Inaugural Fun Run sees great success

Toby Bryant reports on the brand new Stan Calvert Fun Run

Toby Bryant
27th February 2018
Northumbria students, Newcastle students and Rory trod along. Image: Denise Dixon

2018 saw the introduction of the very first Stan Calvert Fun Run. The 5k non-competitive event was joined with Newcastle University Athletics and Cross-Country’s (NUAXC) annual Cow Bell Race to unite all competitors, serious runners or not.

The Town Moor played host to the event with the course looping around the circumference, by the Exhibition Park lake and back around to finish in the middle of the Moor. As anyone who has dared venture onto the Moor would guess, wind was inevitably at play but the sun continued to shine as AU Officer, Clara Pettitt, started the runners.

The friendly event did pit together Newcastle University and Northumbria University students but its ‘open-to-all’ status saw a number of other clubs including Tyne Bridge, Morpeth Harriers and Heaton Harriers all feature.

The first runner home was former NUAXC member, Sparrow Morley, who posted the rapid time of 17:08. Second across the line, and first current student, was NUAXC Vice-President Will Stockwell at 17:24.

The Town Moor played host to the event with the course looping around the circumference

The fastest woman was Newcastle University Triathlon’s Zoe Macdonald, who continues to impress after an impressive BUCS Cross-Country performance earlier this month.

Other notable performances include David Gaskin’s 4th overall as well as Shona Haston and James Whitmore, who both ran 5km PBs in under 20 minutes. Credit must also be given to Andrew Dixon who completed the course whilst dressed as Newcastle University’s lion mascot!

50th placed overall Col Stromsoy was the first Northumbria runner to finish with a time of 24:16. Stromsoy is also the University’s Director of Sport and had the following to say:

“Clara and Kerry Anne have done a great job in organising the Stan Calvert this year and in respect to the fun run, Clara has worked tirelessly to ensure that it not only went ahead but was a quality event.

“She should feel very proud of a job well done, especially as Newcastle smashed it in terms of people participating.

“One of the objectives for our next Sport President will be to get as many Northumbria students participating as Newcastle and, in doing so, help grow the event and make it as much a part of Stan Calvert as the brilliant fixtures we have between our universities.”

The event united over 100 athletes in the city for a morning of fantastic running

Pettitt was equally as pleased about the day’s action:

“I am really happy with how the event went. A lot of organisation was required, and a lot of things could have gone wrong. Somehow, with the help of many volunteers, we pulled it out the bag on the day and many runners crossed the line with smiles on their faces.

“I hope that this is a legacy that is built on in future years and the event just gets bigger!”

All in all, the Stan Calvert Fun Run and Cow Bell Race was a phenomenal success in its first year.

Despite the run not counting towards overall Stan Calvert points, the event united over 100 athletes in the city for a morning of fantastic running. All runners will be looking forward to next year’s event and seeing the day go from strength to strength! 

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