Varsity Race Report

Hi Thomas. Tell me what’s this?

It’s the introduction to my latest race report.

Written as a short interview with yourself?


That’s brave and unusual. Why?

Well, questions and answers are my bread and butter; my meat and drink; my sausage, beans and chips. I’m an accomplished journalist. Interviewing is what I do.12

What do you want this report to say?

I want to provide an entertaining3 and accurate4 race report that gives a fair representation of how saturday’s race went.

So what can people expect from the article?

They can expect quality throughout and excellence in places. This article is a serious, thoughtful and grammatically sound body of work, a welcome antidote to the kind of crank ‘em out, pile ‘em high shit-lit that passes for most modern race reports.5

Is there anything in the report that breaks the mould?

Yes, a soundtrack. I spent 3 consecutive days with my ‘iPod’ creating a list of songs that would provide the perfect mood music the accompany this race report.

My publishers at Leeds University Union said this wasn’t necessary. In fact they told me specifically not to bother, as they weren’t willing to pay for the production or dispatch of a CD and certainly weren’t going to seek clearance, or pay royalties to the artists I’d chosen.

But they can’t stop me providing you, the reader, with a list of songs plus directions as to where in the report they should be played. (Tracklist can be seen in footnotes). My instructions can be found within the text. Please note: the soundtrack is mandatory.

And have you been honest?

Searingly honest. Brutally honest. Painfully honest. Needlessly honest. Distressingly honest. Leeds University Union asked for full disclosure and that’s what I delivered. I’ve opened myself up (not literally), put my balls on the line (not literally) and written it all down (literally).

Having read previous reports, I see you’ve had your fair share of run-ins. Indeed Freddie Slemeck’s slating of your third article seem particularly sickening. Do you agree with those people who say that he’s proven himself to be a particularly scummy human being?

Fred (Chuckles) In all honesty? I don’t give the incident a second thought. I just let bygones be bygones.

And what about Luke Buswell’s driving which almost killed you and three other passengers?

Look. Buswell did what he did. I’m fairly Zen about the whole episode.

Given the success of previous articles 6, there will be pretty loud clamour for a follow up. Are you ready for that? 

I take whatever comes my way. I roll with the punches and ride the tsunami of life.

What do you have to say to people who claim there is some false information in you reports?

They’re incredibly sick, vindictive human beings

Does the report have an ISBN number?

Of course not, it’s not a book7

Thanks Thomas. It’s been a pleasure

Goodbye and God Bless

Brownlee brothers dispatch everyone at Varsity (but to be honest they’re both world champions so it’s socially acceptable for this to occur)

So this time of the year was reached again, the time of the all important varsity match in which the BUCS trials were handily co-ordinated. A saturday morining marked the time and date of the match in conditions that made you go “Brrrrrr” 8(the sort of Brrrrr you do when it’s cold). The course was set up the same as the Leeds Relays event that had occurred just one month previously, but instead of 1 lap of the 2 mile course to be completed the Men had to complete 3 laps and the women 2.

In the pre-race hype9 there was some seriously heavy mental tactics going on between the met and uni. So much so in that captain Freddie Slemeck refused to wear his characteristic England shorts as he claimed “there are people far better internationals than me here”. He soon saw his error though, as although he was easily good enough Tom Powell was not competing this weekend after being caught up in a competition with Alex Bellew for who could be the most injured.

Lap 1

The race commenced at 2.30, with some high expectations for the spectators to watch both Brownlee brothers battle it out for Varsity glory. The race set off at a brisk pace with both Brownlee brothers breaking off from the pack within a few minutes along with Dan Garbutt from Durham harriers, but it was not long before it was a two horse race. Further back in the field Freddie Slemeck led the chase for the university, with Ben Marriot and Jacob Clarke working together for much of the first lap. Next was Josh Stone and Elliot Jackson with a bit of a gap to Luke Buswell.

In the women’s race, Non Stanford (well thats what the results say, but I’m not really sure if that is her actual name, but who knows in this day and age you get some weird names floating about) just dominated with an exellent first lap, followed by Emma Clayton. Heading up the charge for the uni were Jocelyn Payne and Lucy Crookes battling it out not far behind.

Lap 2

Johnathan Brownlee decided to take the lead over his older brother in the next lap in a desperaste bid to take the finish out of him. Obviously they’re both outstanding athletes but if I was to make a few minor criticisms it would have been that Alistair’s style isn’t aesthetically pleasing  with a very upright action. Also I would have like to have seen the two brothers running side by side more rather than Alistair sticking in Johnny’s slipstream into the wind. Slemeck maintained his position this lap in about 10th place with Ben Marriot moving through the field. Also at the start of the lap Luke Buswell made significant inroads, floating10 through the field like a piece of iron in the blood, which is ironic as that’s exactly what he doesn’t have. Rowan Temple maintained his long loping stride running a good race and the girls who were spectating were worshipping a certain Shan Prashan who looked super-cool in his shades and cap.

