UCL East


Festive fun at first UCL Campus Run

25 April 2024

Nearly 400 runners of all abilities took part in UCL’s first Campus Run, hosted by Students’ Union UCL from our UCL East campus on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

A selection of six different images showing groups of runners at different stages of a run on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

With a choice of distance of either 5K or 10K, entrants ranged from serious athletes out for a personal best (PB) to joggers and fun runners enjoying the festive atmosphere and fantastic views of of the Park with iconic landmarks like London Stadium, ArcelorMittal Orbit and the London Aquatics Centre.

A group of runners heading towards the camera with the words 'Olympic Park' on the stadium behind them
Students, staff and alumni lined up together for the start outside UCL East’s flagship Marshgate building to cheers from spectators and members of the public. After looping behind the Stadium, the route took runners along the riverbank opposite Stratford Waterfront, the new home for our East Bank partners the V&A, UAL’s London College of Fashion, the BBC and Sadler’s Wells.

Two runners with more following run around a bend with trees and buildings behind them

Doubling back and criss-crossing the water past One Pool Street, the runners arrived back in front of Marshgate. With one lap done, 5K runners repeated the loop, with 10K contestants pushing on to cover four laps in total.

First over the line in the 5K race in a time of 19m 19s was Richard (Ric) Passey, chief information architect in UCL’s Information Services Division (ISD), who described the run as “windy and fast-paced!”  The 10K saw recent UCL alum Wen Zhe (Zach) Ng coming home first with an even more impressive performance, clocking 33m 35s for the double distance. Despite jumping ship to a rival London institution, Wen Zhe confessed he can’t keep away from UCL and his running buddies “because of the great social life!”

Two side by side images with a runner with a medal smiling towards the cameral

Rudee Robinson, soon to be UCL Netball first team captain and studying European Social and Political Studies, finished in 20m 20s and was impressed with the whole event.

A woman with a medal around her neck smiles at the camera with a race event behind her

“It was challenging but rewarding. It’s always nice to see what time you can get. I was hoping to break 20 minutes - next time! But it was a really good experience. I grew up running and then switched to netball when I was 14 or so, but thought I’d give it a go. It’s great to see how many people from our Bloomsbury campus have come over, and how UCL is developing running events here at UCL East on the Olympic Park.”

A man runs towards the camera with a dog on a lead towards a race finish line

Four-legged competitors were welcome too, with rescue dog Frankie and her human colleague Max Keeble, Students’ Union UCL’s Head of Projects and IT, proving a big hit with runners and spectators.

Organised by UCL Students’ Union in conjunction with Run Through UK, the event was an example of the SU’s Student Life Strategy in action, offering a new, high quality experience to students, whether entering to compete or just running for fun.

The ‘one UCL’ vibe was supported too by our catering partner CH&CO who offered a 10% discount in the beautiful riverside Marshgate Café for anyone wielding their finisher’s medal.

Three people in running gear around a table smile and make thumbs up signs

UCL Head of Media Relations Henry Killworth was one of many UCL staff who competed alongside students, using the event to spur him onto an even bigger goal:

“I’m running the Birmingham Half Marathon at the start of May so used the 10K UCL Campus Run as one of my training runs. It’s the perfect course whether you want to jog steady or run fast: it’s flat, there’s some nice long stretches, and the surface underfoot is nice and even and a little forgiving.

“I’m happy with my time of 46m 20s and it gives me something to aim for at the next Campus Run. I’d definitely recommend this event, whether you’re new to running or a seasoned veteran. Well done to our SU for such a well organised event with a superb atmosphere. Bring on 2025!”

You can check out the race results, which include a win in the V70 category for Professor Martin Kilduff (UCL School of Management) with a 10K finish time of 46m15s.

Mutual support and celebration were the order of the day, with a group warm-up before the start and individuals, couples and groups of runners all enjoying good natured rivalry and celebrating each other’s achievements.

A runner raises his hands in a cheer as he runs across Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with the V&A East in the background

UCL East Students’ Union Manager Balraj Dhingra said: “There’s such a feel-good atmosphere when our UCL community gets together. We’re really pleased with how the event went and I’d like to thank everyone who took part, supported us, helped to organise or came along to cheer.

“Our Student Life Strategy is increasing opportunities for participation in sport, culture and the arts and helping students across UCL to develop their passions and skills, as well a stronger sense of belonging to UCL.

“I’ve no doubt we’ll be back with an even bigger and better Campus Run next year. We're aiming for 1000 runners next time. So watch out for those Early Bird tickets!”

In the meantime, sport lovers at UCL should watch out for some exciting activities coming up on our UCL East campus to celebrate and mark the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics, in conjunction with our partners at East Bank.

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