BUCS cross country championships, 3 February 2018.

A change for the better

A mere half century ago British universities and colleges gathered at the same venue but competed in separate races. Only the universities had an additional race for B teams, and there was no race for women at all. Things have changed, and much for the better. Universities and colleges now race together under the acronym BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sports), the former B race is now completely open and has been renamed the mens short race and as for the women, well, over 700 finishers this year says it all.

A true cross country

The 2018 championships were hosted by Brunel at Hillingdon and it was true cross country - cold, wet and extremely muddy, with a stream crossing thrown in for good measure. Seven of our current university cohort were in action.

Women's race

In the womens race we were led in by Cordy Parker (now at St Marys) in 130th, closely followed by Fiona Bunn (135th) (Cambridge) who after 2 months of injury problems has hopefully escaped unscathed. Lottie Siddle (Manchester) was next in 407th and Vicky Tilling (Worcester) closed in for us in 530th.

Men's race

On to the mens short race (which still took most people over 30 min to complete. Tom Fabes (Oxford) led the way for us in 143rd. Aric Klukowski (Leicester), normally seen over 400 and 800m, was next in 295th, just ahead of Corentin Pierre (Oxford Brookes) in 310th. A whopping 561 crossed the line.

With 343 finishers in the mens long race, the post race party must have been quite a bash - one thing that has not changed in the last 50 years.

Well done guys.