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Student Contributions

Eloise Ladkin
Upper Sixth
Hallward's House

Girls’ House Cup Run 2011

Girls’ House Cup Run 2011

It is traditional, or at any rate, is fast becoming traditional, for the Girls’ House Cup Run to take place along a track in Ashton Court in Leigh Woods and this year was just like every other — despite the fact that it was my last. Each House sets off individually; first was West Town, and then it was Oakeley’s, then Worcester, and then Hallward’s, my House. The competition is intra House rather than inter House, hence why each House set out at different times.

The 4 kilometre run is always easier in the first five minutes than in the remaining twenty. You realise that the people you started with at the beginning are now no longer by your side, but either behind or in front of you, but it is always the same, after those first five minutes, you are on your own. It is down to you to provide your own motivation and down to you to decide whether you stop for that walk for a break or whether you just persevere and let the stitch in your right side just get bigger and bigger.

Some teachers from School are positioned around the track to direct you on your journey (as if it were difficult to tell that you go right down the track rather than into the dense woodland on the left). Nevertheless, these ‘helpers’ are there to encourage you and cheer you on, but I can safely say that they do the opposite. Their cheers of “come one”, “you can do it”, “keep going” and “you’re doing really well”, just make me angry at them as we plod past, and the frustration that they do not know the pain we are enduring from the blister on your left ‘big toe’ could not be less motivating. However, these little things are the moments you come to appreciate and laugh at afterwards, when you consider that that was the first and last time that Mrs Cuesta will ever tell you to “put your back into it” as you sweat profusely whilst passing her by.

It is not until the fourth time you have dropped your iPod in your right hand, do you consider throwing away the half full (now possibly half empty!) bottle of water in your left; yet, you never seem to able to find the right moment to have the will to chuck it down onto the sodden piles of leaves lining your ‘track’ either side of you. So it isn’t until you have reached the end do you realise that it really was not a good idea to take that bottle of water anyway, and, of course, by then it is too late.

Each corner you turn you think you can remember, from previous years’ endurance of this torture, to be the one near the finish line — alas, as you dart around that bend you realise that you still have another field, a hill and small patch of trees to pass before that bend genuinely appears and the one you first anticipated to bring you joy and happiness was just an evil disguise.

Then, finally, that last bend arrives out of nowhere and I end up coming sixth out of my House of 70. I was proud, yet seemed to feel a slight feeling of mourning for those painful moments when you know that you have to keep going — but, to be honest, those moments were not for mourning, what I really meant to say was ‘good riddance’.

16 February 2011

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