The 5th Cambridge City race was held today. It is the third one I’ve competed in but it’s the first time I’ve been able to help for the entire day. I apologise if my signing from the station was not sufficiently clear or if you didn’t get exactly 4 pins in your pre-done bundle! This race also felt extra special as until a month ago I thought I couldn’t go. A lot of my recently graduated friends returned for the race and it’s been great to see them again.
We were again based in the engineering department but instead of using the centre and eastern part of the town the courses headed off west then through the centre. Since I live on the western side this was very convenient for me! It was the first time in a city race that I have run through my own college and this definitely gave me a slight advantage. Apparently many people found my college’s gardens a little tricky! The leg after I left my college was very irritating as you had to make quite a detour and I wasn’t allowed to take a shortcut through the college bike shed.
The courses themselves were a nice combination of a few close controls and some longer legs. For my first city race I wrote a newsletter article saying that after 3 weeks in Cambridge I thought I had an advantage; after 3 years I definitely did! Route choice not only involved considering the distance but also the number of pedestrians. It was so much easier to think to yourself ‘I have to get from Queens’ Backs to Downing site’ rather than actually having to consider what turns to make. However, one of our freshers won the Men’s Open and another came second on the Women’s Open so local knowledge isn’t everything. Being very fit and talented, as these two freshers are, is important. Runners from our local area also did quite well with Karen French of Wimborne winning the Women’s Vets and others coming in the top 3 on their courses.