The University will see a healthy amount of its students and staff take part in tomorrow’s race, which is expected to start at 9:30amBen Freeman (Licenced under Creative Commons Attribution)/Flickr

Since 2012, the Cambridge Half Marathon has become a staple in the city’s sporting calendar, attracting over 10,000 participants every year. After several years of disruption due to Covid, tomorrow’s (6/3) event will finally mark a return to normal routine, with approximately 14,000 runners registered.

Nestled amongst this large total is a number of committed Cambridge students, who will be running for various reasons to compensate for hours of dedicated training. Varsity talks to a handful of these students ahead of the big day.

Joshua Dranesas (Homerton)

“I’m running the Cambridge Half Marathon, first of all, because I like running, but I’m also running for Cancer Research UK. I think this event is a good opportunity to give visibility to such causes.”

Dranesas describes how he looks forward to “the challenge” of the run, while also sets himself a target for his performance: “As it’s my first Cambridge Half Marathon, the goal is to finish it. If I may be a bit optimistic about it, I’d like to run a 1:48:00, so we’ll see how it goes but either way it’s going to be a great moment.”

You can donate to Joshua here.

Carmen Lim (Homerton)

“I’m running mostly to prove to myself that I am capable of running because I never actually liked running as a child.”

As a current Blues swimmer and six years ago dubbed ‘Malaysia’s fastest one-armed female swimmer’, Lim has never really felt the need to tie up a pair of running shoes, but explains that she “picked up running because of lockdown when all the pools were closed.”

Regarding the race itself, Lim concludes: “I just hope to maintain a consistent pace throughout and finish the race in a decent time since this is my first-ever half marathon.”

Harry Rodgers (St John’s)

“The half marathon is on the exact 18-month anniversary of when I had open-heart surgery, so I thought I’d do it as a personal challenge and to commemorate that.”

A third-year student, Rodgers did little sport during his childhood due to a pre-existing heart condition. Following the surgery, Rodgers recalls: “I was ill for around six months afterwards and then came back to Cambridge, where I was advised that I could maybe try running now that I had a new valve [in my heart].

“I started with Couch to 5k and then gradually worked up to the half marathon distance.”

Turning his attention to tomorrow, Rodgers naturally feels nervous: “I’ve run one half marathon practice, but I am concerned about the crowds and how the atmosphere will make me feel.”

Wojtek Łabuń (Homerton)

“This is my final year in Cambridge and I really want to have a highlight of my last Lent term, and I feel that the Half Marathon is a perfect way to do this.”

Like many others, Łabuń will be taking on his first half marathon, so targets the objective of running it in under two hours. “I’m not entirely sure whether I’ll make that,” he confesses, “but, from what I know, running it in that time is above average so I’d be very happy if that happened.”

Cyprian Kucaj (Homerton)

“My post-lockdown fitness had me reminiscing about the times when I captured every opportunity to run. So, when I heard that a half marathon was taking place right on my doorstep, I didn’t hesitate to sign up for it and regain my previous fitness.”


Mountain View

Running rings around Cambridge

Trading football boots for running shoes, Kucaj revels in the health benefits of such a run but also recognises that they “come secondary”, explaining that “these kinds of events are brilliant opportunities to focus on something bigger than yourself.” Subsequently, like Dranesas, he will be running for Cancer Research UK: “I have chosen to raise money for Cancer Research as this disease has unfortunately greatly impacted my family on numerous occasions.

“Nevertheless, I am still hopeful that we can make a positive difference to the people who are impacted by this disease and that is what ultimately will carry me through the most difficult parts of the run.”

You can donate to Cyprian here.

Fitzwilliam College also has a number of students, staff, and fellows taking part in the Half Marathon on behalf of various charities: Maya Hodgson, Jess Clarke, Tom Noden, Duncan Street, and Rod Cantrill.

Varsity wishes all of this year’s runners the very best of luck.