The Steeplechase

As the School prepared to depart for the Leave Weekend, a final event lay before them: The Steeplechase.

Invariably a lively affair, with House spirit and good-natured rivalry on display in abundance, the race this year took place on a glorious autumnal afternoon, with hundreds of Teddies pupils taking to the courses around the School and Port Meadow.

The whole school event, which was first officially run in 1927, is these days placed as the last official act of the first section of the Autumn Term. A discussion with the School Archivist, Chris Nathan OSE, puts some fascinating historical perspective on the event, as it so often does. The earlier editions of the race harked back to the 1870s and were referred to as Paper Chases (a name presumably associated with the practice of laying out paper trails for the runners to follow, taking the name from the Oxford-Cambridge varsity cross country matches), though they were not annual nor involving the whole school.

Current pupils may well be relieved to know that the practice of varying and often elongating the course (some were up to eight miles) has died out. The winners over the now set course of 7km for the seniors and 4km for the juniors are listed below.

The individual winners of the races this year were: 

  • The senior girls’ race was won by Amy Theakstone
  • The senior boys’ race was won by Oli McCrum
  • The junior girls’ race was won by Isabel Llabres Diaz
  • The junior boys’ race was won by William Robertson-Acolet.

Meanwhile, the House competitions were won by:

  • Corfe for the senior girls’ race
  • Segar’s for the senior boys’ race
  • Corfe for the junior girls’ race
  • Field House for the junior boys’ race.

Congratulations to all of this years’ runners. A gallery of photographs, provided variously by Maria Gorovater, Tilly Hall, Joe Porter and Anessa Komarova for Teddies on Camera are available here.

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