From FACEBOOK - 10 February, 2018
Julius Marstrand: Looks about right. I remember quite a few runners who stopped for a fag en route and others who took a short-cut up the side of Long Wood (iIrc).
John Vercarre-Shaw: I remember coming back on the hairpin bend about 1/3 of the way for a shorter junior run.
Paul Taylor: The hill up to Chelmo from Pin Mill has an elevation of 23m over 2km. I remember it well!
John Gardner: More like 600 metres.
Omar James-Johnson: Remember it well. Used to stop on the foreshore for a quick fag before continuing. Didn't take it too seriously as there were some outstanding runners. Had no chance. Reg Grimley (from Johnstons?) was one of them. I remember he ran the course most afternoons in the 70s. Anyone know if he went any further in athletics?
Paul Taylor: One thing back then as far as I can recall, he was the only one that understood what training was, and put in the hard work. The rest of us just turned up on the day, as you say with the intention of having a fag or taking a short cut.
Mark Gobin: You haven't specified the two pint stopover at the Butt and Oyster!
Harvey Angel: I had a much, much shorter route which hardly left the School grounds. It wasn't a case of cheating, but just that I was a lazy bastard who got out of breath after a maximum 30 seconds!
Paul Taylor: Wish I'd known this route!
Tristram MooMinns: Lockwood used to beat me but I did come second; secret was to run with your eyes half closed to alleviate the pain.
Christian M Dunkley-Clark: Lockwood was good I remember him and still wonder what would have happened if Ola and Hewitt hadn't impeded him that one time. I was ahead and significantly older (one year but we were both young) and he had a famed finishing burst either way; it wasn't fair!
John Gardner: I tried to do this a couple of years ago, Paul, but my memory failed me, so thank you. I'm surprised that it was only 6 km.
Dave Newman: Loved that run. Would love to go back and do it again.
Paul Taylor: Me, too.
Andrew Ludlow: Isn’t it strange that I used to hate that run. But nowadays I’ll happily do 6-9 miles every week.
Dave Newman: Don’t think the run was that long when I was there but can’t remember the exact route.
Christian M Dunkley-Clark: We ran a shorter one up to the hairpin and back from the P.E. building and round the perimeter, turning right after passing through Halls and Hanson's and past Orwell house then a left down the hill through the forest to the bridge over the stream , through the hedge onto the marina but not for long you chuck a left run a bit chuck another back into the primeval Hornet infested bracken and then, following the barest of paths the overgrown fern coils raking your tender flesh you are upon a often dried pool you bounce through using the one stepping stone then through more foliage till the dried brook bit sees you into a nice grassy interlude before the hairpin field run whereupon said runner is to run out unguarded by tree into the open, fully exposed to whatever the elements have in store for them and reach that that stile at the end of the hairpin slap it hard with thine john thomas and then hare in back to tree cover only then replacing said item of personal interest and proceeding along till the five bar gate bit here you turn left then right up the hill of ARGH NEARLY THEEEERE then hopping over the fallen barbed wire fence in the building complex containing the wood work music technology sick buildings left on the main run and blast past sick bay and 90 degree turn to charge your last through the gym and changing rooms.
Were any records of the cross country ever kept? (The John Thomas bit was pure bollocks just wanted to see if anyone read it all the way through.)
Harvey Angel: In the 6th form I was allowed to do cross country runs instead of rugby. I had to report to the master at the start, and he would see me running off. I then followed my route, but came back behind the main building, in the back door, and down into what was then a communal 6th form TV room. I would watch the afternoon racing and then double back to report back to the master. "So, who won the 3.00 Kempton?" Barry Salmon once asked me upon my return!
Julius Marstrand: The masters weren't all as daft as we sometimes thought they were!
Craig Halls: I remember the pain! I struggled aged 15 but could do it twice now with ease.
Paul Taylor: Me, too.
Ed White:Ah! The run down Marina Road, and the final few hundred metres over “Shit Brick” field . . .
Christian M Dunkley-Clark: yeah those in rugby boots hated the marina but the trainer boys fell back in cow plop place. The great equalizer. I remember the house cross country but only a few were they every year or was it two? I came second in a couple and was captain of the winning team both times and with two different houses. Can anyone else say that eh? That's all I did only just remembered it a few years back.
I remember the first one and doing really badly losing a boot, squelching it on and Kevin Cooper laughing that he was going to beat me or at least he was spending a moment of time in front of me. I ended up 26th slightly ahead of Ben Delves who ran with me neck and neck to the tunnel. He was snorting like a horse on heat trying to hold me off .
Edmund Mensah: Loved it; always came in top 3 finish.
Newton Green: I always came last. Now give me 200 metres.
Edmund Mensah: I remember.
Jackson Jones: I remember always coming top 3 finish too. What a run! I remember feeling physically sick and spitting bile, with muddy legs; it was always raining - quite dramatic. A great run though.
Philip Lecount: I remember the final leg was through the cow field. With your legs aching and running out of energy the likelihood of you stumbling on the uneven ground and landing in a cow pat was very high.
Edmund Mensah: Yeah; lots came a cropper by then stepping in cow dung.
Jim Ferrier: My last cross country was in spring 52. Whereas in previous years I had done very well and won a few, this last one was a disaster and I fell apart and came in well down the field.
Michael John O'Leary: When I was in the 1st form in 1957/8 the annual cross-country was compulsory for all. To get out of it you had to have a notefrom sick bay or something! There were actually two cross-countries, a junior one for forms 1 to 3 and a senior for forms 4 to 6. The day of the junior cross-country, I went down to the locker room and found that some tosser had nicked my plimsoles - yeah, in those days there were no such things as trainers or runners or whatever! So I had to run in my rugby boots!! Running down the hard was very painful because of the concrete road, until I had the idea of moving to the grass verge. I don't know how long the course was, but I completed it and came 68th, I seem to remember! The next year I came 15th, and in the 3rd form I came 5th.
Harvey Angel: In the first form, when it was still compulsory, I managed to finish stone last. I think most people had buggered off before I got there. By year two I managed to get my arm in a sling (nothing broken or even sprained, as I remember). In fact, I don't think I ever managed to be "well enough" to compete in the annual event again (with miraculous recoveries very soon after)!