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29th May 2024 Freddie Crichton-Miller (2021, English)

Exonians run the Town and Gown 10K for ExVac charity

Freddie Crichton-Miller (2021, English) was among 45 Exeter students, staff and friends of the College who ran 10km for charity. Here he shares his experience.

Exeter students and staff ahead of running the Town and Gown race

Rector Trainor (right) and his wife Marguerite Dupree (left) cheered Exonians on before completing the 10km route themselves

On 12 May, a team of 45 Exeter College runners took part in the Oxford Town and Gown, raising over £2,000 for ExVac, Exeter’s student-run charity, and completing the 10km route in the heat of an early summer’s day. All of our runners did an exceptional job and crossed the finish line to the applause of friends, family, and fellow racers, each receiving a medal to mark their achievement as well as having, for many (me included), the thrill of a new personal record in the 10km. The keenest among us will already be training for next year’s 10K – or, depending on motivation, perhaps even the Oxford half marathon!

We were an eclectic mix of runners this year, consisting of staff, students and even the committed parents of some current Exonians, all united by our specially made Town and Gown 2024 t-shirts. A massive thank you must go to Philip Munday, Exeter College’s steward, for his role in procuring our t-shirts and for setting this year’s event in motion – not to mention for speeding off at a pace on the day that left many of us students in the dust. Despite the heat, it was a lot of fun to run through the city that we know so well and to see so many of us turn out in support of ExVac.

The Oxford Town and Gown was launched in 1982 by local runners as a fun run to raise money for muscular dystrophy and, to this day, all profits from the race go to Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK). The run takes you all over the city, along the River Cherwell, up Longwall Street and finally finishes in University Parks, where we were presented with our medals and a much-needed drink of water. The sides of the course were lined with friends cheering us on as we ran, and, as the route takes you right past Exeter College, no one could escape us. The Rector, Professor Sir Rick Trainor, and his wife, Professor Marguerite Dupree, came along to support us too, much to the delight of the runners!

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of our runners and the generous support of friends and family, we smashed our fundraising goal and raised over £2,000 for ExVac. The student-run charity continues its fantastic work within the Oxford community and ran two successful trips to the New Forest in April, giving nearly 40 children the opportunity to have a much-needed week’s holiday. For many, this would have been their first time away from home. As is the case every year, the children who take part in an ExVac holiday have been put in touch with the committee via Oxfordshire Social Services and they couldn’t be run, of course, without the support of our donors. If you would like to make a donation to ExVac, you can do so here.

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