Catz runners prepare for half marathon

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Members of the St Catharine’s community are preparing to run the TTP Cambridge Half Marathon from 9.30am on Sunday 3 March. The group includes some runners attempting their first race at this distance as well as runners who have completed multiple marathons.   

The more experienced runners include Dave Dove (Head Porter) who tries to do the Cambridge Half Marathon each year and has several London marathons under his belt, as well as Tina Meskhi (an MBA student) who has run mountain marathons in the past.

Tina commented, “I love running but my marathon experience so far has only been of mountainous races. I’ve never run a flat marathon before and thought it would be great to try one for the first time while I’m in Cambridge.”

Tina Meskhi at the 2021 Kazbegi Mountain Marathon
Tina Meskhi ran the 2021 Kazbegi Mountain Marathon
Dave Dove running past Cutty Sark in the 2023 London Marathon
Dave Dove ran the 2023 London Marathon

Tina Meskhi and Dave Dove outside the gates of St Catharine's College
Tina Meskhi and Dave Dove look forward to running past the gates of St Catharine's College

Among the other runners from St Catharine’s are:

  • Peter Einarsson Nielsen (a Physics PhD student)
  • Hillary Elrick (a Biological Science PhD student) 
  • Lizzy Lotery (a second-year History and Medieval & Modern Languages undergraduate)
  • Ben Massey (a second-year History undergraduate)
  • Salvatore Nigrelli (a third-year Natural Sciences undergraduate) 
  • Dan Podmore (1998, Natural Sciences; one of the alumni organising the annual Acheson-Gray Sports Day on 20 April) 
  • Martha Rushbrooke (a fifth-year Veterinary Sciences student) 
  • Rob Simmons (a second-year Economics undergraduate) 
  • Steve Sweet (1998, Natural Sciences; also an organiser for the Acheson-Gray Day) 
  • Norbert Toth (2017, Natural Sciences; now an Earth Sciences PhD student)

Ben said, “I wanted to challenge myself to run a half marathon personal best. I’m a fairly experienced runner but usually focus on 400m races so I’m looking forward to running a much longer distance than I’m used to. I’m running for Living Sport Cambridgeshire as the charity aligns with my interest in sport and I’d love to help others get the same enjoyment and support through sport as I have.”

Lizzy commented, “I've done the Southampton Half Marathon the last two years and loved it, so I wanted to do the one in my university city. Also, the race will definitely be flatter than the Southampton route, which is a win! I am running it with my dad, and together we are fundraising for Gift of Sight, which is a charity committed to beating blindness. This is a cause close to our hearts so I'm excited to be fundraising for them.”

Rob added, “I signed up to the Cambridge Half Marathon because I wanted a fitness goal to aim towards and I’ve never spent periods running regularly longer than 5 km. I’m running to raise money for CPSL Mind– a charity that I think does very important work supporting people who are struggling with their mental health, and our local branch which covers Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire (CPSL) seemed like a perfect option.”

The race will start and finish on Victoria Avenue, with the route passing St Catharine’s twice: the first stretch out to Grantchester passes the southern boundary of the College’s main site on Silver Street, and runners returning to the city centre can enjoy the view of Main Court from Trumpington Street at around 11.5 miles. Supporters standing at the junction of Trumpington Street with Silver Street should be able to cheer on runners in both directions.

Sam Carling, Executive Councillor for Open Spaces and City Services at Cambridge City Council, said:

“It’s a real privilege to welcome the TTP Half Marathon to the streets of Cambridge once again this year, with an exciting new route. More than 12,000 people will be running the half marathon, which is no easy feat, and participation is something that should be a real source of pride for everyone stepping on that starting line. The TTP Half Marathon helps to raise an amazing amount of money each year for charities, allowing them to continue to carry out important work on both national and local scales.”