Runs to try in Exam Term

GEORGE RAMSAY shows you the route out of your library blues and your new chocolate addiction.

Exams exercise Fit girton hare and hounds river running stress

Revision getting to you? Craving some fresh air? Got that itch in your feet that says ‘Get me my trainers, I need to go running right now’?

While Cambridge starts to feel the heat in exam season, a quick half an hour burst around town could be the perfect antidote to your day in the library. In a recent article for the BBC, ex-marathon runner Mara Yamauchi stated that running has remarkable benefits for your mental health, relieving many of the stresses and anxieties that plague day-to-day life.

And that’s not all. As well as offering a wide range of mental and physical benefits, running is a great way to discover the delights a city has to offer. If you’re struggling to find the perfect route or are bored of pounding on the treadmill, here are a few suggested routes to get you started.

Go on, dig out a pair of these...

Go on, dig out a pair of these bad boys

The College Cruise

  • Start on King’s Parade
  • Head down Trumpington Street, past Pembroke and Peterhouse. Beware the lethal gutter between pavement and road while dodging pedestrians.
  • At the roundabout, turn left and then left again down Tennis court Road, behind the back of Downing.
  • At the end of the street, turn right towards Emma, then right at the traffic lights to Parker’s Piece.
  • Go crazy in Parker’s Piece. Swerve between cyclists or run madly through a game of ultimate frisbee.
  • Exit onto Clarendon Street (bottom left hand corner to entrance) and take a left down any number of quaint little streets towards Christ’s Piece. Orchard Street is a personal favourite.
  • Head straight across Christ’s Piece and come out on St. Andrew’s Street. Go right towards Sidney. You’ll be in the zone by now, so dawdling shoppers are to be treated mercilessly with a drop of the right shoulder.
  • Carry straight on past John’s (low-point of the run and hard to be avoided – sorry), over the bridge and up the hill past Magdalene.
  • Turn left at the cross-roads and left again at the roundabout down Queen’s Road.
  • Turn left at Garret Hostel lane, over Orgasm bridge and you’re more or less back where you started.
  • Click here for a Map
Finish with one of these

Finish with pleasure

The Riverside Romp

  • Start on Jesus Green.
  • Head away from the city centre. Cross the road at Victoria Avenue onto Midsummer Common.
  • Bend right and pick up the towpath along the river, through Stourbridge Common and Fen Ditton Meadows. Follow the river at you leisure, mocking the rowers as you overtake them.
  • Turn around whenever you fancy.
  • Or if you’re feeling intrepid and starting to hit a stride, there are paths to your right leading to Fen Ditton. From here, you can follow Green End, pick up a path by the river which leads under the A14 and head toward Baits Bite Lock, where you can cross the river and head back along the towpath. This makes a lovely 8-mile river cruise in total.
  • Full route map available here
Fly past these blockheads

Fly past these blockheads

The Girton

  • Run to Girton and back. Not for the faint-hearted.
  • This desolate outback is best found by starting at Magdalene and running straight up the hill on Castle Street and Huntindon Road.
  • Not the most interesting of routes, but you will be able to tread where few Cambridge students have trodden before. Also a nice ‘there and back’ route if you enjoy running against the clock.
Girton, far enough away that she'd shit herself?

Girton, far enough away that she’d shit herself?

Running with a group of people is an excellent way to build lasting friendships. So if you can’t drag your friends out for a quick stride or two, then the Cambridge University Hare and Hounds (CUH&H) can be seen hitting the road on a daily basis, whether it be their Varsity match winners or a group of ‘EZ’ runners out to enjoy a spot of fresh air.

If you’re new to the sport and fancy going out for a short run and a natter to clear some brain space, then the EZ runners could be just for you: they organise 5 sessions a week, all of which involve a gentle 25-30 minute jog at the perfect pace for beginners. CUH&H also organise a tea run on Friday afternoons, where a relaxed jog is followed by tea, cake and biscuits. What’s not to like?

Whether it be in the solace of your own company or out with a group of friends, Cambridge offers a wealth of opportunities to get out running this summer, all of which you could find transforming many aspects of your everyday life.

Happy running!

If youre interested in getting involved in running in the summer months or beyond, get in contact with the CUH&H club captain, Lewis Lloyd (lal38), or visit the club website and sign onto the mailing list.