The steeplechase. Usually in the early days of March, my school holds their annual steeplechase day. But what exactly does that mean?  This event which takes place on the 7th of March this year is full of excitement and competitiveness as students race all around (and even out of) Christ’s Hospital. 


In modern athletics, contributors of the steeplechase have to withstand multiples obstacles and challenges whilst running 3km! This is brilliantly (and annoyingly) reflected in my school as the slimy mud and wet grass will leave you slipping over countless times! 


Juniors (Year 7-9) take off at 2pm and run 3.2km whilst the seniors (Year 10-13) start at 2:30pm and run 4.2km. Those seniors who are the most accustomed to long distance running are able to opt for the 6km run instead! 


But why do we do steeplechase? For fun? For charity? Nope. We do it for the opportunity to compete against each other. The boarding house with the highest amount of people who finish the race in good time are rewarded with a trophy at the end of term assembly. This causes many to go above and beyond with their training exercises. Some have been practicing every day just so that their members are used to what they have to endure on the day. In my house, every Wednesday morning and (at 6:30am!) some go and practice. Honestly, they have my upmost respect for taking this so seriously.


I asked a handful of juniors in my house as to what they thought of Steeplechase. Some said that they think it’s a great opportunity for everyone to get fit and healthy. But others said that they think it’s useless and that if you wanted to go on a run then you can do it on your own accord. 


Truly I agree. Short distance runners and even non athletic people are put at a disadvantage having to be forced to take apart. But it is a school tradition so we just have to suck it up and move ahead. We would look back on these years and reminisce about the mud which splashed up to our knees and the struggles to wash the dirt out of our shoes. So deep, deep down there is a small sprinkle of positives.


Good luck to everyone who is participating!