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House Spirit Wins in a Vintage 10 Mile Cup

Ollie Bass broke the lap record, while fellow Sports Scholar Katie Ardrey logged the fastest time in the girls’ race.

At the start of the race the sun shone, the band played and there was a frenzy of heightened positive emotions in anticipation of what turned out to be a remarkable day of “House Spirit”, courage and the making of heroes!

Honourable mentions to members of the Common Room, male and female, who ran stoically. Particular mention should go to Mr Illott and Mr Turner who both ran below 5 minutes 20 seconds. Only two Houses beat the men, while for the second year in succession the staff female team are unbeaten.

This year’s winner of the Mortimer Trophy – with a new world record time of 5 minutes and 2 seconds – is Oliver Bass of Burton Bank. The Mortimer trophy is named after Mark and Gavin Mortimer, both from Burton Bank, who loved this competition. Mark (who left the school in 1985) held the world record for the fastest lap at 5 minutes 11 seconds for a number of years, Gavin, the younger of the two, equalled the record in 1988. Most recently the record holder was Nathan Richardson – also of Burton Bank – with a time of 5 minutes and 3 seconds, which he achieved in 1993.

The final team placings saw School House – last year’s winners – come in third place with a time of 1 hour 2 minutes. The top two houses were very close in performance and dare I say “House Spirit and good old fashioned inter-house rivalry”. The outcome was in doubt until the very last lap when, coming up Wills Grove, Oliver overtook Jack to make a decisive move. It is a testament to both of these teams that they each broke the 1hour barrier for the race, a feat that hasn’t been matched for over ten years. So, in second place with a time of 59 minutes and 34 seconds, was Ridgeway House, while overall winners of the Ten Mile Cup for 2008 in a time of 59 minutes and 25 seconds was Burton Bank.

Mr H Barnes