The Quality English Oxford Fun Run
I’ve been an avid runner for many years, completing marathons and half-marathons, 10km and 5km races. I try to run regularly, even when I’m away from home or on holiday. I love the feeling I get from running and the camaraderie among the runners in the big events. So when I heard about a fun run that had been organised especially for language schools, I had to get involved.
That’s why I found myself on a train to Oxford early on Saturday morning with seven of my colleagues. We were on our way to take part in the Quality English Oxford Fun Run. The run, organised by the Oxford Rotory Club, was open to runners and walkers of every level and ability. There were many awards on offer, including awards for the fastest International Student and the winning school. The London School of English entered two teams: our trainers Mary, Karen, Neil and Daragh; our chef Lukasz and our Senior Courses Manager Donna. Unfortunately we had a late drop out, but luckily Daragh’s wife Brenda stepped in and ran for us.
The race itself was a lot of fun. It was a two lap course around Oxford University parks, taking in the duck pond, the croquet lawn and the lacrosse fields. The emphasis was definitely on fun, with a number of people walking the course, running in fancy dress and even stopping to feed the ducks. Most of our team took the run quite seriously, with four of us finishing in the top 60 places. Daragh led the way with a time of 22 minutes 30 seconds and a finishing place of twenty-first, but it was our very own sartorial stroller Neil who had the most fun as he completed his first ever 5 kilometre race.
Unfortunately we missed out on the prize for the fastest school team, that award going to The Wimbledon School of English who cleaned up at the prize-giving, also taking the award for fastest International student. Congratulations to them. Following the run, Quality English very generously put on a barbecue for all the competitors and spectators at Oxford English Centre, allowing us to wind down, have a beer and share our stories from the race. Then it was off to the pub for some more rehydration!
It was a great day and we’ll definitely return next year. In the meantime, we will be continuing our running club in Holland Park and Hyde Park on most Tuesdays and Wednesdays – all our students are welcome to join us.
avid – (adj.) showing interest in
camaraderie – (n.) a feeling of support and good friendship
drop out – (n.) someone who quits, or who doesn’t take part in something
step in – (phr.v.) to replace somebody in order to do something
emphasis on – (n. + prep) the focus was on, or the most important thing was
fancy dress – (adj. + n.) special costume worn for fun
sartorial stroller – (adj. + n.) a well-dressed walker
clean up – (phr.v.) to win every award available
wind down – (phr.v.) to relax
rehydration – (n.) the process of replacing lost liquid
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