New Olympic Walk route planned!

By Benjamin - Posted on 08 September 2011

For those of you who have seen the film Chariots of Fire, (David Puttnam, 1981) you may already know Cambridge has a strong athletic tradition. Acentral scene in the film depicts the Great Court Run, which involves making one lap around Trinity’s Great Court within the time it takes the College clock to strike the hour of twelve. The chiming lasts 44seconds, and typically the race takes place every year on the day of the matriculation dinner.

The Original course has never been completed in that time despite an attempt in 1988 by Britain’s finest middle distance runners Sebastian Coe and Steve Cram, Daley Thompson waiting gingerly as a reserve (An alternative route using the cobbles as well as the flag stones however was completed in a time of 42.7 seconds in 2007).

Cambridge and Oxford have between them produced around 150 Olympians, and have great connections with sport. Early Rules of football were developed here in Cambridge on an area of open space named Parker’s Piece. Upon inspection of the old pavilion you can find the inscription:


“Here on Parker's Piece, in the 1800s, students established a common set of simple football rules emphasising skill above force, which forbade catching the ball and 'hacking'. These 'Cambridge Rules' became the defining influence on the 1863 Football Association rules.”

Today it is common place to see a game of football, cricket, or volleyball being played on the green; Ideal with a busy cycle lane and pathways running through its centre.

The planned Olympic walk will follow routes though both cities showing the major sites of interest, focusing on the lighter going history, and is sure to be enjoyed by those with a competitive nature as we aim to include a few sporting challenges along the way (nothing too strenuous of course…).