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The Oxford Cup. Why?

Submitted by sgrainger on

On Saturday, November 18th, hundreds of students, staff, parents, alumni and friends of TCS ran the Oxford Cup, a footrace that dates back to 1896. Five kilometres around the perimeter of our 100-acre campus, on a Saturday, on the third weekend in the (very chilly!) month of November, with the tail end of the run up the dreaded Mount Trinity! This year, at the start of the race, it was about 5° Celsius.

From my perspective, and in the opinion of many others, it was a perfect day. That said, I fully recognize that there could be a significant number of people (primarily students!) who do not share my view.

So, why do we run the Oxford Cup anyway?

Here are several reasons:

  • It is a tradition; in fact, it is one of the oldest consecutively run footraces in the world
  • It builds house spirit and is one of our events that contribute to our annual interhouse competition
  • It strengthens community by bringing together a variety of our constituencies
  • It’s outdoors
  • It provides motivation for many to train, work out, set goals and feel healthy
  • It’s unique; how many other schools were running altogether on a Saturday in November, or any day of the year?
  • It showcases our campus and facilities
  • It’s an opportunity for some kids (and adults) to be recognized for their talent and dedication to the sport of long-distance running
  • It’s nostalgic; witness the many TCS alumni who live at a great distance and feel connected to their school as they opt to run their own “Oxford Cup” at roughly the same time in their own community, and then proudly submit photos of their run afterwards
  • While participating, kids tend not to be on their phones!
  • It’s fun or, at least, there is a sense of accomplishment in finishing the run – as an individual and as part of our community

I am aware that the Oxford Cup is not ideally suited to everyone. It’s rare to find any one event that is! But, it is my hope that this perennial running tradition continues for another 125+ years.

It’s one of the many distinguishing, annual occasions of our beloved school.