Senior Steeplechase, the ten-kilometre cross-country course that has been run by senior boys for centuries, took place this week and was a superb spectacle as always.
There is something unique about cross-country and the camaraderie that comes with it at Winchester College, which I never hear about from friends elsewhere. The fact that it is optional and primarily a house competition, rather than focusing on individual places, brings out the most competitive and the most jovial all in one race. The mix of fancy dress and serious runners all competing to earn valuable points for their houses, as well as enjoying themselves, adds to the nervous atmosphere at the start of the race and the elation at the finish line as everyone comes across thoroughly muddied and exhausted but smiling.
The course itself is truly spectacular in its design. Heading down past St Catherine’s Hill and along the river, the footpath offers quick runners an opportunity to lay down a fast pace before the ground underfoot becomes much looser. Through the valley, the route turns to grass and then mud as a steep and slippery downhill section brings the runners together again, with a two-kilometre section through fields adding yet another tricky surface to deal with before runners turn back and cross the bridge to head home. The only constants on the course are the beautiful views and support from the marshals at every turn.
This year for me was particularly special. Before the afternoon kicked off, I hadn’t expected to be anywhere near the front of the pack so leading for much of the race allowed me to enjoy the course more. Crossing the finish line first, on behalf of my house, in front of everyone who had come to watch, was genuinely an honour and delight that I will never forget.
31st May 2020
The inaugural PixPot was launched in April, alongside a photography competition open to the whole school community. The Winchester College Photography Society, which is run entirely by pupils at the school, oversaw the competition: securing the involvement of professional judges, drawing up a shortlist, and organising prizes.
18th May 2020
The traditional programme of inter-school sporting fixtures has been a feature of life at Winchester for more than 150 years. With no opportunity during lockdown to face familiar opponents, Mark Burley, Director of Sport provides an insight into the history of sport in public schools, as well as the role that Winchester has played in making it such a prominent part of school life.
16th May 2020
According to his Div don, "more people have climbed Everest" and the final stages of an endurance event, such as this, will be the toughest, but sixth form pupil Freddie remains unfazed and focused on raising money for a charity close to his heart.
14th March 2020
The latest school play, Doctor Faustus, told the classic story in a fresh, engaging way.
10th March 2020
Following XVs last month, the two captains reflect on their journeys from First Year boys trying to understand 'Winkies', through to the honour of leading their teams out for the biggest game of the year.
29th November 2019
Looking at the experience of one of our judo stars, Dr Cullerne explains the huge benefits to both pupils and the school community of welcoming new, bright, motivated pupils to our Sixth Form.