Roses Unlocked 2021: The Pentathlon Sprinting shows the Community and Camaraderie at Lancaster

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Having not been to a famous Roses weekend before I had no idea what to expect when covering an event, especially in light of the current COVID-19 restrictions. That being said, the anticipated competitive comradery and sporting excitement did not disappoint. 

Not being an avid follower of any particular sport, I was excited to watch something that I would not necessarily have thought to see, which brought me to the sprints. Initially, I was expecting a group race, but instead, I was met with individual runners from all other sports societies there to represent their team. There was definitely something amusing about each sprinter being called out as their dedicated sport, such as ‘squash’ or ‘canoe’. 

Each runner had only one chance to get their best possible time on the 80m sprint. I got the feeling this certainly put an added dose of pressure on the individuals (little did they know many of them would have another chance to race due to a funny amount of false starts from timers not being started).  

After all the participants had completed the sprint, the fastest times were incredible. For the boys, the quickest time came in at 10.01 seconds from a member of the rugby seconds team. For the girls, it was 11.25 seconds from a speedy member of the women’s rugby team. I think it is safe to say that the rugby players really brought it home for the sprint. However, all team representatives gave it their all and their societies should be proud to have them.  

What was most enjoyable about the event was the supportive community element. During everyone’s sprint, all their fellow competitors were cheering them on from the sidelines, giving the competition back some of the spirit that COVID-19 has tried to take away. 

Naturally, this was a year very unlike Roses of previous years. But everyone held the same unanimous opinion that they were just grateful to be able to take part this year, no matter what adjustments had to be made.  

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