In the aftermath of the successful 2019 edition of ICXCAC’s Hyde Park Relays, a merry band of Imperial runners headed out to Oxford for the ‘away’ fixture: Oxford’s Teddy Halls Relays. With runners wearily boarding the convenient Oxford Tube at Notting Hill or Shepherd’s Bush, the banter slowly ramped up with Union and Club politics dominating conversation. In between the predictions and political maneuvering, the Imperial teams were boshed out tactically for optimal overall performance (this would later be proved to be a wise choice).
As the avid competitors approached the famous Roger Bannister track (location of the first ever mile under 4 minutes), the weather started to look a bit British.
The wind was whipping up and some spray was beginning to dampen the confident mood of the runners. Yet as the race started, the girthy support from ICXCAC’s travelling fans left nothing to be desired in the way of belly-fire raising encouragement.
Former Club Chair, Alex Mundell, started the Mixed A team off with a bang, with a run just shy of the top men starting for other mixed teams.
The momentum continued with star runner Georgia Curry running the 3rd fastest female 7km leg of the day.
As the baton was handed to Ollie Newton, Oxford’s Mixed A had a reasonable lead but had used a male runner on their second leg.
Ollie smashed out a fantastic leg - even if he wasn’t completely happy with it - to put Imperial in the lead by just over a minute as the baton was handed over to Niki Faulkner who would give everything to hold off Oxford’s sub-15-for-5k man on the last leg.
As it happened, he had a massive leg and won Imperial the overall mixed competition by 24 seconds.
In the Men’s competition, Club Chair Fergus Johnson, James Millet, Misi Ormay and Henry Hart all ran solid times to come second in the overall competition, tactically over 6 minutes behind Oxford A and just seconds ahead of Oxford B.
The Imperial Women put in a valiant performance to finish 16th ahead of teams like Oxford Brookes and Abingdon AC A teams.
Particularly of note was Treasurer Nathalie Podder’s successful completion of 7k having recently graduated from Women’s Captain Charlotte Barratt’s Couch-to-5k program.
After the race, the runners descended on Teddy Hall’s canteen for some dubious sandwiches and the awards ceremony.
Inevitably, this led on to a post-race Oxford spoons (fork handles?) and night out were well attended with plenty of colourful beverages and dubious rumours of sightings of the notorious Wealdstone Raider.
The club’s beloved megaphone was also lost to a bush after it transpired loudspeakers were not permitted in club’s. Ah well, it had a good run.