came first and the first girl was Lavine Lui. For Upper School first came Charoenvasnadumrong Tharisata Tempy and Ong Jil Ee Min.

This experience was unforgettable.

Oleksandra F5