Over 350 students from Sheffield ran a new Varsity 10 kilometre race, in a charity event designed to make students from both of Sheffield’s Universities compete against each other regardless of ability.
The Sheffield Varsity 10k was a new race organised by respective University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University graduates Alison Muir and Alice Fairhall, and open to students, staff, graduates, and locals alike.
The event pledged to give all proceeds to St Luke’s Hospice, a Sheffield charity which provides help for people with incurable illnesses.
Geography graduate Muir, 27, said: “Me and Alice used to play Korfball against each other, and even now we still wanted to compete against each other.
“So we thought an event like this – where there’s no team selection, and everyone could come together – would be fun.
“We didn’t have a clue as to how many people would turn up and do the race, to get over 400 is brilliant, and we’re delighted with the number of people who have run the race.”
Premiership referee starts race
The race attracted 291 University students, while there were 93 Hallam students taking part.
Premiership referee Howard Webb opened the race, and duly completed the course in just over 45 minutes.
Webb, fresh from refereeing Stoke-Manchester City the day before, said: “It was a great course because you could see your family in the stadium three times as you did the laps.
“But then you also went up one of the big hills and thought ‘I’ve got to go up here two more times.’
“I thought it would be a nice recovery run after doing the premiership match yesterday, but once I got started I got very competitive and tried to get round as fast as I could.
“I’ve got to say, the response from University was way stronger than Hallam’s.”
Webb also refereed Wednesday’s football Varsity final at Hillsborough.
Many of the runners managed to raise over £100 for different charities while others were happy to complete the course in the blazing heat.
Garreth King, an Archaeology graduate, said: “It was shattering, I was so close to throwing up. When I was halfway round the course I got cramp as well.
“I’ve been raising money for the MacMillan Cancer charity after my aunt died. I’ve raised over £100 and will try and do more things like this in the future.”
Barbara Bradshaw, who works in Marketing at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “It was fantastic. I entered for the running side really.
“I raised a bit of money, mainly from parents and close friends, and I’m going to give it to the British Heart Foundation. I lost a close friend last year to heart disease.”
Overall Hallam victory
The race was won by University of Sheffield graduate Joel Stevens, who won the race in just over 34 minutes.
Stevens said: “It was good fun, I loved every moment of it. It was surprisingly hilly in some parts, although I think I tackled them alright. I’ve trained in the Peaks so I’m used to going up massive hills.
“I didn’t really know what to expect, a friend told me about the race so I thought I’d come along and do it.
“It’s always good to represent University, and always fun to beat Hallam.”
Despite University winning both the male and female classes, Hallam won the overall competition with an average time 18 seconds faster than University.