In the girls a fight was definitely going on between Crooks and Payne, who were fighting for top dog in the uni girl’s with the ever present Mary Ferrier looking ominous in the background. Payne ended up winning this fight to finish in a credible 8th spot after someone shouted “A boards flying towards you”, 1with Crookes in 9th and Mary in 12th. Anne Buckley was next to finish in 16th just behind Sarah Grham .Anne-Marie Moore had another good run coming in in 17thposition and Charlotte Whorton in 18th. Amicia Lee was 19th but didn’t pull out her best performance but showed great character to finish after a ankle injury. But ultimately it was the uni’s strength and depth that won the match with Holly Blair in 20th, Hannah Kraus 21st, Bethan Hammond 22nd, Keeley Fairbrass 23rd. Rachel Friend (Fwend! Lol) 24th and Lucy Latham 25th. Great runs girl,s and a show in depth that has not been seen for a many a year! It is this sort of effort that makes LUUCCC such a fantastic club.

Lap 3

En el lapo ultimate Johnny was still taking it out putting a lot of pressure on the yorkshire champion11 (he’s also world champion, but thats not as impressive)12 Freddie Slemeck was moving through the field, but not as much as Ben Marriot who ran a heroic last lap to place himself firmly in the BUCS A team. Josh Stone also ran a strong last lap to close down Jacob Clarke only to finish just behind him.

With a few hundred metres to go Alistair kicked ahead of his younger brother to win the race13. In third place was Dan Gurbett. First from uni was still Slemeck in 7th who managed to catch up John Wills and keep ahead of him on a finish (good race mate) and Ben Marriot was only ten seconds behind in 29.41 – Ben, the newly crowned Northern U-20 3000m champion, was definitely the surprise package of the day. Jacob Clarke and Josh Stone were 15th and 16th respectively, before a gap to the next lot of uni athletes. Elliot Jackson still ran despite catching anemia from Luke Buswell and finished a credible 20th after a 10k run over christmas which apparently was meant to be atrocious (this was on the grapevine so may not be true), just ahead of Adam “Gricey” Grice in 21st. Luke Buswell unfortunately faded, but still did well to finish 23rd, especially considering he has now also developed asthma to go along with his anemia. Super-cool Shan was next in 30th with Tom Heaword running the 2nd worst race in history (the first occurred in the Dominican republic in 1842)14. Will Webster ran well in 25th as did Dan Frost in 38th, just ahead of David Gaynor in 36.39. Also Rowan Temple was 40th and Ashley Bailey 41st.

In a post race interview with both the Brownlees both of them commented on how much they enjoyed the race and said that this was the biggest race of the year for them so much so that they “trained there on saturdays in preparation for it”. Alistair said “I knew i’ve got a better finish than Johnny so I stuck on him until the last bend”. Alistair’s next aim is to finish in the top 3 in the Northern championships next week.

So Thomas another impressive race report?


Are you going to write an outro in the style you wrote the intro?

No, it’s taken me 50 mins to write (inluding tea break) and is already too long. The reader is probably bored rigid.

CREATE instant designer stubble by sucking a magnet and dipping your chin into a bowl of iron filings.


1 See previous race reports for some prior interviews if you are interested.

2 This is a footnote, by the way. I’ll be using these to pepper and garnish the article, so keep an eye out for them. Or as I say: If you see a number look down under! Which either rhymes or nearly rhymes

3  To a greater extent

4  To a lesser extent

5 See last years race reports for examples. LOL

6  And undoubted success of this one

7 On the subject of a book, I am currently in intensive talks with the publishers HarperCollins in an effort to write an autobiography and use my race reports to bulk out the book.

8  Press play on track 1 “Baby it’s cold outside” by Tom Jones

9 Press play on trsack 2 “The final countdown” by Europe

10 Press play on track 3 “Walking in the air” by Aled Jones

11  Press play on track 4 “Football in a Yorkshire Rose” from the Album ‘Leeds Uniteds greatest hits’ or alternatively play “Ilkley Moore Bahtat”

12  After writing that I realise there was another champion in the race, so I really need to add winning the Yorkshire Fell championships junior race is in no way the same as winning the world championships.

13 Press play on track 5 “We are the champions” by Queen

14  Press play on track 6 “The laughing policeman”

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