As the sun rose on the first morning of November, the Cross-Country runners woke up and – looking at their alarm – saw it was already time to grab their kit for the second London Universities and Colleges (LUCA) race of the season. The race would take place at Mitcham Common in South London, just two weeks after their staggering performance at Parliament Hill where the Women’s A Team took first place and the Men’s A Team took second, only three points behind Brunel.

Meeting at noon at Beit Quad, the squad took the tube to Wimbledon, and then the tram towards Beddington Lane, where they then walked to the course which had earlier been set-up by some selfless Imperial volunteers.

“ICXCAC races are not complete unless they end with some baking degustation”

Having set up camp near the finish line, the Imperial runners went for a vital warm-up to scout out the route, but it was soon time to make their way to the starting line – the race was about to begin. After the squad picture and team-talk huddle, the 63 brave runners tied their shoe laces, put on their navy and scarlet vests, and got in place for the race to begin. Following a relatively flat first mile, the runners soon faced some steep hills and put on a brave face as the climb kicked in. They went on to run at a steady pace until the very end, with the women finishing after two hard laps and cheering the men to the finish line who were completing their third and final lap.

Matthew Hoare breezing through his race with an impressing span // Oliver

Despite the increasingly chilly and short days, the team was as motivated as ever as they set-off for their gnarly race around the park, with the women and men completing a hilly six and nine km race respectively. Although some members did not make it to the race this time, Imperial still put in a huge effort that did not go unrewarded: the hours of training paid off as Katie Olding took 6th, Women’s Captain Anna – 10th, Sarah Grover – 12th, and Club Captain Alex – 14th which meant Imperial’s Women’s A team doubled their points lead on UCL’s, King’s, and LSE’s A teams, with Imperial’s Women’s B team coming 5th overall out 32 women teams: an absolute banger.

As for the Imperial lads, they also did a great job with Chris Thomas leading Imperial’s A team home, finishing in seventh place just over the 30-minute mark, Oliver Newton coming in 17th place, Daniel Ayers in 21st, and Joshua Mills in 23rd, meaning the Men’s A team ended up in 3rd place, leapfrogging Brunel and leaving them just ten points behind UCL. The B and C team also did a great job and are currently sitting seventh and tenth in the league.

“Despite the increasingly chilly and short days, the team was as motivated as ever”

Naturally, Imperial College Cross-Country races are not complete unless they end with some baking degustation, and once again the members went out of their way to bake many sweet delicacies for the sturdy runners and volunteers. As it started getting darker, the team started packing and made their way to the station in order to get home, shower, and prepare for the much-anticipated Halloween-themed house crawl: a great night out to celebrate some top running and reaching the milestone of 200 club members that same day!

All in all, ICXCAC managed to keep up the pace after a good start in the Cross-Country season, which will hopefully continue with even more impressive results in their next race on the 15th of November at Wimbledon Common; until next time, cheerio!

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